Saturday, September 12, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Bears post 62 again, barely beat Lakeside

Special to The Leader

The Sylvan Hills football team broke the school record for total yards in a game for the second week on a row on Friday, racking up 669 yards of offense in a wild 62-54 victory over Hot Springs Lakeside at Bill Blackwood Field in Sherwood.

“I don’t think you could have gone to a better high school game,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow. “If you paid five bucks for that, you more than got your money’s worth, I think.”

The Bears totaled 657 in its week-one, 62-28 win over Vilonia, but Friday’s home opener was no blowout. The Rams piled up 554 yards and had a chance to tie it late in the fourth quarter.

“That’s what they do,” Withrow said. “One of the things about Lakeside, they don’t quit. It was just a great high school football game. Anybody wondered how good a player Jordan Washington and Brandon Bracely were, I think they found out tonight. The offense played well. We blocked up front, and defensively, when we had to make a stop, we made a stop. They’re good offensively. All of our guys made some plays. The blocked extra point was huge. We wanted somehow to keep an extra possession, and that was the whole deal.”

After playing to a 27-27 tie and with a combined 565 yards of offense at the half, Sylvan Hills scored five touchdowns in the second half to the Rams four to pull out the victory in the marathon of points and yardage.

Sylvan Hills had the game’s first possession but punted to the Ram 19-yard line.

The Bear defense forced a punt, but was called for roughing the punter. Lakeside turned the penalty into points as they drove down the field on big runs by Colt Housley and Maurice Bradford, who took the ball into the end zone from 7 yards out. Garrett Tarbett added the extra point and the Rams led 7-0 with 7:11 to go in the opening quarter.

Sylvan Hills responded immediately with a 60-yard keeper for a touchdown by Washington. Tito Mandoza tied it at seven with his extra point kick.

The Rams next drive was halted by an interception by Darius Waddell, and Sylvan Hills converted on the turnover, going 82 yards in seven plays.

Brandon Bracely capped the drive with a 26-yard touchdown scamper. There was trouble on the extra point snap, but the Bears had the lead, 13-7, with 3:18 to go in the first quarter.

The Rams drove 68 yards and tied the score on a 1-yard plunge by Housley, and their extra point was no good, so the score remained 13-13.

The next Lakeside drive was stopped by a Flippo interception at the goal line, but the Bears turned the ball over on a fumble. The Rams had a short field on the Sylvan Hills 24 and scored on four plays on a touchdown by Bradford, giving the visitors a 20-13 lead with 8:35 to go in the second quarter. The lead increased to 27-13 when Washington was intercepted by Jack Hill for a pick six.

The Bears bounced right back, and after runs by Washington and Bracely, Dion Youngblood found the end zone from 23 yards out. Mandoza was good with the point after for a 27-20 Lakeside lead.

Sylvan Hills was to score the last touchdown of the half, driving from its own 33-yard line in eight plays. Washington connected with Cameron Sharp for the 10 yard touchdown reception with 2:40 to go. Mandoza’s extra point knotted the score at 27.

Bracely scored on a 23-yard run on the first Sylvan Hills possession of the second half to complete a 10 play, 92 yard drive. The score came with 6:02 left in the third and put the Bears in the lead 34-27.

Lakeside scored on a touchdown by Bradford to tie the score. On the ensuing kick-off, the short kick appeared to be fumbled by the Bears and recovered by the Rams. However, catch interference was called on Lakeside, and Sylvan Hills retained possession on its own 46-yard line. On second and 15, Bracely struck again with a 59-yard touchdown run, and the home team took the lead again, 41-34, with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter.

The Rams answered with a Housley touchdown as the game moved into the final quarter. The Bears defense came up with the huge block of the extra point to remain in the lead, 41-40.

Youngblood had two runs of 23 yards each in the next Sylvan Hills drive, but it was Bracely again for the 26-yard score. The Mandoza kick made the lead 48-40 with 9:16 remaining.

Bradford got free for a 53-yard touchdown run for the Rams. Lakeside went for the two-point conversion to tie the game, and it was Bradford again for the carry, and the score, knotting the score yet again, this time at 48 all with 8:20 left to play.

It did not take the Bears long to answer, with Bracely scoring on a 62-yard run on the second play of the possession. With the extra point, the lead was now 55-48 in favor of Sylvan Hills.

The Bears stopped a two-point conversion on the next Ram touchdown to hold on to a 55-54 lead.

Bracely added one more touchdown to his night with 2:59 remaining to set the final score at 62-54.

Lakeside was threatening with second and goal on the 3-yard line, but was called for holding. Washington then intercepted a pass in the end zone to secure the victory for Sylvan Hills.

Bracely rushed for 270 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught one pass for 30 yards and a score to finish with 300 total yards and six touchdowns. Washington rushed for 175 and threw for 91 for the 2-0 Bears.