The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Smith honors lost brother, on the field
BY ADAM HIMMELSBACH
BALTIMORE—Holding back tears, Torrey Smith stood at the dais minutes after the Baltimore Ravens’ team’s 31–30 win over the New England Patriots late Sunday night.
The Stafford High School graduate and Westmoreland County native was wearing a T–shirt, and he still had his football pants on.
But for a moment, he did not want to talk about football.
He wanted to talk about his younger brother, Tevin Jones, a 2011 King George High School graduate who was killed in a motorcycle accident in Westmoreland County late Saturday night.
“You had to be around him,” Smith said quietly. “He’s honest. He had a great heart. A lot of people say that all the time when people pass, but he truly was that person.”
Smith honored Jones on Sunday night the best way he knew how, catching six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Ravens escape a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes to steal an improbable win.
Smith said he received about one hour of sleep after learning of his brother’s death early Sunday morning. He rode back to Virginia to be with his family and then returned to Baltimore on Sunday afternoon to be with his teammates.
At about 4 p.m., Smith said, he sent a text message to his mother telling her he intended to play against the Patriots. She said that was what Tevin would have wanted.
“I didn’t want to be out there, just running around, doing nothing,” Smith said. “If I was going to be out there, I was going to give it my all.”
That became apparent quite quickly. The Ravens held a pregame moment of silence for Jones. Then, with 9 minutes, 45 seconds left in the second quarter, Smith caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, slicing the Patriots’ lead to 13–7.
After the catch, Smith kneeled in the end zone and said a prayer for his brother.
“For him to come out and be able to play football the way he did tonight,” Flacco said, “it says a lot about who he is.”
But Smith was not finished. With 4:01 left in the fourth quarter and the Ravens trailing, 30–21, Flacco found Smith for a 5-yard score. The Ravens regained possession with 1:55 left, marched 70 yards downfield and got a game-winning 27-yard field goal from Justin Tucker as time expired.
Afterward, Smith continued to receive hugs and condolences from his teammates as well as the Patriots.
“I can’t imagine what he’s going through,” Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin said. “It’s a tough situation. All you can do is put your arms around him.”
Smith was pleased with the win, pleased with how he had played, but it was easy for him to keep the game in perspective. His thoughts were mostly on all of his family members who were gathered in Virginia, watching on television.
And, of course, his thoughts were on his younger brother.
Tevin Jones played football and basketball at King George, and he looked up to Smith. On the day Smith received the call that the Ravens had drafted him, in April of 2011, Jones was standing behind him, beaming with pride.
Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442