It was a slow start for the Sylvan Hills Bears, but they finally got on track.
Sylvan Hills started J.D. Miller at quarterback but didn’t last long after he suffered an injury to his shoulder and had to be removed.
Ashton Brown took over at running back on Sylvan Hills’ first scoring drive that ate up 75 yards on 10 plays. Brown chewed up the last 25 for a touchdown.
From there, Mills had the Bears’ number and raced out to a 19-7 lead.
Tra Doss who had taken over after Miller’s injury put up enough production for a comeback hitting Kelvin Wade and Nathan Thomas for big yardage and suddenly, Mills’ advantage was cut to five points at 19-14.
Enter Marlon Cleamons. He took a pitch on a sweep play and raced 53 yards for a touchdown. Doss’ two-point conversion run gave the Bears a 22-19 lead. Cleamons added a three yard run to seal the deal for Sylvan Hills.
Head coach Jim Withrow raved about his team’s second half performance and not just on offense.
“Our defense stood tall in the second half,” Withrow said.
The biggest play being a forced Mills fumble inside the Sylvan Hills five.
The second half performance was a marked improvement from how the defense started.
“We’ve got to stop giving up the big play,” Withrow said.”We are getting better in spots.”
There is a crowd of teams that have a shot at a playoff spot in the 5A-Central. Week six should be the beginning of thinning the herd.
Sylvan Hills has high hopes for the postseason. In fact, Withrow said earlier in the year that a playoff berth would be “huge” for the long term success of his program.
Friday night is where that vision can either begin to take shape or to deteriorate.
The Bears are facing Jacksonville this week in their new hot rod offense, an offense that put 57 points on Little Rock McClellan and was only implemented this past offseason.
“This is a big week for us,” said Withrow.”We won a tough game (against Mills) and now we’ve got to keep it going.”
The Bears will have to stop the likes of Kevin Richardson who racked up more than 250 yards of total offense last week, not to mention the fact that he along with two or three others that can play and have played quarterback.
“You never know who is taking the snap,” Withrow said. “It makes them difficult to prepare for.”
Withrow’s team is very young.
“We’ve only had a three or four seniors the last few years,” Withrow said. “A win like this and a playoff appearance would be really big for our program.”