Saturday, September 27, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Bears’ motor keeps churning through Mills

Leader sportswriter

Sylvan Hills opened 5A-Central Conference play in a big way Friday, as the Bears hammered Mills University Studies, beating the Comets by mercy rule, 63-21, at Bill Blackwood Field in Sherwood.

The Bears (4-0, 1-0) even managed to put points on the board before their highly-potent offense even took the field. Mills (1-3, 0-1) was held to a three and out on the game’s first possession, and senior DeAngelo Bell blocked the Comets’ punt that followed.

Bell was able to scoop the ball up after he blocked it, and he returned it 20-plus yards for the game’s first score. Mills answered on its next possession.

On the second play of the drive, Comet senior running back Calen Peters broke several tackles up the middle and was able to rumble 73 yards for the Comets’ first score. The extra point tied the game at 7-7. Peters’ TD run kind of woke the Sylvan Hills’ defense up, according to the head Bear.

“I think it kind of irritated everybody a little bit,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow of the run. “He’s a stud. No doubt he’s a stud. We knew about him going in, and when he got loose it really didn’t surprise me, but it kind of upset me because we should’ve tackled him at the line of scrimmage.”

Sylvan Hills’ offense found the end zone on its first offensive series. The four-play drive started with a trick play. Backup quarterback, Jordan Washington, who starts at receiver, took a double reverse handoff and came up throwing. Washington connected with running back Fred Williams down the Bears’ sideline for a 34-yard gain, and three plays later, senior standout quarterback Trajan ‘TD’ Doss punched in the go-ahead score from 1 yard out on a quarterback sneak, and the extra point by Zac Brown gave the Bears a 14-7 lead.

Mills turned the ball over via fumble on its next offensive snap, and after Chris Goodman covered it, senior running back Marlon Clemmons took a sweep left handoff from Doss 28 yards for another Sylvan Hills touchdown. The extra point by Brown made it 21-7 Bears.

The Bears were given great field positioning yet again on their next offensive series, thanks to another blocked punt, this one by Tyler Davis, and after starting from the Mills 30-yard line, Clemmons capped a four-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run on an option left play. The successful PAT made it 28-7 Sylvan Hills.

“If we get plays out of our special teams that’s a huge boost for us,” Withrow said. “That gives us a chance to really extend the lead. If you got a lot of athletes, let’s do stuff. Let’s go block punts. Let’s throw it around. Let’s do stuff. So it’s kind of nice to have that.”

Mills started its next offensive drive at its own 4-yard line, and after turning the ball over on downs in four-straight plays, Doss connected with Washington on a fade route in the corner of the end zone with 1:27 left in the opening quarter, and the extra point by Brown gave the Bears a 35-7 cushion.

Sylvan Hills scored its next seven points with 8:08 to play in the first half. On the first play of that possession, Doss took to the air, and found Clemmons in stride on a streak route in between the linebackers and secondary, and Clemmons dashed 88 yards for another Bears touchdown. The PAT put Sylvan Hills up 42-7.

The final score of the half came at the buzzer. The Bears were once again set up with great field positioning, starting at the Mills’ 38, and on the final play of the half, Doss hit receiver Nathan Thomas for a 29-yard TD strike through the air, and the extra point by Brown set the halftime margin at 49-7.

Sylvan Hills got the ball to start the second half, and scored on the seventh play of the drive, which was a 52-yard touchdown run by Doss. The PAT gave the Bears a 56-7 lead with 8:40 to play in the third quarter.

The Bears’ second unit came in after that, and that’s when Mills got on the board for the second time. After starting from their own 33, the Comets capped a four-play drive with a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Race Rodgers to receiver Allen Murphy, and the extra point cut the Comet deficit to 56-14.

Sylvan Hills’ offense still found success, even without most starters on the field. Washington came in at quarterback, and he led an eight-play drive that ended with a 6-yard score by him, and the PAT pushed the Bears’ cushion to 63-14 with eight seconds left in the third quarter.

The final touchdown of the game was scored on the ensuing kickoff. Peters received the kick at the Comets’ 24-yard line, and he broke loose down the visiting sideline for a 76-yard touchdown return. The PAT set the final score.

Sylvan Hills totaled 480 yards of offense, bettering the Comets’ total of 217. Doss finished the game 5 for 6 passing for 176 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also had four carries for 67 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The Bears will look to stay unbeaten next Friday as they travel to Little Rock Fair to take on the struggling War Eagles in the second week of 5A-Central play. The War Eagles are winless, and lost 42-0 to Jacksonville last night at JHS.