Led by Cedrick Phillips (FR/Stockton, Calif.)’ 327 yards rushing, Sterling was able to hold on for the 37-34 victory over the Bethany College Swedes for their second victory of the season.
Running was the name of the game against the Swedes, as Sterling jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on the first possession of the game when Cedrick Phillips found the end zone on a 19-yard run. The Swedes were able to answer back with 4:55 left in the first quarter on a 25-yard field goal but another rushing touchdown from the Warriors, this time from Robert Williams III (FR/Wichita Falls, Texas), helped Sterling take a 14-3 lead to end the first quarter.
Bethany was able to muster up some scoring twice, once on a 2-yard touchdown run and a 24-yard field goal, cutting Sterling’s double digit lead to one with 3:49 left in the first half. Sterling went back to their rushing attack driving 75-yards down the field, capped off by a Mike Lopez (JR/Wesley Chapel, Fla.) 3-yard run, to jump back out to a 21-13 lead.
The scoring attack continued into the second half when both Phillips and Lopez each scored their second touchdown of the game to make it a 34-13 score. Phillips second touchdown of the game came on a 10-yard run to close out an excellent 82-yard 10 play drive by Sterling and Lopez’s touchdown also capped off an exceptional drive, a 91-yard drive down the field ending with a 2-yard rush up the middle from Lopez.
The third quarter closed out with Bethany breaking loose for a 67-yard run, dipping and diving around Sterling defenders, to chip away at the Warriors’ lead 34-20.
The fourth quarter got interesting for both Sterling and Bethany, the Warriors struck first in the quarter when Eddie Juarez (JR/Pleasant Hill, Calif.) nailed a 52-yard field goal to put Sterling ahead 37-20. The Swedes were certainly down but not out, in the closing minutes of the game Bethany scored a pair of touchdowns to find themselves down 37-34 with :29 seconds left on the clock. Looking for the onside kick, Sterling was ready and secured the ball to hold off the charging Swedes and the 37-34 win for the Warriors.
Phillips finished the day with 327 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Phillips also finished the day with 98-yards through the air for a total of 425 yards of total offense against the Swedes. Defensively, Dezmond Howard (SO/Montgomery, Ala.) collected nine tackles in the game, six solo, including a tackle for a loss.
Sterling (2-3, 2-2) looks to continue their winning ways when they travel to North Newton on October 17th to take on the Bethel College Threshers. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:30pm.
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