Friday, June 16, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Bears repeat win

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Bears won the Aim High Let it Fly 7-on-7-football tournament for the second year in a row on Tuesday at Jan Crow Stadium in Jacksonville. The Bears went 3-2-1, and avenged one of its losses of the day in the finals, beating Maumelle 21-14.

“We did all right,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow. “It wasn’t great. “I thought the offense did pretty good. Ryan (Lumpkin) is going to be fine at quarterback. We’ve just lost some secondary we were counting on, and we’re trying to find the guys that are going to move into those spots.”

In the championship game, Sylvan Hills started on defense and forced a quick three-and-out possession. The Bears then scored in three plays, starting with a 13-yard completion from Lumpkin to Deon Youngblood. Micah Williams then caught a short pass for a first down, before Devante White snagged a hard throw between two defenders in the front of the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown.

Maumelle’s next possessions started with a 20-yard completion on a wheel route, but that’s as far as the Hornets got before turning the ball over on downs again.

Lumpkin then hit Harmon Peters for 16 yards for a quick first down. He then found Youngblood for 7 yards, and Youngblood again for 17 and another touchdown for a 14-0 SH lead.

Maumelle answered quickly when no one picked up a receiver. The Hornets scored on an uncovered 40-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7.

The two teams then traded a couple possessions with no one scoring before Youngblood made his fifth catch and second for a touchdown for a 21-7 Sylvan Hills lead with five minutes remaining.

Sylvan Hills linebacker Ty Compton had a chance to seal it, but he dropped a pass right in his hands. The Hornets later scored with 2:45 to go. Sylvan Hills’ last possession went three and out, but the Hornets only had 45 seconds of a continuous clock left. They completed one pass for about 15 yards, but could not get off another snap.

The Bears’ varsity team did not have a good round of pool play. It lost 28-14 to Maumelle and 21-14 to Atkins, and tied Jacksonville’s varsity 7-7. That gave them a three-seed in the bracket round of the eight-team tournament. There they beat their own junior varsity team 21-10, but had to rally late after falling behind.

“I thought, you know, all things considered, our second team played pretty well,” Withrow said.

The Bears then beat Poyen, the No. 1 seed from the other pool, 28-13, and the Jacksonville junior varsity 28-7 to get to the championship game.

The Jacksonville Titans didn’t enjoy a great start to its 7-on-7 football tournament on Tuesday, but they did end the Aim High/Let it Fly event playing well. The Titans entered two separate squads in the event, as did Sylvan Hills, after two teams dropped out late.

The Jacksonville varsity squad, called White, went 0-1-2 in pool play and lost its first-round game of bracket to fall to the consolation bracket.

There, the Titans found some momentum, beating Rosebud and Atkins by wide margins to close the day.

The JV team, called Red, went 0-3 in pool play, but then shocked Atkins, the No. 1 seed from the other pool, in the first round of bracket play, hammering the Red Devils 30-7.

Red quarterback Dai Dai Haynes threw touchdown passes on each of the Titans’ first three possessions, while the defense picked off three Atkins passes for a 30-0 lead halfway through the 25-minute, continuous clock game.

The JHS Red team then lost to eventual tournament winner Sylvan Hills varsity 28-7 in the semifinal round.

Jacksonville varsity’s defense played well, giving up no more than two touchdowns in any of its six games. But the offense struggled until finding its rhythm late in the tournament.

The varsity squad lost 17-13 to Atkins in pool play. There are no field goals, but a defense can score three points for an interception. The Titan varsity then tied Maumelle 14-14, and tied Sylvan Hills varsity 7-7.

In bracket play, the Titans lost 14-10 to Poyen in the first round, but then came alive offensively. They beat Rosebud 44-17, and led that game 37-3.

The Titans scored on the very first play, with quarterback Harderrious Martin hitting Isaac Johnson on a post route for 40 yards and the score. On the Ramblers’ first possession, Titan defensive back DeBoious Cobbs got an interception for a 10-0 lead.

Jacksonville then threw a pick to make it 10-3, but Daniel Curly answered right back with his third interception of the day to make it 13-3.

Curly then took some snaps at quarterback, and found starting quarterback Martin in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown strike. Back on defense, the Titans got their third interception of the game, this time Tamad Tyler got the pick to make the score 23-3.

Curly went back in at quarterback, and completed three-straight passes. The first went to Johnson for 17 yards. The next two went back to Martin. The first was for 22 yards to the 1-yard line, and again to Martin for the score.

The Jacksonville defense held Rosebud to three and out, and the Curly/Martin combination proved effective again. Curly hit Martin for 31 yards on the first play to the 9-yard line. The same two hooked up again for the score on the next play, making it 37-3.

Rosebud then scored on 35-yard pass that was mostly luck. A Titan defender went up high for the pick, but the ball slipped right through his hands and into the chest of an unsuspecting Rambler receiver who was able to coral the ball for the touchdown.

Jacksonville slipped some of its JV players into the game for the next possession, and Dai Dai Haynes hit Cameron Robinson for a 40-yard touchdown strike on the first play.

Rosebud scored on its last possession to set the final margin.