By Bruce Guthrie
For the second consecutive week, Sylvan Hills have not only had to compete against a football opponent, but against mother nature.
The Bears got a game’s worth of scoring in one half of football at Hot Springs Lakeside on Friday but weather "struck" again.
Going into halftime, Lakeside had a 31-20 lead. Neither team came back out for the second half after lightning began striking nearby in advance of a severe thunderstorm. Once the lightning arrived, heavy rain soon followed.
By rule of the Arkansas Activities Association, an event must be delayed 30 minutes on occurence of lightning and must be pushed back 30 minutes after each lightning strike thereafter.
Once the rains came, the game was cancelled with no official winner.
The rules state: When thunder is heard or a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is seen or an approved lightning/storm detector indicates that lightning is within eight (8) miles of the venue, the thunderstorm is close enough to strike your location. Suspend play and take shelter immediately.
Adhere to the 30 minute rule before resuming play, regardless of the point of interruption.
Communicate with host school administration, visitor administration, and head coaches of both teams as conditions change.
Attempt to finish contest, if at all possible, once lightning disturbances subside.
It is ultimately the responsibility of the game officials in communication with the host site administration as to whether to suspend the contest or extend the delay additionally.
The Bears had some positives, but also had a nightmarish stretch of luck on special teams where they allowed a pair of touchdowns in just under 30 seconds.
After a returning a kickoff for a touchdown, the Rams recovered a fumbled kickoff by the Bears and ran it in for another touchdown.
The Bears did find their big play potential as J.D. Miller threw two long TD passes, one to Kyon Wade and another to Michael Neal. Quinton Flowers also had a one-yard run on the Bears’ first possession.
Head coach Jim Withrow said he was encouraged despite being on the bottom end of an 11-point game.
Flowers’ touchdown capped a 70-yard drive from the opening kickoff.
"It was one of the best drives we’ve had all year long," Withrow said.
But the ensuing kickoff is what set off the touchdown barage for Lakeside effectively swinging momentum for the remainder of the half.
The Bears will try to play a game next week at home against Newport whom Withrow says looks pretty big especially up front on the offensive and defensive lines.
That game will kick off at 7 p.m.
BAD NEWS BEARS
Trailing 30-21, Friday’s game was called because of lighting in the area pursuant to an Arkansas Activities Association rule governing precautionary procedures during a lightning occurance at outdoor events.
"We just want to play on a dry track," Withrow said. "I want to see what we could do when it’s dry."
Last week the remnant of Hurricane Isaac forced their season opener against Vilonia to be played a day early. The reschedule didn’t prevent the Bears and Eagles from duking it out in the rain in mud. The Bears lost 7-0.
With no official winner, the game will not count against either team’s record, but what does count is the fact that the Bears may have lost a key player from a very thin area already. Lineman Matt Thompson suffered what Withrow called a "significant" shoulder injury.
"We don’t have any idea of what his prognosis might be," Withrow said. "We don’t plan on him being back anytime soon."