Sweet Water sets school record
SWEET WATER — The Bulldogs (3-0) accomplished one of their team goals Thursday night by winning a school-record 30th consecutive game with a 57-0 victory over Coffeeville.
“That’s what we set out to accomplish, and we did it,” senior Tate Luker said after the Bulldogs met one of a handful of goals they set for themselves in the preseason.
“It feels good to win 30 straight games and make history in Sweet Water,” junior linebacker Delano Brewer said.
“It’s a great feeling because we knew we had a good chance to do it,” junior running back Johnny Lockett said. “We just had to execute. We executed early and it just happened for us.”
Sweet Water’s last bid to win 30 straight games ended against Highland Home during the third game of the 1981 season. Current head coach Stacy Luker was the quarterback of the 18-man squad that lost that evening.
“That was two totally different things,” Stacy Luker said as he compared the 2008 team with its 27-year-old predecessor. “Two totally different programs at two totally different times.”
Still, the head coach in no way discounted the accomplishment of his current squad as he commended them for focusing on their goals.
“It’s a good team thing. It’s a good something for the school and for the team,” he said. “It is a good accomplishment, it really is.”
Luker was high on the achievement even though it lacked the drama of the 1981 game. Thurs-day’s contest saw Coffeeville’s offense lose ground quickly on the opening possession of the game. Their reverse drive ended with a holding penalty in the end zone that resulted in a safety to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
On the ensuing safety kick, Lockett bobbled the ball before picking it up and breaking a 68-yard return for a touchdown to push the lead to 9-0.
“I was worried,” Lockett said of the near-miscue. “I was just lucky to pick the ball up and just run it back.”
After the Bulldog defense forced a three-and-out on the next Panther possession, the Sweet Water offense took the field for the first time. Lockett broke a 21-yard run on the opening play before Jeremy Landrum reeled off a 30-yard dash for a touchdown. The missed point after left the score at 15-0.
Three plays from scrimmage later, a Panther snap on third down sailed into the end zone, giving Sweet Water’s Cy Newton the chance to recover it for the touchdown. Brewer’s extra point was good, pushing the score to 22-0.
Sweet Water added three more scores in the first quarter on two-yard runs from Chris Landrum and Lockett as well as a 20-yard run by Randy Jackson. At the conclusion of the opening period, the Bulldogs led 43-0.
Sweet Water added another score in the second quarter when freshman Michael Thompson broke a 56-yard touchdown run to leave the Bulldogs with a 50-0 halftime lead.
When the teams emerged from the locker room for the second half, six minutes was placed on the game clock for each of the third and fourth quarters.
“That’s what (Coffeeville) wanted to do, and that was fine,” Stacy Luker said of the irregularity. “That was probably best for tonight in this particular situation.”
Sweet Water added another score in the third quarter when Thompson hit paydirt for the second time with a 17-yard run that proved the culmination of a 10-play, 36-yard drive.
“We’ll just go out and we’ll probably scrimmage first offense on first defense,” Tate Luker said of the team’s plan to make up for the reps its first unit lost during the route that saw Coffeeville utilize 26 plays to lose 100 yards while the Bulldogs used 28 to pick up 264.
“We’ll run about 15-20 plays to stay sharp. We’ve got to find a way to keep our edge with games like this. So we’ll just go out and knock each other around a little bit.”