Saturday, September 28, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Sylvan Hills earns big win over Warriors

Leader sportswriter

Sylvan Hills was stellar on both sides of the ball in Friday night’s 5A Central Conference opener against Little Rock Christian as the Bears routed the Warriors 35-7 at Bill Blackwood Field.

The Bears’ offense dominated the first half with 303 total yards through the first two quarters of play, and the defense played great in its own right as it held the Warriors to just 81 yards in that time, including minus 24 yards rushing.

“We just want to do what we do,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow after the game. “We want to mix it up a little bit and try and give our playmakers a chance to make plays, and they did. Our tailback Tyler Davis is getting better, and Marlon (Clemmons) and Tra (Doss) have been constants the whole way.

“Our offensive line has been outstanding and our defense stepped it up tonight. They did an outstanding job. Coach (Chad) Collins did a great job with the guys. The story of the game I don’t think was our offense, it was our defense.”

Sylvan Hills’ defense forced a turnover and sacked Little Rock Christian quarterback Houston Angel four times in the first half alone. The Bears elected to receive the opening kickoff and found the end zone on the fourth play of the game’s opening drive.

After runs of 15 and 10 by junior quarterback Tra Doss, Doss broke 45 yards for a touchdown on an option keeper 1:25 into the game. Philip Wood’s extra point was good to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead.

Both teams were held scoreless for the remainder of the first quarter, but Sylvan Hills scored less than a minute into the second after Doss scored again on another option keeper, this one from 82 yards on just the second play of the drive. Wood’s PAT was good to put the Bears up 14-0 with 11:05 to play in the first half.

After another long drive late in the second quarter, the Bears’ offense was forced to punt, but the defense held the Warriors’ offense to a three-and-out possession, and after the ensuing punt, Sylvan Hills got the ball on the LRCA 38-yard line with 1:20 to go in the half.

It took the Bears’ offense just 55 seconds to score. On the third play of the drive, Doss connected with senior running back Kylan Wade on a slant route up the middle and Wade was brought down at the 1-yard line after a 9-yard gain.

Doss punched it in the following play, and Wood’s PAT put Sylvan Hills up 21-0 at the break. Little Rock Christian came out after the half and scored on its first possession, a 26-yard touchdown pass from Angel to senior wide receiver Paxton Thomas. The extra point was good to cut the margin to 21-7.

Just when the Warriors were able to get a little momentum, the Sylvan Hills offense took it right back as Doss scored his fourth touchdown on the ground with a 37-yard option keeper on the third play of the drive. Wood’s extra point was good to give the Bears a comfortable 28-7 lead with 8:57 to play in the third quarter.

Doss’ fourth rushing touchdown came on just his 11th carry, and put him over 200 yards rushing for the game. He finished with a game-high 212 yards on 14 carries and four touchdowns.

“I think he had 224 (rushing yards) at Vilonia,” Withrow said of Doss. “He does a great job. He reads it well, and it’s one those deals that either he’s going to carry it or Marlon Clemmons is going to carry it. So it’s good either way. They’re really buying in to what we’re doing.”

The Bears set the final score with 8:37 to play in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard touchdown run by Davis and a successful PAT by Wood. Sylvan Hills (3-1, 1-0) finished the game with 543 yards of offense with 429 of those yards coming on the ground.

Little Rock Christian (2-2, 0-1) was able to boost its total offensive yardage in the second half, finishing the game with 325 yards.

In addition to Doss’ rushing yards, he was 9 for 12 passing for 114 yards and one interception on a tipped pass. Davis also had triple-digit yards rushing as he finished the game with 11 carries for 119 yards and one touchdown. Clemmons added 10 carries 86 yards rushing.

The Warriors used two quarterbacks in the second half. Angel finished the game 16 for 24 passing for 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Junior Brooks Boshears completed 7 of 15 passes in the second half for 73 yards, and Thomas hauled in 10 catches for 101 yards and one touchdown.

The Bears will look to go 2-0 in conference play next week as they travel to Little Rock for a showdown with unbeaten Mills (4-0, 1-0). Kickoff is at 7 p.m.