SPORTS >> Turnovers doom Sylvan Hills against NLR
By JACOB SCHIMMEL
Special to the Leader
Five turnovers by the Sylvan Hills Bears set the stage for a 28-7 victory by the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats (2-1).
Sylvan Hills (1-2) was able to gain nearly 200 yards of offense, and played good defense, but couldn’t overcome a few costly mistakes.
Sylvan Hills opened the first half looking sharp by forcing North Little Rock to three-and-out on their first possession. After a short punt, the Bears took over at their own 48-yard line. On second down, quarterback Hunter Miller found Mark Turpin for a 52-yard touchdown pass. Only 58 seconds into the game, Sylvan Hills led 7-0, but it would prove to be their final score.
North Little Rock was quick to answer. They marched down the field 75 yards to tie the game at 7-7 with 7:01 left in the first quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 21-yard catch by Phillip Dokes that set up a great 12-yard touchdown run by Tamelle Jenkins. Jenkins broke through four defenders to smash through to the goal line.
The Charging Wildcats defense was ferocious on the next possession. The Bears started from their own 20-yard line, but were quickly pushed back to the 2-yard line by some great defense. After avoiding a couple of safeties, the Bears punted and gave North Little Rock great field position at the 50-yard line.
Bretton Moncrief and Maurice Phillips led North Little Rock to their second score by hooking up on two big pass plays.
Phillips found Moncrief for a 30-yard gain highlighted by some great moves by Moncrief. Then they connected again for a 21-yard touchdown play where Moncrief leaped through two defenders in the end zone to make a spectacular catch. North Little Rock led 14-7 at the half.
Midway through the third quarter, Sylvan Hills was 15-yards from tying the game. On 4th down and 6-yards to go from the 15-yard line, Bears quarterback Hunter Miller through an interception to Chea Peterman. Peterman returned the ball 70-yards to the Bear 27-yard line. Six plays later, Wildcat quarterback Maurice Phillips dove in for a 1-yard touchdown to give North Little Rock a 21-7 lead with 2:16 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Nineteen seconds later, Miller was stripped by Wildcat linebacker Clifton Williams. Peterman recovered, and that set up an amazing touchdown reception by Phillip Dokes. The defender had great position, but the tall and athletic Dokes leaped high into the air and pulled the ball in for the final score of the night early in the fourth quarter.
Hunter Miller threw for 142 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions. Mark Turpin had one catch for 52 yards and a touchdown. Davon Neal had 22 yards rushing to lead the Bears.
North Little Rock was led by Maurice Phillips’ 101 yards passing, 2 passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. Bretton Moncrief had 51 yards receiving and a score, and Phillip Dokes had 50 yards receiving and a score. Tamelle Jenkins gained 102 yards rushing and had a touchdown.
Sylvan Hills gets 6A East conference play underway next week as they host conference favorite West Memphis. North Little Rock travels to Russellville to open 7A Central play.
Sylvan Hills Head Coach Ron Sebastian was disappointed with the turnovers, but felt like the Bears’ tough non-conference schedule has prepared his team well for conference play. He was quick to point out that his first conference game won’t be any easier than his non-conference games. “Our kids have been real coachable and we’ve been working hard. I still think even though we are just 1-2 we’re going to be better when we play West Memphis than we would have been had we played some people that were less talented.”