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Bulldogs run into power back

Chatom &045; After coming off a disappointing 30-25 loss to the John Essex Hornets last week, the 6-3 Sweet Water Bulldogs traveled to Chatom Thursday night for a non-regional game with the No. 7 ranked 2A Washington County Bulldogs (8-1).

The ‘Dawgs had high hopes of finishing off their regular season on a good note but the Bulldogs proved to be too strong and knocked off the Sweet Water 48-20.

Sweet Water found themselves following behind leading Washington County running back Timothy Hicks, who turned, twisted, hurdled and side stepped his way through the Sweet Water defense for 256 yards on 11 carries for five touchdowns.

Washington County managed 455 total yards on the night while holding the ‘Dawgs to 273 total yards. The ‘Dawgs, who have been plagued with injuries most of the season, gathered 194 rushing yards with eighth grade running back Anthony Landrum leading the way with 11 carries for 82 yards.

The injuries could play a major roll in the ‘Dawgs’ playoff chances but Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker says that it’s all apart of the game.

Defensively the ‘Dawgs had problems all night stopping Hicks who passed the 2,000 yard mark for the regular season Thursday night.

And after losing three games in a row to end their regular season coach Luker feels it’s a mental problem.

Washington County struck first on their first offensive drive and moved the ball 67 yards for a seven-play drive that resulted in a

Hicks 20-yard touchdown with 4:14 left in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kick, Dominic Holt put the Bulldogs into good field position with a 61-yard return. The Bulldogs then ran three plays for a 1-yard loss and were forced into a fourth-and-eleven situation from the Washington County 25-yard line. Luker then called for a pass and quarterback Deon Williams found Juan Brothers at the 14-yard line for the reception and the much needed first down.

Washington County didn’t give up an inch and the Bulldogs could only gain three yards on three plays and after a 5-yard procedure penalty, the ‘Dawgs were back at the 14-yard line facing another fourth-and-long situation.

Luker continued to play the hand he was dealt and called for another pass play that paid off. Williams hit Travion Lockett at the 5-yard line and Locket turned up field and pushed his way into the end zone for the touchdown. Jeremy Tucker added the extra point to even it up at 7-7 with 11:48 left in the second quarter.

The ‘Dawgs then got an edge on the 2A Bulldogs when they recovered a fumble on the kickoff at the Washington County 43-yard line. Eight plays later the Bulldogs found themselves in a powerful position, leading Washington County 14-7 midway through the second quarter. Holt got the touchdown on a 1-yard run and Tucker’s PAT was good.

But the mighty 2A Bulldogs were far from finished. With 7:55 left in the half the WCHS Bulldogs went to work and evened things up with a seven play 65-yard drive that resulted in another Hicks touchdown. Holcombe made good on the PAT and with 5:04 left in the second quarter the game was tied at 14.

Sweet Water could do nothing with the ball on their next possession going three-and-out and with 3:12 left in the half Washington County took over from their own 30-yard line.

With two plays the Bulldogs were in the end zone again.

Hicks started towards the right side but then cut left, back across the field for a 70-yard touchdown run that marked his passing the 2,000-yard regular season rushing record.

The touchdown gave the Bulldogs a 20-14 lead after a missed PAT with 1:58 left in the half.

Sweet Water’s problems started early in the second half, beginning with Holt limping after the opening kickoff. Still battling an ankle injury, Holt limped into the defensive huddle holding his knee. After another Washington County score, Sweet Water trailed 26-14.

Landrum put the ‘Dawgs into Washington County territory with a 42-yard kickoff return that had Sweet Water fans eager for a comeback. That drive failed and the Bulldogs then KO’d the visiting ‘Dawgs with a Hicks 77-yard touchdown run on their first play from scrimmage.

On Friday, Sweet Water will host the Ariton Purple Cats in the first found of the 1A playoffs.