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Sweet Water primed to start new streak

Fresh off their first loss in 36 tries, the Bulldogs (9-1) play host to Geneva County (4-6), losers of five of their last six contests, tonight in the first round of the AHSAA 1A State Playoffs.

“They’re a pretty athletic team. They’ve got a good quarterback,” Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker said of Geneva County quarterback Rico Reese. “They like to get him in space and try to let him make plays.”

GCHS, who will ride a three-game losing streak into Sweet Water, averages approximately 260 pounds along its defensive front.

“They’re pretty big up front, a lot bigger than we are,” Luker said.

Despite the size differential, Luker’s squad will likely encounter an offensive scheme with which it is familiar.

“i don’t think anybody could show us anything we haven’t seen,” Luker said.

Sweet Water, which had its school record 36-game winning streak snapped at home last week against the No. 1 team in 2A, Leroy, is moving into the portion of its schedule Luker considers a one-game playoff each week.

“We’ve won 30 straight 1A games and we need to win five more,” Luker said.

Luker said he learned a good deal about his team during the game.

“For one, I found out that we would respond, We played very hard and very physical,” Luker said. “I feel like they played extremely hard. I was proud of our response.”

The Bulldogs fell behind in that contest with 1:08 remaining in the game.

“A lesser team would have just rolled over and given up,” Luker said.

His squad, true to its reputation, did anything but. SWHS marched back down the field and pushed the ball inside the Leroy 30 before an interception ended the threat.

“We’ve been real pleased with them,” Luker said of his team’s practice habits following what proved the first loss many Bulldog players have experienced in their high school football careers. “There were a lot of tears in our locker room because it hurt them.”

Luker said he expected the Leroy game to act as a barometer for the team’s postseason potential.

“I thought going in, win, lose or draw, it was going to help us,” Luker said. “We found out that we could be beat and we probably needed to find that out.”