GERALDINE — Sylvania moved into the driver’s seat to capture at least second place in the Class 3A, Region 7 standings by beating Geraldine 41-28 on Friday night at Coolidge Isbell Field.
The Rams (5-2, 4-1) handed the Bulldogs (4-3, 3-1) their first region loss of the season. If Sylvania defeats Plainview on Oct. 15, it will finish 5-1 in the standings. Geraldine has region games remaining against unbeaten Fyffe, who is 4-0 in the standings, and Collinsville.
Sylvania never trailed against Geraldine. The Rams opened the contest with a five-play, 71-yard drive capped by the first of Preston Bates’ three touchdowns. Bates’ 3-yard run came with 10:03 left in the opening quarter.
On Geraldine’s second series, an inadvertent whistle stopped a third-down run by quarterback Jaxon Colvin, who appeared to have clear sailing down the Bulldogs’ sideline. The Bulldogs ended up punting, and Sylvania took over and marched 91 yards to the end zone.
Bates ripped off a pair of big runs during the drive, which quarterback Brody Smith finished by scrambling around right end for a touchdown. Clint Pierce kicked it to 14-0 with 9:05 left in the second period.
On the ensuing kickoff, Geraldine’s Colt Lusher burst through the middle of Sylvania’s coverage team and raced 90 yards for a touchdown at the 8:51 mark. Danny Felipe’s extra point trimmed it to 14-7.
Sylvania answered on the first play after the kickoff, as Smith connected with Zack Anderson for a 65-yard TD pass. Pierce’s point-after made it 21-7 with 8:26 on the clock.
Late in the second, the Bulldogs took over in Sylvania territory following a poor punt by the Rams. Cody Satterfield swept around right end for a 31-yard touchdown run with 1:28 to go. Felipe’s kick trimmed it to 21-14.
Interceptions occurred on three straight plays inside the final minute. Geraldine’s Jaxon Colvin made a diving interception of a tipped pass, but Sylvania’s Anderson stole a pass on the next snap. Carlos Mann of Geraldine had the final pick with 27.1 seconds to go.
The Bulldogs received a break early in the third quarter when Kobe Hill recovered a Rams’ fumble with 8:04 to play. Geraldine’s offense responded with a three-and-out, and Sylvania drove 65 yards in seven plays to make it 27-14.
Smith hit Brett Sims with an 11-yard scoring pass with 3:37 left. The PAT hooked wide left.
Mann delivered Geraldine’s second huge kickoff return of the night, as he raced 55 yards to Sylvania’s 30. Six plays later, Colvin punched it in from the 1 with 54.5 seconds left. Felipe’s conversion trimmed it to 27-21.
Sylvania then scored 14 unanswered points to seal its victory.
The Rams drove 65 yards in 12 plays, with Bates scoring on a 6-yard run around left end. The two-point conversion failed, but Sylvania led 33-21 with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter.
Geraldine turned it over on downs at its 32-yard line, and on the next snap, Bates broke free for a 32-yard TD run. Smith passed to Anderson for two points, making it 41-21 at the 2:46 mark.
The Bulldogs took the kickoff and covered 65 yards in seven plays, with Colvin tossing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mann, who dived over the goal line with 51 seconds remaining. Felipe added the extra point.
Geraldine plays hosts to Fyffe on Oct. 15.