Saturday, October 20, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Sylvan Hills stifles McClellan

Special to The Leader

It took the Sylvan Hills Bears most of the first half to get their offense going, but once they got the momentum up there was no stopping them Friday night as they beat the McClellan Crimson Lions 21-6 on the road.

“It’s tough to win on the road when you’re young,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow following the game. “They came out, and they did a good job. There was no panic, there was no griping or fussing, and they stuck together.”

Senior running back Ashton Brown led the Bears’ powerful run game with 166 yards and a touchdown, and sophomore quarterback Tra Doss added his share with two touchdowns on the night, one through the air and one on the ground.

The Lions opened the game with a drive that nearly reached Sylvan Hills' red zone. The Bears defense then made two key stops on third and fourth downs to force the game's first turnover, but their offense was forced to punt after getting one first down from the legwork of Brown.

The Lions got some yards on the following drive, but after several penalties they found themselves with fourth down and long and were also forced to punt.

The Bears were able to get a good run game started with more yards from Brown and sophomore runningback Marlen Clemmons, but a fumble by Doss would give McClellan possession near midfield.

The Bears’ defense immediately forced another turnover with an interception following Doss' fumble, and Doss would come back to redeem himself with a 10-yard touchdown run set up by a 55-yard run from Brown.

The Bears forced the Lions to punt yet again, and Sylvan Hills went to the locker room at halftime with a lead of 7-0.

The Bears started the second half with a bang. Brown, Clemmons and Doss continued to move the ball with their feet, and Brown ended the 76-yard drive by pounding the ball into the end zone with with back-to-back 4-yard runs.

McClellan did not go quietly. The Lions answered quickly with a 52-yard pass from quarterback Demarcus Quince to Tyrin Hollis.

Quince then caught a touchdown pass from utility player Akee Johnson for the Lions’ only points of the night, bringing the score to 14-6.

Sylvan Hills' consistent run game opened up the passing game on its next drive, which started with some more successful rushing attempts by Brown and Clemmons.

Doss then found Elijah Sowards with a pass for 22-yards.

Some more ground work by the Bears set Doss up for a 32-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Kylan Wade.

McClellan got one final attempt on the offensive side, and the Bears’ defense forced the Lions to punt yet again.

With just a few minutes remaining in the game, Sylvan Hills run game ate up the rest of the clock to seal a 21-6 victory on the road.

The Bears (4-3-1, 3-2) travel to Pulaski Academy next week to continue conference play against the league-leading Bruins.

“We better play some defense, they've got offense, defense, special teams, the whole bit,” Withrow said. “We just have to play solid football.”