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Thunder & Lightning: Skillern, Smith provide Second Baptist School punch out of backfield

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HOUSTON - Terry Pirtle and the Second Baptist School have secured the services of Smith & Skillern.

Yes, that may sound like some high-level law firm but it's not. Rather, it's junior running backs Eli Smith and Everett Skillern, who have paced the Eagles' offense the past two weeks.

In fact, the duo has combined to score 12 touchdowns in the past two games for Second Baptist School, each scoring three times apiece in each outing, including in a 49-0 homecoming victory over Lutheran South Academy on Friday night.

"Whenever he came back [from injury] it's been an automatic connection between the two of us," Smith said. "It's just a dynamic duo."

Skillern was out the first two games of the season but then returned to the two-deep a week ago and has been nearly unstoppable since returning.

"It feels great to be back," Skillern said. "It hurt me being gone, just seeing my team out there and not being able to be out there with them ... It felt good to be back."

Last year, Skillern and Smith were just sophomores at Second Baptist School. With Josh Johnson at quarterback, who eventually went to Trinity University, the offense was slightly more pass-heavy. Finn Nicholson has taken over the quarterback position this year and has the options to hand it off to Skillern or Smith but also hit them with the pass as well, along with Grayson Kim.

Now, as juniors, Skillern said they are pushing each other to be successful out of the backfield.

"We have more weight on our shoulders and we take that and run with it," Skillern said. "We love it. We push each other every day in practice and we just keep pushing each other."

But as any running back will tell you, the rushing yards, touchdowns, receptions with a full-blown escort down the field in front of them doesn't come without the trench warriors up front doing their job.

"I owe a lot of credit to my line," Smith said. "They are out here working hard in the trenches. It's allowing us to get a lot of yards every game."

What Second Baptist School head coach Terry Pirtle enjoys the most about Smith and Skillern is the fact that he gets to pencil them onto the depth chart again in 2021.

"They are both good backs," Pirtle said. "They've gotten better since last year. They had some success as sophomores last year but they have gotten bigger and stronger. So, they are hard-nosed, tough kids and they love to run the football. Our offensive line has done a tremendous job."