By Huck Treadwell/For Sand Mountain Reporter
Sardis let a 13-point lead evaporate in the waning moments of the fourth quarter against Plainview last Friday (Aug. 25).
The Lions gave up a blocked punt and 12-yard touchdown run in a 31-30 road loss at Plainview.
Sardis started off with a roar, grinding out a 70-yard drive in their first possession of the game. Senior quarterback Logan Gaskin capped off the drive with a 1-yard run with 8:51 left in the first quarter. Javin Smith added the point-after to give the Lions and early 7-0 lead.
Plainview responded with an 11-play drive that included a fourth-and-1 conversion by Bears quarterback Phillip Dukes. The Lion defense stiffened and forced Plainview into third-and-15 on the Sardis 10-yard line. The Lions broke up a pass in the end zone and forced a 30-yard field goad from Louis Hernandez. The field goal cut the Lions’ lead to 7-3.
Chase Bright returned the following kickoff 17 yards to the Sardis 32. Gaskin completed a 20-yard pass to Jacob Hopper and followed up with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Stonicher. Smith’s PAT stretched the lead to 14-3 with 4:03 left in the first quarter.
After a couple of changes in possession, Plainview took possession at its 49-yard line. Dukes completed three consecutive passes to get the Bears into scoring position. Cade Willingham hauled in a 5-yard pass, Matthew Gomez caught a 16-yard pass, Lucas Smith had a grab for 15 yards and Dukes carried the ball in from the 3-yard line. Hernandez added the PAT to cut the Lion lead to 14-10.
The Bears then took the lead on an eight-play, 72-yard drive sparked by a 37-yard completion to Andrew Starks. Dukes carried it in from a yard out and Hernandez kicked the extra point to give Plainview a 17-14 lead.
Sardis immediately responded when Jake Ross hauled in a 63-yard touchdown pass from Gaskin with 1:27 left in the half. On the two-point conversion, Temon Wilson threw a strike to Hopper in the corner of the end zone. The score put the Lions up 22-17.
Sardis recovered an onside kick to start the second half and put together an eight-play, 34-yard scoring drive. The Bears forced the Lions into a fourth-and-11 at the 15-yard line, but Bright took a pitch on a reverse and scampered 15 yards into the end zone. Gaskin completed a two-point conversion pass to Ross to give the Lions a 30-17 lead.
Sardis kept the Bears on the ropes with interceptions by Carson Grant and Chase Bright. But the Lions struggled on offense after Gaskin went to the sideline with an injury to his left shoulder midway through the third quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Plainview bottled up the Lions at their 26-yard line and forced a punt on fourth-and-10. Plainview’s Hagen Drew Smith blocked the punt and Jathan Underwood scooped it up and raced to the end zone. Hernandez added the point-after to cut the lead to 30-24.
Plainview started its final drive from its 40-yard line and ground out nine plays that ended with a 12-yard touchdown run from Dukes to tie the game. Hernandez kicked the point-after to seal the win.
Sardis hosts Sylvania this Friday (Sept. 1).