Sweet Water clashes with 3A power T.R. Miller

After a grueling slate of region games, Sweet Water will get its final playoff tune-up the hard way Friday night when it travels to Brewton to face Class 3A powerhouse T.R. Miller.

“We think they are (as good as anybody we are going to see). A game like this is good either way. If they blow our doors off, it will refocus us,” Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker said. “If we mess around and win the game, we’re going to think we are unbeatable going into the playoffs and that’s not a bad thing either. It is a no-lose situation.”

Sweet Water’s rendezvous with T.R. Miller will mark the first time the perennial powers have collided in the storied histories of their respective programs. Luker called it an honor to be fortunate enough to play a program such as Miller.

“They don’t play down in class, so I feel very honored that they doing this,” Luker said. “There is going to be a whole lot of tradition and a whole lot of pride on that field (Friday) night.”

Once the teams take the field, Sweet Water will have to focus its attention on limiting a downhill ground attack that has led the Tigers to an 8-1 record this season.

They are about as well coached as anything you are ever going to get on the field with. They are just sound in all phases of the game,” Luker said. “They run the I about as well as anybody in the state. They execute so well. They do a great job.”

That ground game will feature two skilled backs in junior tailback Dominque Jackson and junior fullback Kemeron Coleman.

“He’s really been carrying the load for them. He’s had three straight games of 150 yards plus,” Luker said of Jackson. “Their fullback is probably their most complete player. He blocks, he runs, he plays linebacker for them on defense.”

While Miller has hung 328 points on the board this season, its defense has held opponents to just 141 points over nine games.

“(T.R. Miller runs a) 3-4, a lot like us. They play real physical up front in the box and always have good linebackers that really run to the football,” Luker said.

Sweet Water (8-1) enters the contest on an eight-game winning streak, having suffered its lone setback of the season thus far to Thomasville in week one. T.R. Miller had its eight-game win streak snapped last week in a loss to W.S. Neal.

Sweet Water, the Class 2A, Region 1 champion, will host Samson next Friday in the first round of the AHSAA state playoffs.