Sweet Water falls to 3A power T.R. Miller, 27-6

Jakoby Aldridge fights for hard yardage against T.R. Miller Friday.

Jakoby Aldridge fights for hard yardage against T.R. Miller Friday.

SWEET WATER – One week after clinching the Class 2A, Region 1 title, Sweet Water High School fell victim to 3A powerhouse T.R. Miller 27-6  at Nolan Atkins Field Friday night.

Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker, while tipping his hat to what he called an “excellent” T.R. Miller squad, quickly turned his thoughts to next week and the first round of the state playoffs.

“We’re going to keep getting better,” Luker said. “The playoffs are here and we’ve got to raise the level of play. We’re hosting the first round and we’re in a good bracket. This is where you want to be in November. It’s a great time of the year.”

Sweet Water will host Goshen next Friday in the opening round of the 2A playoffs.

Against T.R. Miller, which finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 mark, Sweet Water fell victim to uncharacteristic mental mistakes, including costly turnovers and numerous false start penalties. “You can’t get penalties like that,” Luker said. “We’ve got to keep working and eliminate those kind of mistakes.”

T.R. Miller’s Tigers wasted little time showing its offensive prowess, marching 76 yards on its first possession and taking an 6-0 lead on Dominique Jackson’s five-yard run.

Sweet Water’s Daniel Sewell gave the Bulldog faithful reason to cheer on the ensuing kickoff – taking it 46 yards to the Tiger 35; however, Sweet Water was forced to punt after being pushed back. After T.R. Miller likewise punted on its next possession, SWHS advanced the ball deep into Tiger territory, but the threat ended when Sewell was stopped short of a first down at the 11.

T.R. Miller then put together an 89-yard drive, capped by an 11-yard Kieon Smith to Jackson screen pass on fourth-and-six with 5:18 left before the half. Chardian Johnson kicked the extra point.

In the third period, Miller stretched the margin to 20-0 when a host of Tiger defenders pounced on a Sweet Water fumble in the end zone, followed by Johnson’s PAT.

The Bulldogs finally broke through on the first play of the fourth quarter when quarterback Branson Davis hit Paul Weatherly in stride at the goal line for a 28-yard TD strike. The kick was no good, and T.R. Miller responded on the next drive with a 28-yard quick hitter up the middle by Kameron Coleman to complete the night’s scoring.

On the evening, Jakoby Aldridge led Sweet Water with 65 hard-earned yards on 23 carries. Damarcus Gamble added 63 yards on nine attempts, while Sewell added seven rushes for 44 yards.

Davis was 1-for-3 through the air. The lone completion was Davis’ 28-yard TD pass to Weatherly.

Sweet Water finishes the regular season at 7-3, which includes an unblemished mark in Region play.