Lions blast Crossville, 52-14

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By Lionel Green/Sand Mountain Reporter

Keenan Lewis had another explosive offensive rushing game and the Sardis defense recovered two second-half Crossville fumbles as Sardis cruised to a 52-14 win at CHS on Friday (Oct. 24).

Playoff-bound Sardis improved to 5-4 overall and finished 4-3 in Class 4A, Region 6. Crossville dropped to 0-9 and ended up 0-7 in region play.

Sardis head coach Gene Hill said his team responded “good for the most part” following last week’s emotional 42-38 comeback victory over Cherokee County, a win that secured the Lions a spot in the playoffs.

“I thought we came out a little flat. You’ve got to give Crossville credit. The formation they were running against us, we hadn’t seen them run on film. Offensively, I felt every time we got the football, we put it in the end zone. Our defense stepped it up in the second half and shut them out. We kind of challenged them because we really want to work on us getting better for down the road in the playoffs. I don’t think we got anybody hurt, which is a big thing. We pulled Keenan and Jesse in the middle of the third quarter to try to keep them healthy.”

Crossville led 7-0 early before Sardis pulled ahead 30-14 at halftime. But Crossville lost two fumbles to start the second half, which led to a pair of quick Sardis touchdowns and effectively ended any hopes of an upset bid.

Cole Cotton gave Crossville an early 7-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run three minutes into the game.

Sardis responded less than a minute later with a 4-yard rushing score by Keenan Lewis to cut the Crossville lead to 7-6. 

Lewis scored again on a 56-yard touchdown run at the 4:49 mark of the first quarter to put Sardis up for good at 12-7.

Freshman quarterback Logan Gaskin tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Hubbard to cap a quick three-play, 24-yard drive and give Sardis an 18-7 advantage with 1:36 left in the first quarter. A 50-yard kickoff return by Hubbard set up the short scoring drive. 

Crossville answered with a 12-play, 74-yard scoring drive that lasted more than six minutes. Quarterback Brody White hit Blanton Jones on a 19-yard touchdown pass to cap the drive and pull Crossville to within 18-14 with 7:04 remaining in the second quarter.

Less than a minute later, Lewis struck again with a 59-yard rushing touchdown to push the Sardis advantage to 24-14 with 6:08 left in the second quarter.

Gaskin added a 2-yard touchdown plunge with 3:10 left in the first half to send Sardis into halftime up 30-14. A 39-yard pass from Gaskin to Hubbard set up Gaskin’s scoring run.

After the defense forced a Sardis punt early in the second half, the Crossville offense fumbled the ball deep in its own territory. Luke Nelson recovered the ball for Sardis at the Crossville 14. 

Two plays later, Lewis tacked on his fourth touchdown, an 8-yard scoring run. Hubbard ran in the two-point conversion for a 38-14 Sardis lead with 8:21 left in the third quarter.

On Crossville’s next play from scrimmage, the offense fumbled again. This time, Hubbard recovered the ball at the Crossville 15. Gaskin hit Jarrod Smith on a 15-yard touchdown pass one play later to extend the Sardis lead to 45-14 at the 7:57 mark of the third quarter.

Sardis’ Jon Holland capped the game’s scoring on a 4-yard touchdown run with less than nine minutes left.

Lewis finished the night with 152 yards and four touchdowns on just nine carries. He has eight touchdowns in his last two games.

Gaskin finished the game 4-of-10 passing for 62 yards and two touchdowns.

Sardis hosts Boaz on Friday. Even though the game has no impact on the playoffs for either team, Hill expects a highly competitive atmosphere.

“It doesn’t matter. Whatever’s going on, it’s Boaz, and Boaz has a good football team this year. They’re going to come in 5-4, the same record we’ve got. It’s a big ballgame. It’s a rival game. The kids know each other. I think it’s going to be a good one if we can hold up our part, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

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