Sweet Water Bulldogs win 1A region title with victory over Keith

Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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By James Jones, The Selma-Times Journal

 The third-ranked Sweet Water Bulldogs won the Region 3, Class 1A title with a 27-7 victory over Keith on Friday night at J.V. Caldwell Memorial Stadium.

The Bulldogs (6-1, 5-0) already defeated Linden earlier this month, owning the head-to-head tiebreaker.

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“The goal is to win, always win the Region and state championships,” Sweet Water coach Pat Thompson said.

The Bears (5-3, 3-2) will finish as the third seed, losing to Linden last month.

Keith took a 7-0 lead midway in the second quarter as quarterback Aveon Young threw a 12-yard TD pass to Malcolm Jones.

But Sweet Water stormed back, scoring 13 straight points to grab a 13-7 halftime lead.

Quarterback Timothy Kelly and running back DJ Lucy each scored on 3-yard TD runs.

The Bears had two chances to regain the leading with 17 seconds left before halftime.

Young couldn’t connect with Jarius Sanders and Jaquavion McElroy in the end zone. The Bears never threatened to take the lead again.

Sweet Water shutout Keith 14-0 in the second half to pull away.

Deshanard Blanks’ 3-yard TD run gave the Bulldogs a 19-7 lead after three quarters.

Sweet Water put the game away on Ethan Carr’s 45-yard TD with 7:16 left to play. Lucy added the two-point conversion run. 

Keith head coach Anthony Lumpkin did not make any excuses after the game.

“We had a game plan, but we did not execute,” Lumpkin said. “Hats off to them [Demopolis]. They were well-coached and physical. We were physical with them, but we could not execute.

Sweet Water had two chances to score in the first quarter, but Jaquavion McElroy’s interception and a turnover on downs ended both opportunities. “Keith has a tough place to play,” Thompson said.  “Coach Lumpkin had them ready to play and gave us all we could handle.”

The Bulldogs will be back at home this week as they take on their rival from up the road, the Marengo Panthers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Nolan Atkins Stadium.