Rams roll past New Hope in blowout win

The Sylvania Rams are now winners of five straight games and moved to 6-1 overall this season following Friday’s 63-21 beating of the New Hope Indians on the road.

It took just 15 seconds for the Rams to jump out in front for good Friday after Keenan Wilbanks took the opening kickoff 88 yards the other way for a touchdown to put Sylvania up 7-0.

The Indians then fumbled the ball on their third offensive snap and Styles Hughes recovered it for the Rams.

Sylvania’s first offensive snap then allowed the Rams to double their lead when quarterback Brody Smith hit Grant Atchley for a 30-yard touchdown pass to make the lead 14-0 less than two minutes into the game.

Sylvania then forced a three-and-out on defense and quickly scored again on a 31-yard touchdown run from Gareth Anderson to stretch the lead to 21.

New Hope then benefitted from a pair of personal foul calls against the Rams and scored their first touchdown of the night on a 13-play drive in response at the start of the second quarter.

Sylvania then made it 3-score lead once again with a 9-play, 79-yard drive that ended on another long touchdown pass. This one saw Smith hit Jordan Johnson for a 33-yard score with 7:06 left in the first half.

New Hope then answered back again with a 9-play, 68-yard drive that ended on a 29-yard scamper to the end zone from Will Rice to cut the lead back to 14 with 2:48 left in the half.

That was more than enough time for the Rams to score again before the break though. Two plays into Sylvania’s following drive, Smith fired a 70-yard touchdown pass to Wilbanks to make the score 35-14 with 1:45 left in the half.

Another three-and-out by Sylvania’s defense then gave the Rams another shot to pad their lead with 37 seconds left in the half. Smith completed passes of 16 and 25 yards before a pass interference call against the Indians moved the ball 13 yards from the goal line. Smith then fired his fourth touchdown pass of the night on a 13-yard strike to Wilbanks to stretch the lead to 42-14 at halftime.

The Rams stuffed New Hope’s offense on their first two drives of the second half before Gareth Anderson scored his second touchdown of the night on a 36-yard dash through the Indians’ defense.

After another quick stop, Smith fired his fifth and final touchdown pass of the night on a 50-yard strike to Johnson to make the score 56-14 at the end of the third.

With backups in the game after that point, New Hope drove near the goal line but had a pass batted down on fourth down. Two plays later, Sylvania freshman Braydon Thomas took a carry to the left side and raced 77 yards to the end zone for the Rams’ final touchdown of the night. New Hope scored one last time in the last few minutes to make the final score 63-21.

Smith was nearly perfect passing the ball as he finished completing 11-of-13 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns.

Johnson was his leading receiver with five catches for 153 yards and two scores. Atchley had four catched for 58 yards and a score and Wilbanks finished with two catches for 92 yards and two scores.

The win improved the Rams’ regional record to 3-1. They will try to continue moving up in their regional standings next week when they host the Pisgah Eagles.

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