By Lionel Green/Sand Mountain Reporter
If Baylee Naylor was crowned Sardis High School homecoming queen last Friday (Sept. 20), Lion senior quarterback Will Scott was the passing king.
Scott threw five touchdowns in the first half to lead Sardis to a 51-7 victory over Douglas in a Class 4A, Region 6 game Friday at Sardis Stadium.
The Lions remained undefeated at 4-0 overall and 3-0 in region play. Douglas dropped to 0-4, 0-3.
“I think the overall thing is we were a better football team tonight,” said Sardis head coach Gene Hill. “That’s what I was looking for. We wanted a win, it being a region game, to get three wins in the region. We only lack maybe one more to get us in the playoffs. Offense, defense, special teams … I feel like we were a better football team, and that’s what I was pleased with more than anything.”
Sardis scored on six of their seven first-half possessions to build a 38-0 cushion at halftime.
In the first quarter, Scott tossed touchdown passes of 19 yards to junior Jesse Hubbard, 20 yards to sophomore Austin Hallmark and 37 yards to junior Jon Holland to build a 21-0 Lion lead.
Senior kicker Tim Kalascheck booted a 25-yard field goal to push the lead to 24-0 with 7:23 left in the second quarter.
Scott hit junior Tristan McCurley on an 11-yard touchdown pass for a 31-0 lead at the 6:04 mark of the second quarter.
With nine seconds remaining in the second quarter, Scott connected with Hallmark on a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Scott, who didn’t play in the second half, finished 9-of-16 passing for 165 yards and five touchdowns.
“I’ve been coaching a long time, and he throws as catchable a ball as anybody I’ve probably ever been around,” Hill said about Scott. “He puts it right where it needs to be. That’s so important in our offense. He knows everything about the offense and places people where they need to be. Having that extra coach out there on the field is hard to defend.”
In the third quarter, Hallmark returned a fumble 19 yards for one score, while junior Logan Hilbrant returned a fumble 33 yards for another score to give Sardis a 51-0 lead.
The Eagles found the end zone with 10:42 remaining in the game when senior Lane Buckelew scored on a 2-yard run. Sophomore Franklin Kidd kicked the extra point for the final margin.
Sardis dominated the first half on both sides of the ball. The offense rolled up 289 yards, 124 rushing and 165 passing. Meanwhile, the defense held Douglas to 55 total yards, three passing and 52 rushing.
“I felt the last two games, we’ve played as good on defense as we’ve played since I’ve been around here,” Hill said. “That’s a complete reversal of what we did last year. Last year we didn’t play very much defense at all. I felt like our tackling was good up until the last series before halftime. We gave up some yardage there. We can’t relax going into halftime.”
Sardis sophomore Keenan Lewis led all rushers with 66 yards on seven carries. Braun Pee finished with 61 yards on five carries. Holland added 39 yards on six rushes in the second half when the Lions rested their starters.
Hill attributed the experience on his roster for keeping the team focused during homecoming week.
“We’ve got a lot of older kids,” Hill said. “We walked 22 seniors out here tonight as captains. They’ve been there before. I felt like we were focused in practice most of the week, and I felt like it showed tonight. I really was pleased with our focus in every phase of the game.”
Sardis hosts Geraldine on Friday in a non-region game.