By Ricky Smith/For Sand Mountain Reporter
Leo Aragon kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired to give Boaz a 38-35 win over Sardis last Friday (Nov. 2) in a game that featured five ties.
Sardis lost its third straight and finished the regular season at 6-4. The Lions visit Lincoln on Friday in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Boaz snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 7-3 overall. The Pirates travel to Class 5A, No. 1 Muscle Shoals.
Boaz moved the ball into position for the game-winning kick after Sardis had tied the game at 35 on Toby Pee’s 10-yard touchdown run with 3:14 left in the game.
The Lions elected to go for the two-point conversion. Pee ran it in on the left side, but an illegal formation penalty nullified the attempt. After the five-yard penalty, Sawyer Cahela came on to kick the point-after to tie the game.
Trent Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 19 yards to the Boaz 36-yard line. Three runs picked up a first down to the Lion 48.
After an incomplete pass, Peyton Gilliland ripped off a 37-yard run to the Sardis 11. Boaz ran three plays to put the ball at the 3. Boaz let the clock run down to 2.1 seconds and called on Aragon for the game winner.
With the game tied at 14 at the half, each team only had one possession in the second half in which it didn’t put any points on the board.
That occasion for Boaz was on the initial possession of the third quarter. On the third play of the series, Casey Wood’s option pitch to Gilliland was fumbled and Juan Ramos recovered for Sardis at the Pirate 44.
Five consecutive rushes by Pee, along with a five-yard penalty against Boaz, put the ball into the end zone. The touchdown came on a 5-yard run with 8:37 left in the third. Cahela’s PAT put Sardis in front 21-14.
Boaz scored points on its remaining four possessions of the game.
The Pirates tied the game on a 10-play, 69-yard drive. The big play came after an incomplete pass on third-and-10 from the Boaz 31, when Sardis was penalized for a personal foul that moved the ball to the 46.
Three plays later, Wood hit Gilliland for 24 yards to the Sardis 23. Boaz gained five yards on the next three plays, and on fourth-and-5, Wood hit Ryan Smith on an 18-yard touchdown pass. Aragon’s point-after tied the game at 21 with 3:36 left in the third.
Sardis then went three-and-out, and Wood returned Will Scott’s punt 44 yards to the Sardis 27 to set up the Pirates’ next score.
Gilliland ran for 19 to the 8. But Boaz was flagged for holding on the next play, which moved the ball back to the 17.
Two plays later, Wood hit Zakk Nation over the middle for a 17-yard touchdown pass. Aragon added the PAT to push the Pirates in front 28-21 with 35 seconds left in the third.
Sardis needed eight plays on the ensuing possession to tie the game at 28.
On second-and-10 from the Lion 31, Scott found a wide-open Kailon Robeson for a 30-yard gain to the Boaz 39.
Pee carried four straight times for 36 yards, the last a 12-yard gain on fourth-and-four to the 3.
From there, Braun Pee scored the touchdown with 10:18 left in the game. Cahela’s point-after knotted the game at 28.
Boaz kept the seesaw game going, going 64 yards on the next possession. The two big plays in the 10-play drive were a 27-yard run by Gilliland and a 12-yard run by Patterson on third-and-11 from the 21.
Gilliland scored the touchdown on a four-yard run with 5:55 left. Aragon added the PAT for a 35-28 Boaz lead.
Sardis took an early 7-0 lead as a result of a Boaz fumble. The Lions drove 20 yards, using seven plays as Scott hit Jared Shirley on a four-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal. Cahela added the PAT with 8:05 left in the opening quarter.
Boaz scored on its next play from scrimmage. After two five-yard penalties had pushed the ball back to the 20, Gilliland got loose down the right side and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. Aragon tied the game at 7-7 with 7:42 left in the first.
The Pirates put together a short four-play, 44-yard drive to take the lead. Tez Jacobs scored on a six-yard run with 8:03 left in the first half. Aragon added the point-after to put Boaz up 14-7.
Sardis tied the game on the next possession on a penalty-aided drive that started from the Boaz 49 after a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff return.
Toby Pee picked up six yards on first down, and a 10-yard penalty against Boaz moved the ball to the 32.
On fourth-and-seven from the 29, Scott threw to Robeson for 21 yards to the Pirate 8. Three plays netted zero yards and a third-down pass to the end zone was incomplete, but Boaz was called for roughing the passer, giving Sardis a first down at the 4.
Toby Pee scored the touchdown from there with 5:07 left in the half. Cahela’s PAT tied the game at 14.
Sardis had 263 total yards. Scott was 16-of-24 passing for 143 yards, while Toby Pee led the Lions’ ground game with 105 yards on 22 carries.