Bulldogs back on top after 18 years

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 13, 2004

HOOVER – After 18 years the Sweet Water Bulldogs are back op top of class 1-A.

After waiting patiently since 1986 the Bulldogs proved they are once again the best in the state with a 35-7 drumming of R.A. Hubbard in to bring home the blue trophy.

Sweet Water did it the way they have all year. With a bruising running game and a stingy defense. The Bulldogs ran up an amazing 332 total yards, all on the ground. At the same time they held the Chiefs to only 119.

Bulldog head coach Stacy Luker said the big defensive effort kept things rolling for Sweet Water.

“They have been doing it all year long,” said Luker. “I told coach Andro Williams at halftime the only reason we were in the position we were was because of him and his defense. They really did a great job today.”

No matter how it happened the Bulldogs reaction was the same. Absolute elation. Senior lineman Tony Johnson said the win was great because it helped restore a proud tradition.

“All over the halls of our school you see it,” Johnson said. “We know all about it. We wanted to bring that back here and we did.”

The Bulldogs began the game almost identical to the last couple of weeks. Like the last two games the Bulldogs played physical football and played a close game at the half.

Defense indeed was the Bulldogs best friend as it set up their first score of the game. Deon Williams stepped in front of a Lamorris Stanley pass to give the Bulldogs the ball at the Chief 38. Three plays later Anthony Landrum, who rushed for 175 yards on 20 carries and four touchdowns, found his way around left tackle to rumble 17 yards for the games first points. Phillipp Scheide made good on the extra point and the Bulldogs led 7-0 with :52 to go in the first quarter.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs would return the favor. Xavier Hampton bounced on top of an Bulldogg fumble to put the Chiefs in business at the Sweet Water 31 yard line. Six plays later Stanley crashed in from a yard out. The PAT by Contavious Key was good to tie the score at 7-7.

Things would remain tight until the second half.

In the third and from that point on it was all Bulldogs. Sweet Water scored on three of four possessions in the second half to turn the game into a route. Luker said there was no magic potion for his teams turnaround. He said it was simply a case of pride.

“We didn’t really tell them all that much,” Luker said. WE didn’t have to. They knew what they had to do and they did it.”

Landrum was again the man for the Bulldogs as he capped a three play 79 yard drive to put the Bulldogs back on top. Landrum’s 29 yard run and a Scheide PAT made the score 14-7.

From there it got ugly. After holding Hubbard for a second time Landrum capped a five play 49 yard drive with a 34 yard burst up the middle. Again, the PAT was good and the Bulldogs ended the third quarter with a 21-7 lead.

Sweet Water would falter on their first drive of the fourth before regaining the magic. On their second drive of the quarter the Bulldogs went 63 yards and ended with another Landrum touchdown run. With the PAT, the Bulldogs led 28-7 and had broken the wills of the Chiefs.

The final score came with only 2:48 on the clock as Dominic Holt, who finished with 120 yards on 22 carries, crashed in from three yards out.

The win capped a 13-2 championship season that was never supposed to happen. Luker said while there was a lot of doubt, they knew it was fate.

“God has been good to us,” Luker said. “I believe he ld me to Sweet Water three years ago.”

Luker added the team had been great to work with this season and always believed in the coaches and the system.

“These guys bought into everything we told them, Luker said. “They have grown up and matured a lot this season under three seniors. These kids just peaked at the right time. You have to give them credit.”