COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove quarterback Jaylen Smith said he had a clock in his head Friday night against Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.
When it went off, Smith let his feet do the work.
It worked, as the CCHS leader threw for three touchdowns in a 28-7 win against UANL. The Bulldawgs improved to 1-1 on the season with the home win.
Cove turned the football over four times last week in an opening-night loss at A&M Consolidated.
“If we would have turned the football over like that tonight, it would have been the same result,” CCHS coach Jack Welch said. “We have a quality ball club.”
Smith looked like a much calmer quarterback in the pocket, completing 20 of 32 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns. When he had to run, Smith made something out of broken plays using his athletic ability.
“I studied a lot of film this week and noticed they like to blitz a lot,” Smith said. “I put a clock in my head and ran when it went off.”
UANL took a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter on a 13-yard touchdown run by Jose De Jesus Delgado. Cove scored with under three minutes remaining in the half on a 19-yard pass from Smith to Floyd Connell. On the play, the Tigres defender appeared to have the position on Connell, but the Cove senior somehow came down with the football.
“Jaylen threw a good ball and I had to make a play on the football,” Connell said. “Our offensive linemen did a nice job of blocking tonight.”
Smith said he threw the ball off his back foot — a no-no for quarterbacks.
“I knew that Floyd would go get it,” Smith said.
The Bulldawgs scored with 15 seconds remaining in the half on a 4-yard pass from Smith to Connell taking a 14-7 halftime lead.
Senior Myles Alexander returned from injury to score the Bulldawgs’ third touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Smith added another touchdown at the 6:12 mark of the fourth quarter on a 19-yard pass to Kaleb Honts. Antonio Mutt converted all four extra points for CCHS.
Alexander finished with 35 yards rushing and Connell caught 12 passes for 120 yards and the two touchdowns.
Brandon Russ finished with six tackles for CCHS (1-1) and Brandon Simmons and Tommy Connell tallied five and a half tackles apiece for the Bulldawgs.
CCHS will travel to Andrews on Friday for a neutral-site matchup with El Paso Franklin at 7 p.m.