When Sylvan Hills and Little Rock Mills meet Friday, someone is going to end a losing streak.
The Bears (2-3), who travel to Mills, are on a two-game losing skid. Meanwhile, the Comets (1-4) are riding a three-game losing streak. Both teams are 0-2 in the 5A-Central. Sylvan Hills needs to play with a sense of urgency if it is to make the playoffs. The Bears’ losses are to two of the top teams, Little Rock McClellan and Little Rock Christian, in the conference, and they were in both contests. Now, they have put themselves into a hole.
“I think coming in the guys know Mills is struggling, and that we should beat them,” Sylvan Hills Coach Jim Withrow said. “I put it to them like this. I’m not sure we can lose another game if we want to make the playoffs, and the locker room got quiet. Hopefully, we can get it going.”
Last Friday against Little Rock Christian, the Bears had not one but two chances to win. They missed a field goal in regulation and fumbled right at the goal line in the second overtime and lost, 41-35. The contest was a back-and-forth affair with the biggest lead of 14 points which the Warriors gained in the second quarter.
“The call was made that we fumbled before the goal,” Withrow said. “If we don’t fumble, we score. It was a great game, and we played great. It was a gift, and we threw it away.”
After the Warriors took a 14-0 lead, the Bears tallied a touchdown with 4:33 left in the first half after Darius Waddell returned an interception 75 yards to the end zone. Sylvan Hills scored twice on a 13-yard scamper by Deon Youngblood and a one-yard run by Ryan Lumpkin in the third quarter to take a 21-14 lead. The Warriors scored before the end of the period to deadlock the score at 21-21. In the fourth period, the two teams traded touchdowns back and forth before the final margin.
“Honestly, I think they thought they were going to come in and beat us by three to four touchdowns,” Withrow said. “They couldn’t stop us. We played well with a chance to win. It was a pretty tough pill to swallow.”
Lumpkin finished with 129 yards on 6-of-11 passing. Youngblood had 185 yards on 34 carries and two touchdowns and was also the leading receiver with two catches for 79 yards and one touchdown.