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SWHS looks capture 3rd state title in 4 years

BIRMINGHAM &8212; Yesterday, Sweet Water High School football players got on a bus and headed to Birmingham, today at 3 p.m. the group will defend their 2006 state title against another commanding force in 1A football this year, Talladega County Central High School.

The scene is set at the Alabama High School Athletic Association&8217;s Super Six at Legion Field. The Bulldogs came into the season riding the momentum off of last year&8217;s 48-0 bashing of Cedar Bluff in the championship game and haven&8217;t stepped off the wave, going 13-0 into today&8217;s match up. Talladega Tigers, in contrast, went 8-4 last year, but, like Sweet Water, started high in the preseason Alabama Sports Writer Association poll at No. 3.

By Week 5 of the season Sweet Water and Talladega were No. 1 and 2 in the polls, where they have remained. Sweet Water is experienced at Super 6 pressure, as this is the third appearance in four years, while the Tigers set a school record this year going undefeated in the regular season for the first time. Despite the difference in program traditions, Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker

is still wary of his opponent.

Luker said from what he has watched the biggest key to the Tiger&8217;s success on defense is their linebacker corps. He said the group is a complete unit, which makes any production on offense hard for teams facing the team.

But Sweet Water&8217;s defense is no slouch either, and, after last weeks test of mettle against a Maplesville passing offense that put up 402 total yards in the 46-36 Bulldog win, the Sweet Water defense should be up to handle the Tiger offense &8212; though stopping the run will be this week&8217;s item of interest.

So hearty defense against hearty defense, and grinding offense against grinding offense &8212; Sweet Water and Talladega County Central will find our which group plays classic ground and pound ball better under the lights of Legion Field at 3 p.m. today.