EVERETT — As if Cascade’s Josh Smith wasn’t scary enough, now the senior quarterback can see.
After getting some contact lenses to correct his near-sighted vision, Smith threw three touchdown passes and ran for a pair of scores to lead the Bruins to a 48-13 victory over Shorecrest on Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“We went to Costco and got some contacts on Wednesday. He couldn’t see 100 feet in front of him,” Cascade coach Joe Cronin said of Smith.
“He looked a lot better on Thursday,” Cronin added with a laugh.
Smith ran the Bruins’ offense with confidence Friday, leading Cascade to touchdowns on its first three possessions. Smith finished the game 7-for-12 for 183 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 39 yards and two touchdowns, including a 21-yarder on fourth down on the Bruins’ first possession of the game.
It was a big difference from last week, when Smith, who had much written about him leading up to last week’s season opener, was a bit tentative in the first half of the season opener against Shorewood.
“You forget he’s a 17-year-old kid. He came out a little nervous last week,” Cronin said. “It’s a new state, a new school. There were 250 kids in his school in Florida and I think there were 250 fans in the stands tonight.”
With his improved eyesight, Smith was able to watch his big-play receivers Kaleb Dobson and KJ Brady reel in three long touchdown passes, including a 53-yard touchdown pass to Dobson in the third quarter that was a dream connection. Smith lofted a beautiful pass down the left sideline that Dobson turned around and caught. The senior receiver then spun out of two tackles and sped into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night. Dobson and Brady combined on six catches for 153 yards and three touchdowns.
“In big-time games, big-time players make big-time plays,” Cronin said. “Who’s going to make that play when we need it? (Kaleb and KJ) can make plays. It’s nice to have a couple of guys on the outside that can make plays.”
But on a night that saw Cascade batter Shorecrest with the run, Cronin was enthusiastic about another part of his receivers’ games.
“What I like best is they block,” Cronin said. “When you’re a running team and you’re on the outside and your numbers not getting called, it’s easy to barely get off the line and jog. But they block well. It’s pretty cool they do that for their teammates.”
That running game was spearheaded by Kejuan Coleman, who carried the ball 23 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. Coleman didn’t have a carry of more than 9 yards but he also didn’t have any carries for negative yards and his success opened up the play-action for Smith to take advantage.
“Last week we should have given him the rock more,” Cronin said. “He really sets the play-action pass up. He’s got great vision and runs hard.”
Cascade’s defense was stifling Friday night. The Bruins forced three-and-outs on the Scots’ first four possessions and held Scots’ dual-threat quarterback, Nik Hendricks, in check all night. Hendricks, who rushed for 194 yards last week, was sacked five times and, taking out the negative yards on the five sacks, was held to just 34 yards rushing.
One bright spot for Shorecrest was the play of tight end Aaron Kelly, who caught three passes for 83 yards, including a 68-yard pass play that set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Hendricks.
Next week Cascade faces Cronin’s alma mater, Everett, in the Battle for Broadway at Everett Memorial Stadium at 8 p.m.
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Shorecrest 0 7 0 6 — 13
Cascade 13 15 14 6 — 48
C—Josh Smith 21 run (Bowlden kick)
C—KJ Brady 42 pass from Smith (kick failed)
C—Kaleb Dobson 29 pass from Smith (Kendrick pass from Schwab)
S—Nik Hendricks 1 run (Etscheid kick)
C—Smith 11 run (Bowlden kick)
C—Kejuan Coleman 3 run (Bowlden kick)
C—Dobson 53 pass from Smith (Bowlden kick)
S—Jake Oliver 39 pass from Hendricks (pass fail)
C—Omar Carreon 12 run (no attempt)
Records—Shorecrest 1-1 overall. Cascade 2-0.