Smith brothers develop into destructive force for Pleasant Hill

Posted: Oct. 17, 2013 2:32 am Updated: Nov. 7, 2013 3:13 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

PLEASANT HILL, Ill. -- Like most brothers, Boe and Blake Smith carry a healthy rivalry with each other.

The battle lines end, though, before they step on the football field.

The twin brothers refused to go against each other in practice. They were worried it could result in a battle of Biblical proportions.

"We don't want to be like Cain and Abel," said Boe Smith, a senior lineman for the Pleasant Hill football team. "That's what we tell (Pleasant Hill coach MIke Giles). Whenever he asks, ‘Why?' we say we don't want to be like Cain and Abel."

The Smith brothers prefer to be side-by-side, where they can create havoc together.

Blake, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle, is third on the team with 33 tackles and has a team-high 15 tackles for loss and a sack this season.

Boe, who plays defensive end, has two sacks and 31 tackles.

"I just like knocking people around," Blake said. "We never go against each other in practice. We don't want to cause problems at home. We steer clear of that. When Coach puts us against each other, we'll say, ‘No, find someone else.'"

Giles has never persuaded them to go head-to-head.

"They won't," Giles said. "You can't put them across from each other because they won't do a damn thing. The other kids don't like it either, because they give them a hard time. From the time they were freshmen, even grade school, they've always been that way."

What the brothers have done is help put the Wolves (4-3) in position to compete for their first playoff berth since 2009.

In addition to starting on the defensive line, Blake plays offensive tackle, while Boe starts next to his brother at guard.

With the anchors of their line set, Giles decided to switch to a veer/split-back offense instead of the I-formation.

The Smiths have helped Pleasant Hill rush for 1,785 yards.

"It's been a while since we've been in the playoffs," Boe said. "All of the seniors, we know this is the best line we've had in a long time. We've had little screwups and mistakes for a couple of games, but our offense has come together now."

The Smiths' natural strength makes them ideal blockers.

Blake benched 415 pounds as sophomore, but he hasn't attempted that in two years and doesn't lift regularly.

Boe can bench 315 and thinks some of the strength might be genetic.

"My grandpa, Rick Rodhouse, is really strong," Boe Smith said. "I saw him pick up a car motor by himself one time. He struggled with it a little bit."

While Blake and Boe avoid confrontation at practice, their competitive side shows at home.

The brothers routinely battle in video games and once had a competition to see who could do more backflips off a diving board that ended in a tie.

About three years ago, they had an impromptu test of strength while on the family farm.

While they were out walking, they stumbled on a tractor tire, and Boe bet Blake he couldn't lift it.

There was no prize offered for winning the bet.

"The first time I tried it was because Boe made me a bet I couldn't do it by myself," Blake said. "I was able to do it on the first try."

The Smiths plan to continue creating chaos -- together.

"It's pretty awesome. We both know what we're going to do, and I can trust him and he could trust me," Boe Smith. "I know if I need help with a blocker that he's going to be there. I know he can handle his guy and do it by himself, which is pretty good."




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