By Huck Treadwell/For Sand Mountain Reporter
Sardis punched the ball into the end zone six times in a 38-26 shootout with Class 4A, Region 7 opponent Westminster Christian Academy last Friday (Sept. 30) in Sardis City.
Sardis improved to 2-4 overall and 1-2, while Westminster fell to 1-6 overall and 1-3.
Halfway through the first quarter, Jake Ross returned a punt 15 yards to the Westminster 40-yard line. The Lions put together a five-play drive but faced fourth-and-11 from the 16. Quarterback Logan Gaskin rolled out to pass, but the Wildcat defense forced him to scramble. Gaskin flipped the ball to Jason Walker, who was able to elude defenders and race to the end zone.
Sardis missed the point after but took a 6-0 lead with 5:21 left in the first quarter.
The Lions held the lead until Ehson Brown hauled in a short pass from Ian Thies and raced 71 yards to the Sardis 2. The Wildcats lost a couple of yards on the next play, but Thies was able to pick up the lost yardage and a touchdown on a 4-yard run.
The PAT by Cade Rawlins was good to give Westminster a 7-6 lead with 7:44 left on the half.
After swapping possessions, Sardis had Westminster in a second-down-and-long inside the 20. Theis took two shots deep but the passes were broken up by Ross and Jesus Hernandez, forcing Westminster to punt from its goal line. Ross and Hernandez were able to get around the defense. Ross blocked the punt and Hernandez fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Lions went for two points but the attempt failed. But the score put Sardis back on top 12-7 with 4:33 left in the first half.
Michael Turner had a 4-yard punt return to set up another quick Sardis touchdown. The Lions started at the Westminster 31-yard line and ground out 26 yards on five plays. Gaskin capped off the drive with a 5-yard TD run. The two-point conversion failed, but Sardis led 18-7.
With less than a minute in the half, Phillip Noblitt picked off a Wildcat pass and returned it to the Westminster 21. On the next play, Josh Maynard hauled in a 16-yard pass from Gaskin to score with 5.6 second left.
The two-point conversion failed, but Sardis stretched its lead to 24-7 at the half.
Westminster had a quick strike to open the third quarter. Jerimiah Childs caught a short pass from Thies and outraced the Sardis defenders 84 yards to the end zone. Rawlings kick was good to cut the lead to 24-14.
Sardis pounded out two unanswered touchdowns to close out the third quarter.
Drew Vaughn banged the ball into the end zone from the 7-yard line. Jacob Ross picked up 44 yards on a double reverse to set the Lions up at the Wildcat 24. Vaughan took the ball up the middle and broke through the defense for the touchdown. Sardis was able to convert one-of-two two-point conversion to take a 38-14 lead.
Westminster was able to get two touchdowns late in the game when Michael Parker hauled in a 6-yard TD pass from Brooks Reinhardt. Reinhardt scored the final touchdown on a 2-yard run to reach the 38-26 final.
Sardis continues region play this week with a trip to DAR.