Fyffe pulls away from Sylvania with second-half shutout

Fyffe pulls away from Sylvania with second-half shutout

Southern Torch Staff Reports

FYFFE, Ala. -- In a highly-anticipated matchup of DeKalb County rivals, Fyffe used a pounding run game, timely passes, and pressure from its defensive line to pull away from Sylvania in the second half Friday night at Paul Benefield Stadium.

The win notched a milestone and a new state record for the Red Devils – a remarkable 12 consecutive seasons of 10 wins.

Sylvania received the opening kickoff and quickly worked down the field through the air. Junior quarterback Jaxon Smith completed a 15-yard strike to Josh Scott, and Scott then took a short pass 49 yards for the touchdown. Conner Andrade’s PAT was good for the 7-0 lead.

Fyffe opened its drive with a 19-yard completion to Lawrence Blackwell and a first-down run by Brodie Hicks, but Sylvania’s defense forced a punt.

Smith completed two passes to Scott for first downs, but Hicks sacked Smith to force a Sylvania punt. Fyffe moved down the field with tough running by Logan Anderson and Hicks, and Anderson went off right tackle for the score early in the second quarter. Yahir Balcazar’s extra point was good for the 7-7 tie.

After the kickoff, Braiden Thomas hauled in a Smith pass for a 27-yard gain, and senior receiver Griffin Haygood pulled in a reception to move to the Fyffe 39-yard line. Scott picked up another 12 yards on a pass from Smith, before using outside position to grab his second touchdown of the game and the 14-7 lead after the PAT.

Fyffe then used a 10-play drive capped by a touchdown pass from Blake Dobbins to Hunter Machen for the 14-14 tie with 3:12 left in the second quarter.

Fyffe adjusted its defense to counter Sylvania’s air attack on the next possession and forced the Rams to punt. The score remained 14-14 at the half.

Fyffe received the second-half kickoff and was forced to punt. The Red Devils returned the favor and forced a short Sylvania punt on its opening possession of the half.

Logan Anderson then dragged a Sylvania defender 25 yards on a 38-yard gain up the middle and then punched it in on the next play to give Fyffe its first lead of the game at 21-14. After the kickoff, the Red Devils’ defensive line turned up the pressure, Sylvania got flagged for holding on first down, and the Rams again left the punt short to give Fyffe great field position on the Rams' side of the field.

On 3rd-and-15 from the Sylvania 15, Evan Chandler made a spectacular one-handed catch at the back of the end zone for Fyffe’s next score and the 28-14 lead after the PAT.

Sylvania had another holding penalty on its next possession and again were forced to work behind the chains. Fyffe’s defensive line pressured Smith into an incompletion and then came up with a sack to force a Sylvania punt attempt that Thomas ended up running to try and get the first down, but he was short of the marker.

Fyffe took possession on the Rams’ 25-yard line, and a few plays later Anderson ran in it to set the game’s final score at 35-14.

For Fyffe, Dobbins finished the game 4-6 passing with two touchdowns, Anderson had 144 yards rushing, and Hicks finished with 110 yards on the ground.

For the Rams, Smith completed 12-18 passing for 192 yards. Scott finished the game with 10 receptions for 153 yards and two scores.

Fyffe opens the playoffs by hosting Red Bay, while Sylvania hosts Fayette County in its first-round matchup.

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