There was no hangover. There was no repeat performance. In fact, after Sylvan Hills’ 35-7 win over Little Rock Christian, head football coach Jim Withrow is feeling pretty good about where his team stands after a convincing conference win.
"It was like different games," Withrow said reluctantly comparing Friday’s win against a 28-0 debacle a year ago.
"We’ve got guys that are stepping up and playing out of position," Withrow said, "and making big plays."
That’s where players such as Tyler Davis. Davis is playing tailback, but was called on for double duty at defensive end. Withrow said he and Eric Taylor stepped in and made big plays from an unfamiliar defensive end spot.
Matt Thompson is having surgery soon to repair his meniscus.
Quarterback Tra Doss ran around and over the Warriors for 214 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw for 101 yards.
Withrow said what the Warriors gave on defense Doss took. Add Marlon Clemmons and Davis who combined for nearly 180 yards rushing themselves and what could have been an anxious night turned into Sylvan Hills’ first step toward a good seed in the playoffs.
After last Friday and games at Mills and against Jacksonville, the Bears are in the midst of the most important three game stretch of the season.
First is Mills who Withrow said going to present a problem for everyone in the league. The Comets are the only team in the 5A-Central to not run a spread.
"It’s going to be assignment football," Withrow said, "and I don’t care what anybody says, nobody teaches assignment football anymore."
Withrow said practice this week would be different because of what they have to prepare for with an opponent like the Comets.
Job one is stopping Mills signal caller Omar Avance.
"They’ve got a quarterback that is a three-year starter," Withrow said. "He’s fast and big so he can take a hit. It’s going to be a tough game."
After Mills is Jacksonville, whom can possibly be counted as a disappointment after such a stellar 2012
The Red Devils are 1-3 after losing big to Helena-West Helena in their league opener last week.
"Everybody is in the same boat," Withrow said. "Nobody wants to lose right now. If you do, you put yourself behind the eight ball."
Week one of conference play was a big win. But for the Bears, bigger wins loom.