Saturday, September 14, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Bears hold off Rams’ comeback

Special to The Leader

After a season-opening win over Vilonia last week, the Sylvan Hills Bears hosted the Hot Springs Lakeside Rams Friday at Bill Blackwood Field. After a fairly even first half, the Bears led at one point by 18 in the second half. The Rams came back to score late and close the margin to 45-41 in favor of the Bears.

“I’m impressed that we hung with it,” said Sylvan Hills head coach Jim Withrow. “We keep on making enough plays to get us by and had the stretch where we scored a few more than them. All the way around, I’m happy to be 2-0. Clemmons had an outstanding game. He’s as good of a football player as there is. I’m glad he’s on our team.”

Marlon Clemmons had 129 rushing yards and 102 receiving yards for a total of 231 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Tra Doss had two rushing touchdowns and passed for three more. The Bears had a total of 454 yards of offense.

After receiving the opening on-side kickoff, the Bears started with excellent field position. However, there was a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, turning the ball over to the Rams. Lakeside struck quickly, with Beau Uzick carrying the ball to the Bear 4-yard line. A Bear penalty moved the ball to the 2-yard line where Blakely Lawless took the ball in for the touchdown. The extra point made the score 7-0 Rams with 11:41 left in the first quarter.

The Bears came right back with a scoring drive of their own. Starting on its own 33-yard line, Clemmons picked up a first down and Doss carried the ball to the Ram 45- yard line.

Doss hit Nathan Thomas for a first down at the 40-yard line. After carries by Tyler Davis and Marcus Long, Clemmons picked up another first down.

Doss moved the chains to the 12-yard line and then to the 2-yard line for a first and goal. Doss completed the drive by carrying it in from there. Philip Wood added the extra point for the 7-7 tie score.

Unable to move the ball on their next drive, Lakeside punted the ball out of bounds on its own 40-yard line, giving the Bears outstanding field position yet again.

Sylvan Hills could not take advantage and turned the ball over on downs.

From their own 30-yard line, Lakeside quarterback Garrett Carson handed the ball to Clint Smedley, who passed the ball down the field only to have it picked off by the Bears.

Sylvan Hills was forced to punt and the Rams took over on their own 20. Smedley broke free all the way to the Bear 1-yard line and Lawless scored from there. With the extra point, the score was 14-7 Rams.

After starting from their own 26-yard line, Doss connected with Clemmons on third down for a 69-yard Bears’ touchdown. Wood’s PAT tied the score at 14-14.

After neither team was able to move the ball, the Bears took over on their own 35-yard line. Doss hit Elijah Sowards for a reception to the Lakeside 38-yard line, then carried it himself to the 27. On fourth and 11, Doss hit Clemmons for a first down to the 11-yard line. Doss connected again with Sowards for an 8-yard touchdown pass to finish the drive. Wood added the extra point for a 21-14 Bear advantage with just 1:40 left in the first half.

The Rams came right back with a Carson to Braxton Jester touchdown pass with 1:04 to play in the half. The half ended in a 21-21 tie.

Lakeside started the second half on its own 12-yard line following a holding penalty. On third and five, the Rams fumbled and Quincy Flowers recovered for the Bears on the 18-yard line.

A screen pass to Davis on the next play resulted in a Sylvan Hills touchdown and a 28-21 Bear lead.

On their next drive, Lakeside completed a pass to midfield only to fumble the ball away again.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Clemmons broke free for a long touchdown run. The extra point made it 35-21.

Lakeside moved the ball down the field with short passes on its next drive. Lawless completed the drive, running the ball in for his third touchdown. The extra point was blocked by Kylan Wade, leaving the score 35-27.

On the Bears’ next possession, Doss completed a pass to Thomas to the Lakeside 35. Clemmons and Flowers ran the ball to the 1-yard line, where Doss took it in from there. The extra point was good for a 42-27 Sylvan Hills advantage.

The Bears lead grew to 45-27 on their next possession when Wood added a 30-yard field goal.

The Rams answered back with Lawless scoring his fourth touchdown of the night. The two-point conversion was no good, leaving the score 45-33.

The Rams had turned the ball over on downs to Sylvan Hills on their own 46-yard line, but forced and recovered a fumble on the Bear 35. That led to a 2-yard touchdown by Carson. The two-point conversion was good to make the score 45-41 with 1:44 to go in the game.

The Bears were able to get one first down and run out the clock to preserve the victory.

Sylvan Hills travels to Newport next Friday. The Greyhounds beat Bald Knob 42-7 last night to remain undefeated.