Sweet Water rolls Bears for region win

SWEET WATER — Sweet Water High School scored on its first offensive play and its first seven possessions en route to a convincing 45-0 region win over the Leroy Bears at Nolan Atkins Stadium in Friday night.

Sweet Water’s swarming defense, led by Christian Washington (#44), brings down the Bears running back. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Autery)

Sweet Water’s Jakoby Aldridge scampered 36 yards on the first offensive play from scrimmage to put the Bulldogs up for good less than two minutes into the contest. The score was set up when a bad snap from the shotgun formation penned Leroy at its own three on the game’s third play. Leroy was forced to punt from its own end zone to the 36 before Aldridge and company went to work. The PAT sailed wide right, leaving Sweet Water up 6-0.

After the kickoff, Bulldog Timmario Campbell recovered a bobbled Leroy handoff at the Bear 28, and again Sweet Water quickly took advantage. On second down, Aldridge raced 25 yards around left end for the touchdown. Tate Gibbs booted the extra point to give Sweet Water a 13-0 lead.

History repeated itself on the next series. An errant Leroy pitch was intercepted in mid-air by Sweet Water’s Daniel Sewell, who returned the ball to the 21, and after a fourth down conversion, Bulldog quarterback Brett Davis tossed a 13-yard TD pass to DJ Hayes. The kick failed, leaving SWHS with a 19-0 margin.

The Bulldogs’ final score of the first quarter was set up by yet another Bear miscue, this one a fumble recovery by Hayes at the Leroy 28. On the first play after the turnover, Aldridge broke several tackles on his way to the end zone, putting Sweet Water up 25-0.

In the second quarter, the Bulldogs increased their lead on a hard-earned 15-yard run by Demarcus Gamble and a one-yard plunge by Caderius Ward to make the halftime score 39-0.

In the third period, Sweet Water picked up where it left off, taking the opening kickoff, converting a fourth down at midfield, and ultimately providing the final margin of victory on a six-yard Gamble run.

“We controlled the front on both sides,” said Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker, who saw his Bulldogs improve to 1-1 on the season. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I was proud of how we came out physical. They helped us with some turnovers early, but we played a little more furious than we did last week (in the season-opener at Thomasville). We didn’t come out very fast last week, but we did better tonight.”

Although controlling every phase of the game, the Bulldogs still have room for improvement, the coach said. “We’re a work in progress. We can get better. We want to be good in November.”

Aldridge finished the night with 125 yards on nine carries. Davis completed 2-of-5 passes for 19 yards, including the 13-yard scoring strike to Hayes. As a team, Sweet Water dominated Leroy, with 16 first downs to the Bears’ six, and 287 total yards to Leroy’s 67.

The Bulldogs return to Region action next Friday, hosting Millry.