By Cole Frederick/Fort Payne Times-Journal
Sylvania running back Caleb Roebuck exploded for six touchdowns to lead the Rams to a 41-27 shootout victory over visiting Sardis on Friday (Aug. 26).
“I don’t think we played very well the whole game, but I don’t want to take anything away from Sylvania,” said Sardis head coach Gene Hill. “We’ve got to improve in all phases of the game.”
The Rams scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game. Roebuck capped a 9-play, 64-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown scamper to give the Rams a 7-0 lead with 8:41 remaining in the opening quarter.
Following a Sardis three-and-out, the Rams marched back down the field and scored in six plays. Roebuck scored on a 2-yard run, and a successful two-point conversion gave the Rams a 15-0 lead.
The Rams forced two more Sardis three-and-outs and controlled field position for the majority of the first half. However, Sylvania quarterback Hunter Hill threw an interception in the second quarter that the Lions returned 69 yards to the Ram 4-yard line. Sardis quarterback Logan Gaskin scored on a 1-yard run two plays later to close the deficit to 15-7.
On the ensuing possession, Roebuck broke several tackles on a dazzling 57-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 21-7 with 5:44 to play in the first half. The Rams went for two points on the conversion and failed.
The Sylvania defense forced a turnover on downs, but several mishandled snaps led to a stalled drive for the Rams. The Lion defense forced a punt, but the kick was muffed and recovered by Sylvania on the Sardis 39-yard line.
On the next play, Sylvania running back Jacob Harrell darted down the sideline for a 33-yard gain to the Lion 6. Roebuck then scored from six yards out for his fourth touchdown of the first half. The Rams took a 27-7 lead into the locker room.
Gaskin was intercepted by Hill on the Lions’ first drive of the second half, and the Rams took over at the Sardis 39. Nine plays later, Roebuck scored his fifth touchdown of the night on a 12-yard run to make the score 34-7 with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter.
Sardis responded quickly after Drew Vaughan broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown to close the gap to 34-13. On the Lions’ next drive, they ran a double reverse and junior Jake Ross dashed down the sideline for a 76-yard score to make the game 34-20 to close out the quarter.
The teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 1-yard touchdown from Roebuck. Roebuck finished the game with over 200 yards.
Sardis travels to Madison Academy this Friday (Sept. 2).