Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
By Ricky Smith/For Sand Mountain Reporter
Tristan Childers rushed for 175 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Boaz past Sardis, 35-21, on Friday. Oct. 20 in Boaz.
Boaz quarterback Tyler Pierce also scored a pair of touchdowns as the Pirates improved to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in region play. A Boaz win over Douglas on Friday, Oct. 27 will clinch a spot in the playoffs.
Sardis fell to 5-3 overall and 1-3 in region play. The Lions now must beat Guntersville and hope Douglas beats Boaz to reach the postseason.
Boaz, which never trailed in the game, scored on its first possession of the night.
After forcing a Sardis punt, Boaz took possession at its 42-yard line and needed only five plays to score. Pierce completed passes of 10 and nine yards to Jake Hudgins and 23 yards to Bo Brock. Presley Fant finished the drive with runs of one and 15 yards, the last for the touchdown. Jose Arreguin kicked the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 9:08 left in the opening quarter.
Sardis responded on the ensuing possession with a quick scoring drive of its own, as the Lions also used five plays to score on an 80-yard drive.
After Conner Lowery rushed for two yards on the drive’s first play, Blaze Gerhart carried the next four plays for the last 78 yards, with the touchdown coming on his 48-yard run with 6:45 left in the first. Ethan Edwards tied the game at 7 with the point-after.
Following the ensuing kickoff, Boaz took possession at its 24 and needed only two plays and 23 seconds to retake the lead.
After a Pierce incomplete pass, Childers rambled off a 76-yard touchdown run. Arreguin’s point-after put Boaz back in front 14-7. The score remained the same until late in the second quarter, when the Sardis special teams set up the next Lion score. Alex Davis blocked a Pirate punt, and the Lions took over in the red zone at the Boaz 17. Four plays later, Gerhart punched it in from six yards out with 3:30 remaining in the half. Edwards kicked the point-after to tie the score at 14.
Boaz regained the lead before halftime, driving 66 yards in eight plays. On third-and-seven, Pierce threw to Hudgins for 23 yards to the Sardis 40. A personal foul penalty on the next play after a Childers’ five-yard gain moved the ball to the Lion 20. Four plays later, Pierce scored on a 2-yard keeper with 28 seconds left in the half. Arreguin added the extra point to give Boaz a 21-14 lead at intermission.
On the first play of the Pirates second series of the second half, Pierce was intercepted by Grant Coe, who returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. Edwards kicked the point-after to tie the game at 21 with 7:33 left in the third quarter.
The teams traded punts until Boaz began what would be the drive that produced the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
The six-play, 46-yard possession was all on the ground except for one pass. Childers got the bulk of the carries on the drive. He carried it four times for 35 yards, the last two yards for the touchdown with 6:48 left in the game. Arreguin’s extra point gave Boaz a 28-21 lead.
Sardis proceeded to go three-and-out and punted to Boaz, who took over at the Lion 49. A penalty pushed the Pirates back to their 38, where on third-and-17 Pierce threw a 61-yard pass to Hudgins, who was tackled at the Sardis 1. Pierce punched it in from there with 3:06 left in the game. Arreguin kicked the PAT for the final point of the night.
Sardis had two more possessions, with the Lions turning the ball over on downs and throwing an interception.
Gerhart finished with 124 yards on 18 carries, with only four coming in the second half, during which the Lions had minus 27 total yards.
Chapman finished 5-of-18 passing for 67 yards, while Lowery caught three balls for 48 yards.