Leader Blues

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SPORTS >> Bears blank the Falcons

Marquis Smith fights for yards in Sylvan Hills’ victory against North Pulaski.

By RAY BENTON
Special to The Leader

Sylvan Hills wanted to see some improvement on offense, and saw it Friday night at North Pulaski.

The Bears handled the Falcons 27-0 in a 5A-Southeast game at Falcons Field, and did so despite four turnovers, a problem that continues to plague the Bears.

“It’s good to score, but we have just got to do something about these turnovers,” Sylvan Hills coach Jim Withrow said. “If it weren’t for these turnovers we might be 3-1 in conference right now. It was good to move the ball though. We did see some improvement there.”

Sylvan Hills got things rolling on its second possession after its first drive stopped because of a lost fumble. A bad North Pulaski punt gave the Bears good field position at the 29.

After a 1-yard run, quarterback Jordan Spears found Ahmad Scott streaking over the middle for a 28-yard touchdown pass. A missed extra point left it 6-0 with 4:38 left in the first quarter.

North Pulaski then returned the favor.

A 55-yard kickoff return by Darius Washington set the Falcons up at the Sylvan Hills 40, and Shyheim Barron found Marshall Shipley streaking down the sideline. But Shipley fumbled when he was hit at the 3. Scott scooped it up for the Bears and ran it out to the 18 to set his team up for a long scoring drive.

Sylvan Hills went the 82 yards in 11 plays, and again it was Scott who capped things off with a 4-yard run on third and goal.

After a three-and-out series for the Falcons, Sylvan Hills needed just one play on its next drive. This time it was a 35-yard pass from Spears to Anthony Featherstone that made it 20-0 with 10:00 left in the first half.

The second half saw another long Sylvan Hills drive end when the Falcons stuffed running back Marquis Smith for a 2-yard loss on fourth and 1.

The Falcons then went on their own long drive, an 11-play possession that also ended on downs.

Sylvan Hills got it back at its 17, from where it started its longest scoring drive of the game. The Bears marched the 83 yards in12 plays.

They got some help from the Falcons after an incompletion brought up third and 14, but a North Pulaski personal foul penalty gave the Bears a first down without having to try convert on third and long. The Bears needed just 14 more yards after the
Falcon penalty, and got them in four plays, with Spears finishing the drive on a 4-yard keeper that set the final margin.

Although Withrow was not entirely pleased with his team’s 358 yards of offense, he was again pleased with the effort from the defense.

“This is our second straight shutout,” Withrow said. “The defense has really been stepping up and playing well for us when we really needed it.”

The Bears held the Falcons to 136 total yards.

Smith led all players with 133 rushing yards on 18 carries. Scott had three catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

Barron threw the ball effectively for the Falcons, completing eight of 13 pass attempts for 85 yards.

The Bears, now 2-5 overall and 2-2 in league play, travel to conference leading and undefeated Monticello next week. The Falcons, 1-6, 1-3, are also on the road, traveling to Crossett.