Leader sports editor
Sylvan Hills football went full tilt scrimmage in a 6 a.m. practice Tuesday, and the defense was impressive. The offense was without starting quarterback Jordan Washington, just as a safety precaution, so that played into the defense’s dominance. Bears’ head coach and offensive coordinator Jim Withrow mixed praise for his defense with disappointment in his offense.
“That was probably the best scrimmage our defense has had since I’ve been here,” said Withrow after practice. “As far as enthusiasm and aggressiveness, and hitting somebody, that’s probably the best I’ve ever seen it.
“Jordan wasn’t out there and that was part of it, but we made some mistakes on offense we shouldn’t be making. That was disappointing. We got better at the end when we went goal line, but we have to be better than that. We have to be.”
One key problem for the offense was getting the snap. There were some bad snaps, dropped snaps, and miscues on the snap count. The defense forced several fumbles and covered some of the snap fumbles.
Inside linebacker Eric Givens was all over the field. He broke through the line of scrimmage on a running play and knocked the handoff out of quarterback Ryan Lumpkin’s hand before he could make the exchange with running back Jamar Porter. On another occasion, Givens dropped back into coverage and picked off an out pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.
Safeties Darius Wadell and Cameron Flippo were solid in coverage as well.
Lumpkin completed one long pass to Jamar Lane, who added another 20 yards after the carry. From the 10-yard line, he hit Peyton Terry for a touchdown on a fade to the back left corner of the end zone.
The Bears did goal line drills at the end of the scrimmage, and the offense found some success running the ball up the middle. Porter and Deion Youngblood each scored touchdowns breaking tackles between the hash marks.
The junior varsity squads took a third of the snaps in scrimmage, and running back Malik Bean proved difficult to bring down on a couple of touchdown runs. Bean broke three tackles before breaking loose for a 50-yard scoring run. He later fought through a series of tacklers to turn a short yardage situation into about a 15-yard gain on another play.
After two more weeks of practice, Sylvan Hills’ annual Blue-White game will be Aug. 19, and the Bears will scrimmage at Greenbrier on Aug. 22.