Sweet Water holds off Leroy for key region win

(Photo by Johnny Autery) Sr. Bulldog lineman Wynn Thompson (50) seals off the outside opening up a gaping hole for RB Jaylin Johnson (23)

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Sr. Bulldog lineman Wynn Thompson (50) seals off the outside opening up a gaping
hole for RB Jaylin Johnson (23)

By Jeremy Sellers

Special to The Watchman

SWEET WATER — With temperatures hovering around the 60 degree mark, the Sweet Water Bulldogs earned a huge 2A Region 1 victory over Leroy by a final count of 35-26. The win for Sweet Water kept their playoff hopes alive and well.

“This is a big win for us,” Sweet Water head coach Pat Thompson said after the win. “Leroy is a good football team and we came out and played well on both sides of the football. I am very proud of these guys for the effort that they put forth tonight.”

(Photo by Johnny Autery) On fourth down seconds before the half, Bulldog 's Paul Weatherly (8) and Flynn Mabowitz (53) make a tackle.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
On fourth down seconds before the half, Bulldog ‘s Paul Weatherly (8) and Flynn Mabowitz (53) make a tackle.

Sweet Water’s defense came up big on two separate occasions. On Leroy’s opening drive, the Bears stalled at the Bulldog five yard line. On the second instance, Leroy managed to get the ball down to the one yard line of Sweet Water just before halftime. However, the clock would expire on Leroy’s chances as Sweet Water led 14-6 at the break.

Leroy would get on the board first at the 1:02 mark of the first quarter when Jordan Sellers took the ball in from four yards out. Chase Butts’ extra point was no good, leaving Leroy’s lead at 6-0.

Sweet Water didn’t waste much time matching that. At the 10:54 mark of the second quarter, Jaylin Johnson scored from three yards out for the Bulldogs. DeShawn Blanks nailed the extra point to give Sweet Water a 7-6 advantage.

(Photo by Johnny Autery) Sweet Water DB Luke Davis (25) rips the ball away from Leroy's Brady Smith (21), unfortunately the player was ruled down and Leroy retained the ball.

(Photo by Johnny Autery) Sweet Water DB Luke Davis (25) rips the ball away from Leroy’s Brady Smith (21), unfortunately the player was ruled down and Leroy retained the ball.

After a huge interception by Branson Davis, the Bulldogs got on the board again with 2:45 left in the first half. Davis was also responsible for the one-yard touchdown run to give Sweet Water the 14-6 lead going into the locker room.

A successful fake punt by Sweet Water set up a 15 yard touchdown run by B.J. Rogers. The extra point attempt by Blanks gave the Bulldogs a 21-6 lead.

Leroy got on the board again with 5:58 left in the third quarter when quarterback Chase Warren connected with Jordan Sellers for a 41-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at 21-12.

The Bulldogs matched that touchdown with 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Eric Jenkins busted off a five yard run to extend the Sweet Water lead to 28-12

The Bears would make it interesting in the fourth quarter. Leroy reeled off two touchdowns in the fourth. The last of those was a 63 yard connection between Warren and Denzel Woodard. That two-point attempt was good, cutting the Sweet Water lead down to 28-26.

Leroy was able to get the ball back with 1:52 remaining, but an interception by Sweet Water’s Paul Weatherly put an end to any hopes of a full comeback.

Sweet Water put it out of reach with just over a minute on the clock as Jaylin Johnson punched it in from three yards out, giving Sweet Water a 35-26 advantage.

Despite the nine point loss, Leroy outgained the Bulldogs 464-304 on the night.

Johnson led Sweet Water with 168 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

Denzel Woodard had 152 yards receiving and a touchdown on six catches to lead Leroy. Bear quarterback Chase Warren completed 21 of his 38 passes for 337 yards and a pair of touchdown throws.

Sweet Water (3-3, 2-2) will travel to ‘The Reservation’ to take on Southern Choctaw next Friday while Leroy (4-2, 2-2) will travel to Jordan-Wilcox Stadium in Chatom to take on Washington County.