Whipping up some homecoming magic, the Central High School Cougars pulled off a stunning 28-19 5A Central Conference upset over the Sylvan Hills Bears at Cad Polk Stadium Friday evening.
Whipping up some homecoming magic, the Central High School Cougars pulled off a stunning 28-19 5A Central Conference upset over the Sylvan Hills Bears at Cad Polk Stadium Friday evening. Sylvan Hills entered the contest 5-1 overall and was 3-0 in the conference. Central drew first blood with an 11-yard touchdown run by quarterback Curley Brewer with 2:19 to play in the first quarter. Prior to the score the Bears and Cougars were locked in titanic defense struggle. Penalties and turnovers plagued both squads throughout the night. Before the initial score, Central had a 62-yard touchdown pass by Brewer called back for holding. It was the first of two Cougar scores nullified by penalties. A 37-yard by fullback Keith Hayes set up Brewer's run. A 15-play, 76-yard Cougar scoring drive that ate up 6:36 minutes of the second quarter came with 5:24 to play in the half when Brewer connected with Keyshawn Simpson for a touchdown covering 20 yards. Earlier in that drive, a 15-yard scoring toss from Brewer to Anthony Lewis was called back on offsetting penalties. The 2-point conversion pass failed but Central held the upper hand at 12-0. A crucial third down sack of the Bears' quarterback by Aswad Allen and a 47-yard punt return by Allen set up the Cougars' third touchdown of the first half. After setting up shop at the Sylvan Hills 2-yard line, Hayes powered the ball into the end zone. Brewer tossed for the successful 2-point conversion to Lewis for a 20-0 advantage. Central got the first break of the second half when Sylvan Hills muffed a punt. But the Cougars failed to capitalize when they returned the favor and fumbled the ball right back to the Bears. Apparently tired of their first half hibernation, the Bears woke up early in the second half. On their second possession of the third quarter, Sylvan Hills put together a 66-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 22-yard scoring run with 9:32 to play. The score closed the gap to 20-7. Just over four minutes later, the Cougars responded with a 4-yard touchdown run by Brewer. Brewer hit Malik Arnett for the successful 2-point conversion to put Central up 28-7. But the Bears were not ready to give up yet. Sylvan Hills came roaring back with a 69-yard scoring drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass with 2:36 still remaining in the third quarter. The critical extra point was blocked, leaving the score at 28-13 A weary Cougar defense was on the field a large portion of the second half. It appeared as the though the Cougars were going to put the game out of reach early in the final quarter when Allen picked off a Sylvan Hill pass at the close of the third quarter and returned it to the Bear 14. However, the stubborn Bear defense forced the Cougars to try a 27-yard field goal. Sagar Patel's attempt was slightly wide to the left. With an opportunity to turn the contest into a one-possession game with a little more than four minutes to play, Sylvan Hills scored on a 36-yard pass. By this time the Central faithful were getting a little restless. However, the Bears missed their second conversion try of the night and game remained a 2-possession affair. The Cougars, 4-3, 3-1, held on for their third conference victory putting them in a tie with Sylvan Hills. Central travels to Jacksonville Friday night to take on the winless North Pulaski Falcons, 0-7, 0-4.