Sylvania scores first-round playoff victory
Southern Torch Staff Reports
SYLVANIA, Ala. -- Sylvania rushed for more than 350 yards behind senior back Braiden Thomas and sophomore Aiden Parham to cruise to a 35-6 victory over Fayette County.
Fayette County (8-3 overall, 4-2 in 3A, Region 5) visited Rams Stadium in the first round of the AHSAA Football Playoffs.
The Tigers received the opening kickoff and picked up a couple of first downs before Sylvania forced a fumble at its own 43-yard line. Thomas gained 17 yards on a rush, and quarterback Jaxon Smith completed a 15-yard strike to Josh Scott.
Thomas then carried it in for the 13-yard touchdown with 6:38 in the first quarter. Conner Andrade’s PAT was good for the 7-0 score.
Fayette County had a promising second possession but was plagued with false start penalties and failed to convert a fourth-and-13 pass from Sylvania’s 19-yard line.
The Rams couldn’t capitalize, though, as Smith and Parham mishandled the exchange on a handoff and turned the ball over to the Tigers. Fayette County put itself behind the chains with penalties and again failed to convert on fourth down from the Sylvania 30-yard line.
Thomas and Parham went to work on the ground and Scott hauled in a pass from Smith to move to the Tigers’ 16-yard line. Thomas then took a direct snap in for the touchdown. Sylvania led 14-0 with 7:00 in the second quarter after Andrade’s PAT.
The Rams forced a punt on the Tigers’ next drive, and Parham then scampered 70 yards for a Sylvania touchdown at 5:08 left in the half. The PAT was good for the 21-0 lead.
Fayette County got on the board with its next possession on a 34-yard touchdown pass by Blake Johnson. The 2-point attempt was no good. At the half, the score was 21-6 in favor of Sylvania.
After a Sylvania turnover early in the third quarter, Johnson completed a pass to Cooper Sanford to move to the Sylvania 11-yard line, but Griffin Haygood picked off Johnson’s fade pass in the corner of the end zone to end the threat.
Sylvania dominated most of the second hal as the defense forced multiple three-and-outs and Thomas bolted for scores of 51 and 42 yards to make the final score 35-6.
Thomas finished with 219 yards rushing and four touchdowns, and Parham had 138 yards on and a touchdown.
Sylvania travels to Madison Academy for its second-round matchup Friday night.