Saturday, September 13, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Bears’ speed too much for host Lakeside

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Bears built a big lead and then held off Hot Springs Lakeside 48-35 for their second-consecutive road win of the season on Friday. For the second time in as many games, Sylvan Hills got a big momentum-shifting play right before halftime to change the tone of the game.

Leading 21-14 and Lakeside driving near the red zone, the Bears’ defense stopped the Rams on downs at the 23-yard line. After one play gained just 1 yard, quarterback Trajan Doss kept on a veer and went 76 yards for the score, giving Sylvan Hills a two-touchdown lead with 33 seconds left in the first half.

The Bears then got the ball to start the second half, and scored quickly on another Doss keeper. This time the senior quarterback went up the middle for 62 yards and a 35-14 Sylvan Hills lead.

Bears’ coach Jim Withrow hoped his team could capitalize on Lakeside’s propensity to frequently blitz, and the run up the middle is how the coaching staff planned to counter the Rams’ attack.

It worked well. Once in space, the Sylvan Hills skill players were too fast for the Lakeside defense. Doss and running backs Fred Williams and Marlon Clemons gashed Lakeside for 378 yards rushing, mostly right up the middle, but it wasn’t all on the ground.

The Bears’ first touchdown of the game was a 1-yard plunge by Doss after he hooked up with senior receiver Nathan Thomas for a 33-yard gain.

Lakeside answered Sylvan Hills’ first two scores to tie the game twice, but the home team never led.

The Bears took the lead for good on a six-play, 62-yard drive that Williams capped off with a 22-yard burst of the middle that made it 21-14 late in the second quarter. The Bears were stopped on downs once and lost one fumble, but scored touchdowns on every other drive of the game.

Doss finished with 12 carries for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Williams also had three touchdowns and 142 yards on 14 carries. Clemons finished with seven carries for 47 yards and a score.

Doss completed four of 12 pass attempts for 75 yards to four different receivers; with Thomas’ catch being the longest gain through the air. The Bears finished with 453 yards of offense.

Sylvan Hills will play its first home game of the season next week against Newport. It will also be the first game on the Bears’ new field-turf surface that was completed earlier this week.

Newport has also featured a high-powered offense so far this season in two wins over 5A-East teams.