By Taylor Beck/For Sand Mountain Reporter
After the Sardis Lions capitalized on three forced turnovers to take a 20-7 first half lead over the Geraldine Bulldogs last Friday (Sept. 15), both offenses exploded in the second half.
Sardis senior quarterback Logan Gaskin took his offense down the field and scored on an 11-yard scamper with 9:15 left in the third quarter.
Four plays later, Geraldine sophomore running back Joseph Kermondy punched one in at the 6:57 mark from six yards out to cut the lead to 26-14.
Sardis raced back down the field and scored on an eight-yard run by Gaskin five plays later to go up 33-14 with 5:06 left in the third.
After the Bulldogs halted the Lion next drive, Geraldine sophomore Kyle Thackerson took a 75-yard punt return to the house with 2:29 left in the third quarter to pull the deficit down to 33-21.
Sardis did not panic.
Gaskin led the Lions down the field in the fourth quarter and tossed his fourth touchdown pass to senior receiver Josh Maynard to increase the Sardis lead to 40-21 with 9:25 left in the ballgame.
Thirteen seconds later, however, Bulldog junior running back Andrew Hall burned the Lion defense for a 44-yard touchdown run to trim the Sardis lead to 40-27.
While trying to drain the clock, Sardis notched its final score of the night with 5:13 remaining behind Gaskin’s five-yard keeper to ice the game at 46-27.
Gaskin finished 5-for-14 with 78 yards and four touchdowns through the air and 79 yards with three touchdowns on the ground. Senior receiver Jake Ross finished with two touchdown grabs on two catches for a total of 35 yards.
Sardis head coach Gene Hill was proud his team’s performance, especially his defense in the first half.
“I thought we did what we had to do to win the football game. In the first half we came up with some turnovers, converted those into points and got out on top of [Geraldine]. And that’s the key with their type of offense that they play. You’ve got to stay ahead of them, because obviously they drain the clock and try to keep you from getting so many possessions.”
Hill said there is plenty of room for improvement before the Lions face Class 4A, Region 7 opponent North Jackson next week at home.
“I’m going to take a look at the tape. I told the kids that we’ve got to play better. We’ve got a big region game coming up next week at home and then we’ve got a week off, so we’ve got to keep rolling and try to get that next win in the region.”