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BUHL – Sipsey Valley High School used a quick-strike offense to defeat the visiting Holt Ironmen, 56-22, on senior night Friday. The Bears scored all six of their offensive touchdowns on drives of five plays or less.
“It was a great win. We’re seeming to pull together at the right time,” Sipsey Valley coach Antonio Ford said.
The Bears began the scoring with a 68-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver MarKeith Gray to sophomore wideout to Jamarius Leatherwood.
Sipsey Valley followed up the opening touchdown with a Nicholas Humber 28-yard field goal and two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Garret Lewis, who completed 9 of 14 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis was replaced by backup quarterback Garrett Jolly at the end of the third quarter with the Bears leading 53-0.
Leatherwood added to his opening-play score with a 50-yard punt return touchdown in the second quarter and a 47-yard touchdown run on the Bears’ first possession of the second half. The sophomore finished the game with five catches for 135 yards, four carries for 87 yards and a touchdown and a 50-yard punt return touchdown.
Holt struggled to move the ball for much of the game but found life in the fourth quarter, scoring 22 unanswered points on its final three drives. Quarterback Javonte Brooks got the Ironmen on the board with an 18-yard touchdown run and followed it with a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver LaDarrius Phillips on the next drive. Freshman running back Nick Crawford scored the Ironmen’s final touchdown on a 4-yard run.
“We’ve got to look at this film and see where we messed up at,” Ford said. “Holt’s a young football team, and some of the things that we made a mistake on, we kind of covered up with their youth. But they are a well-coached team and they have a bright future. Hats off to Coach (Kenneth) Crowe and his staff, they did a good job game-planning, but our guys were just a little too much tonight.”
The Bears (3-5 overall, 2-4 in Class 3A, Region 3 play) can reach the playoffs if they defeat American Christian Academy on the road next Friday. A loss would put ACA in the playoffs instead of Sipsey Valley.
Ford said the Bears are confident heading into next week in what is essentially a playoff game.
“This group still hasn’t played their best football,” Ford said. “Our best football’s ahead of us, I know that.”