Tuesday, August 23, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Bears even surprised at dominance of Panthers

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills had a fun time in its preseason scrimmage game at Greenbrier on Monday. The Bears and Panthers played each other two periods of regulation football, and the Bears came away with a 42-14 advantage.

The Bears have worked all summer on the passing game, and head coach Jim Withrow thought it was improving. He saw evidence of that on Monday, but remained hesitant to get too optimistic.

“It’s too early to say right now,” said Withrow. “We don’t know yet if maybe they’re not very good, or if we’re just really good. I just know it wasn’t what I was expecting going up there. Greenbrier has been pretty good for quite a while now, and we had no expectations of going up there and winning that big.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise was holding the Panthers to just 14 points. Greenbrier has given up points in the past, but has developed into one of the premier offensive teams in 5A. The Panthers trailed 42-7 before scoring on a big play to end the game.

“I felt pretty good about our defense,” Withrow said. “I thought our guys covered well. We gave up some yards on their screens plays, and we need to get more of a pass rush than we had, but for the most part it’s hard to get too down when you hold an offense like that to just two scores.”

Sylvan Hills scored three touchdowns each on the ground and through the air. Starting Quarterback Jordan Washington found running back Deon Youngblood for two scores of about 40 yards through the air. Backup quarterback Ryan Lumpkin hit Jamar Lane with a deep ball for another touchdown.

Youngblood also ran for one touchdown while Daelyn Fairrow scored two rushing touchdowns.

Jordan and Lumpkin both threw the ball really well,” Withrow said. “The lineman opened up some good holes and gave us time to throw it. The whole thing went pretty good offensively.”

“Defensively I thought our corner play was great. Curtis Wiggins and Fred Mackie covered really well. Safeties Darius Waddell and Cameron Flippo both played well, too.”

Defensive tackle Brennan Shelton got a rare lineman interception during the game as well.

Sylvan Hills will open the regular season with a home game against Class 7A Catholic High.