Sweet Water shuts out McIntosh, clinches region top seed

Published 1:40 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Sweet Water Bulldogs clinched the top seed and no less than a tie for the Class 1A Region 1 title with a 37-0 win over McIntosh in a home game that wasn’t played at home.

Due to wet, nasty conditions on the Sweet Water High School field, the game was moved to Demopolis’s Memorial Stadium, the former home of the Demopolis High School Tigers.

The game got off to a shaky start for both teams, as Sweet Water’s Jul Gaines picked off a Demon pass on the first drive of the game, but the Bulldogs (7-1 overall, 6-0 in 1A Region 1) fumbled the ball away on its first drive.

Bulldog Reginald Clark picked off another MHS pass, and Sweet Water marched the ball down the field. Bolstered by a 66-yard run by Chris Landrum, SWHS got on the scoreboard first with a 25-yard field goal by Hunter Mayton to put the ’Dogs ahead 3-0 with 6:23 left in the second quarter.

McIntosh was forced to punt the ball away on its next drive. Landrum’s 26-yard return put Sweet Water on the MHS 34, and Jeremy Landrum’s 26-yard run on the first play from scrimmage got the Bulldogs to the 10. Four plays later, quarterback Brett Davis called his own number and scored the first of two touchdowns on a one-yard run. Mayton’s point-after kick gave Sweet Water a 10-0 lead with 1:50, a score that would carry to halftime.

The Bulldogs got the ball first to start the second half and drove to the MHS 40. A Bulldog punt was downed at the Demons’ 2-yard line. McIntosh was able to get as far as its own 20-yard line, but was pushed back, fumbling the ball away on the 3.

Two plays later, Chris Landrum punched the ball in from the 1 for the first of three TDs. Mayton’s extra-point kick gave Sweet Water a 17-0 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter.

McIntosh (6-1, 6-1 1A Region 1) was again forced to punt the ball away, and Sweet Water began from its own 38. Johnny Lockett took the first play from scrimmage 54 yards to the MHS 8, and two plays later, Chris Landrum took it in from the 6-yard line for another score. Mayton’s kick made it 24-0 with 11:50 left in regulation.

The team exchanged possessions, and after a Lockett interception, Sweet Water was back in business. Chris Landrum galloped 49 yards for his third TD of the night. The extra-point kick failed, but the Bulldogs had a 30-0 lead with 4:06 remaining.

On the ensuing drive, Sweet Water’s Michael Thompson recovered a fumble on the MHS 8, and a personal foul call gave the ’Dogs the ball at the MHS 4. Brett Davis pushed the ball in from there for the final score of the night with 1:45 left. Mayton’s kick made the final tally 37-0.

McIntosh threw four interceptions and gave up two fumbles, while Sweet Water had two fumbles lost.

Chris Landrum had 151 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns, including runs of 66 and 49 yards. Lockett finished with 134 yards on 19 carries and Jeremy Landrum had 92 yards on nine rushes. Davis had minus-16 yards on the ground, but had two touchdowns. The Bulldogs finished the night with 366 yards on 49 runs.

McIntosh was paced by Rodney Hill, who had 131 yards on 12 carries. McIntosh had 106 yards on 29 rushes.

Twelve penalties were called in the fourth quarter, with Sweet Water getting flagged seven times for 65 yards and McIntosh getting five flags for 24 yards.

“McIntosh had a lot of emotion on their side, and it was a very physical game,” said SWHS head coach Stacy Luker. “I liked our resiliency on both sides of the ball. I’m very pleased — it got us the region championship! I’m very pleased with our kids.

“I want to thank (Demopolis High School) coach Tom Causey and the City of Demopolis for letting us use the field up here. We really appreciate that. That really helped us out a lot when we needed it.”

Sweet Water closes out its Region 1 schedule on Friday at J.U. Blacksher (4-3, 4-2 1A Region 1 before its game on Saturday), while McIntosh takes next week off before closing its regular-season schedule on Oct. 30 at Southern Choctaw.