Brody Smith threw touchdown passes to Keenan Wilbanks and Sawyer Hughes in the first half, but Sylvania was held scoreless in the second half in a 24-14 loss at Saks on Friday night.
The Rams (0-1) took the opening kickoff 55 yards in eight plays. Smith hit Wilbanks for a 20-yard scoring connection. Jaxon Andrede’s ensuing PAT kick gave Sylvania a 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, after the Wildcats (1-0) drove down to the Rams’ 11-yard line, Gareth Anderson intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it to the 7.
Sylvania fumbled on its first snap of the ensuing drive and Saks recovered at the 2, before Saks fumbled and Wilbanks recovered it for the Rams at the 2.
The Rams then drove to Saks’ 47-yard line before having to punt back to the Wildcats to end the first quarter.
Will Mixon ran for a 65-yard touchdown to start the second quarter and pull the Wildcats within 7-6 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.
After forcing the Rams into a three-and-out, Saks went 70 yards in four plays, scoring on a Mixon 5-yard run to go ahead 12-7 following another failed 2-point conversion try.
With less than a minute remaining in the opening half, the Rams capped a successful drive with a go-ahead score, courtesy of a Smith-to-Hughes 6-yard TD connection. Andrede’s PAT kick gave Sylvania a 14-12 halftime edge.
The teams traded punts to start the second half before Saks used two plays to travel 48 yards and score on a Jalen McCants run to put the Wildcats back in front at 18-14.
Sylvania’s Zach Anderson intercepted a Saks pass later in the quarter, but Wilbanks was stripped of possession during a run. The Wildcats recovered the fumble but couldn’t capitalize with any points.
McCants helped the Wildcats extended their advantage to 24-14 in the final period after breaking off a 28-yard scoring run.
The Rams took the ensuing kickoff back to their 47-yard line where they started a nine-play drive. They made it to the Wildcats’ 10 and seemed to score when Smith found Hughes for a 13-yard pass. But the score was negated by a penalty.
On the replay of the down, Smith was sacked for a 15-yard loss. Saks took control of possession and ran out the clock.
Smith was 14 of 23 for 140 yards passing with two scores for the Rams. Anderson carried 14 times for 54 yards rushing; he added two receptions for 28 yards and an interception. Wilbanks had 33 yards rushing on six carries and five catches for 75 yards with a TD, recovering a fumble on defense. Hughes caught three passes for 28 yards with a score.
Sylvania had 140 yards passing and 82 rushing for a total of 222.
Saks totaled 309 yards (228 rushing, 81 passing).
McCants carried 13 times for 96 yards rushing; he completed 6 of 13 passes for 81 yards with two interceptions for the Wildcats. Mixon ran for 77 yards on nine carries.