By Rocky Higginbotham

Kemper County Messenger

It’s no secret opposing teams can expect a heavy dose of Taemaus Glass and Chris Smith when facing Nanih Waiya this season.

That was certainly the case in Week 1 of the 2017 campaign at Hatley, which likely won’t mind if they don’t see Nanih Waiya’s version of “Thunder and Lightning” again anytime soon.

Glass and Smith combined for six touchdowns, and the visiting Warriors opened a new season with a 49-6 win over the Class 3A Tigers in Hatley last Thursday night.

“A good start for us all the way around,” third-year Nanih Waiya head coach Ryan Keeton said, giving praises to his team on both sides of the football.

The Warriors scored at will on offense, rolling up 320 total yards. They scored on special teams, scored on defense, and held the host Tigers scoreless until the fourth quarter.

Glass ran the ball eight times for 101 yards and three touchdowns, while Smith had 95 yards and a touchdown rushing on just four carries.

Bryce Stanton completed 6 of his 10 passes for 106 yards and a score to Glass, while Smith was the leading receiver with two catches for 34 yards.

Defensively, Dalton Luke led the charge with eight total tackles including two solos, while Deon Hickman had six tackles (three solos) and an interception and Caleb Warren also had six tackles.

Shia Moore and Kyle Holdiness both had five total tackles including two solos, while Glass had five including a sack.

Glass, Hickman and Charner Estes all were credited with tackles for a loss, while Stanton recovered a fumble (and returned it for a touchdown).

Smith got the scoring started early on when he fielded a punt and raced 56 yards with it for a touchdown. Roper Ball added the point-after kick. Glass then scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night, a 6-yard run that helped make it 14-0 after one quarter of play.

Glass scored twice in the second quarter, busting one in from 10 yards out before hauling in a 24-yard TD reception from Stanton. Ball added one kick and Stanton the other, lifting Nanih Waiya to a 28-0 lead at halftime.

Stanton’s fumble return for a touchdown and Ball’s kick pushed it to 35-0 in the third quarter, and the rout was on.

Glass broke a 62-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, then Smith added a 60-yard touchdown run. Ball hit the kick both times, and Nanih Waiya was up 49-0.

The Warriors only allowed Hatley just 70 total yards of offense and five first downs on the night – forcing three turnovers.

This week, Nanih Waiya will host Union in the Warriors’ home opener. Kickoff Friday is at 7 p.m.

The Class 2A Yellowjackets opened their season with a 32-10 trouncing of Choctaw Central last week. They are coming off a 10-4 season which included a 32-14 win over Nanih Waiya in the 2016 season-opener – the Warriors’ only regular-season loss last year.

“Union is always deep and athletic and extremely well-coached,” Keeton said. “They always provide a big challenge for us.”