Sylvania stomps Glencoe to earn homecoming win
Sylvania’s offensive line sets for a play against Glencoe Friday night in a 3A, Region 6 matchup. | Photo courtesy of Mandy Helton
By Roger Scott
For Southern Torch
smothered Glencoe 42-7 Friday night as the Rams bank another region win behind an attacking defense and a balanced offense.
The Rams racked up 470 yards of offense for its homecoming game and limited the Yellow Jackets to one touchdown in a dominating performance.
Sylvania (5-1 overall, 3-1 in 3A, Region 6) received the kick and moved the ball 60-yards before missing a field goal on its opening drive. The Rams then held Glencoe to a three-and-out on its opening drive.
After the punt, sophomore back Aiden Parham picked up 16 yards on a run off right tackle, and Josh Scott hauled in a 55-yard pass from Jaxon Smith to the Glencoe 3-yard-line. Braiden Thomas finished the drive with a touchdown at 2:42. Conner Andrade’s kick made the score 7-0 with 2:42 in the first quarter.
On its next drive, the Yellow Jackets didn’t find much running room. Sylvania’s defensive line stuffed the run, and Ashdon Cooley blocked a punt that Thomas recovered and returned to the 25-yard line. Thomas then finished the drive with a run for the score. Sylvania led 14-0 after the PAT with :44 left in the first quarter.
“Offensively we did a really good job up front moving them. Didn’t start the way we wanted to. They were doing some things we haven’t seen this year on defense with their linebackers running through. We went with some different options, and our line made good adjustments with their movement and steps,” said Sylvania Head Coach Tyler Vann.
To open the second quarter, Sylvania forced a short Glencoe punt. Parham then took a short pass from Smith and found a seam for the 62-yard touchdown. Andrade was good again to bump Sylvania’s lead to 21-0.
In the second quarter, Glencoe’s Garret Gaskin caught a first-down pass from quarterback Nolan Fairley, and Austin Mann ran for another first down. The Rams defensive clamped down along the line and stuffed two runs, and Scott broke up a fourth-down conversion attempt to force the change of possession at the Rams 31-yard line.
“We played really well on defense. We handled their rushing game, which we knew we had to do. I think they had 76 yards rushing at the half, and that’s pretty much all they do,” Vann said.
A catch by Scott, a Thomas run, and a scramble by Smith marched the Rams down the field. Thomas capped the drive untouched on a 4-yard run for the 28-0 lead.
On its next drive, Fairley picked up a first down, but on the next play faced pressure from Cooley and was intercepted by John Robert Dixon. With Griffin Turner in at quarterback, Scott picked up 12-yard and 21-yard gains through the air. The Rams couldn’t finish the drive, however, and turned the ball over on downs at the 39-yard line.
Glencoe received the second-half kickoff and had its best drive of the night. After picking up two first downs, Fairley ran the ball around right end for the 52-yard score. The PAT was good for the 28-7 score with 7:12 in the third quarter.
After the kickoff, Sylvania moved the ball quickly downfield behind a Thomas run and a 25-yard completion from Turner to Watkins. Parham punched it in from two-yards-out and Andrade’s PAT increased the lead to 35-7.
“I felt like we could have run the ball more if we wanted to, but I saw this week as an opportunity to work with our passing game. We threw the ball well; quarterbacks missed a few throws and our receivers had a couple of drops. But this was a good game to work on the things we needed to,” Vann said.
On Glencoe’s next possession, Connor Montgomery picked up 30 yards around left end to the Sylvania 30-yard line. Ky Shankles recovered a bad snap on the next play, but the Rams were forced to punt just before the end of the third quarter.
Glencoe was again forced into a short punt on its next possession. Sylvania began its drive on the Glencoe 28-yard line. Shawn Gimm gained six yards on a carry before Turner completed a short pass to Watkins, who scampered into the end zone for the score and 42-7 final score.
“We have to continue to get better, continue to work on us. If we want to finish second in the region and host a playoff game, we have to put in the effort we need every single day to improve,” Vann said.
The Rams finished with 270 yards through the air and 200 on the ground. Thomas finished with 91 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, Parham and Watkins each had a touchdown, and Scott led the Rams with 95 yards receiving. Quarterbacks Smith and Turner combined to complete 12 of 24 passes.
Sylvania travels to Plainview on Thursday, while Glencoe (2-4 overall, 0-4 in region play) hosts Piedmont on Friday.