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Sweet Water romps over Bastrop, 24-12

SWEET WATER — Sweet Water’s match-up Friday night against Bastrop (La.) had all the makings of a playoff game. The host Bulldogs top Alabama’s Class 1A poll, while Bastrop’s Rams came in ranked eighth in Louisiana’s 4A poll.

The Sweet Water defense made the difference, corralling three interceptions and holding the Rams’ rushing game to minus-42 yards, while the offense scored 24 unanswered points en route to the 24-12 win.

“We’re going to hang our hat with our defense,” said Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker in marking his 97th career win at SWHS. “We do every year, and this year, we’re really going to have to! It was a great effort; our kids played hard.

The teams opened the game by exchanging drives, having to punt the ball away. On Bastrop’s next drive, quarterback Darren Anderson found Jonathan Daniels on a 60-yard pass play, moving the Rams (4-1) to the SWHS 3-yard line. Three plays later, Anderson hit Rodney Heard on a five-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point attempt went wide, but Bastrop had an early 6-0 lead with 5:44 left in the first quarter.

After Sweet Water (5-1) punted the ball away, the Bulldogs cut the Rams’ next drive short, as Devann White picked off a Bastrop pass and returned it 36 yards to the BHS 32. After a 21-yard run by quarterback Brett Davis and a 10-yard push by Chris Landrum, Landrum again got the ball and went through the line, scoring on a one-yard run. The extra-point kick by Hunter Mayton gave the ’Dogs a 7-6 lead with 1:04 left in the first period.

After Bastrop again punted the ball away, Davis hit Jeremy Landrum on a 34-yard TD pass on the first play from scrimmage. The extra-point kick from Mayton pushed the Sweet Water lead to 14-6 with 10:53 left in the second quarter.

The teams exchanged drives, and Sweet Water recovered a Bastrop fumble at the BHS 30. A 21-yard run by Jeremy Landrum got the Bulldogs to the BHS 7, and a fcaemask penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Rams inched the ball to the BHS 1. Davis punched the ball in on the quarterback keeper for another Sweet Water score. The kick from Mayton pushed the Bulldog lead to 21-6 with 4:54 left in the first half, where it remained to halftime.

On its first drive of the second half, Sweet Water pushed the ball downfield from its own 20-yard line. Lockett runs of 32 and 24 yards got the ball to the Bastrop 10, and four plays later, Mayton nailed a 30-yard field goal to give Sweet Water a 24-6 lead with 6:16 left in the third quarter.

On Bastrop’s ensuing drive, Anderson hit Heard on a 56-yard touchdown pass with 5:14 left in the third period. The conversion attempt failed, and the scoring ended at 24-12.

For Sweet Water, Lockett led all rushers with 105 yards on 22 carries. Chris Landrum had 32 yards on 10 rushes and one touchdown, while Davis had 30 yards on 11 carries and a TD. Through the air, Davis was 2-for-3 with one interception for 38 yards. Jeremy Landrum had one reception for 34 yards and a TD. Sweet Water had 191 yards on 50 carries.

For Bastrop, the Rams had 21 rushes for minus-42 yards, but had 235 yards through the air.

“(Keeping the team hungry) is why we played Bastrop in the middle of our schedule,” Luker said. “We need a check-up. We didn’t get that check-up last year, but — Lord have mercy! — they gave us that check-up tonight! They’re a great football team!”

Sweet Water (4-0 in region play) stays at home to take on Class 1A Region 1 rival Butler County Magnet (3-3 overall, 2-2 1A Region 1) on Friday.