Linden vs. Georgiana (gallery)

Linden vs. Millry (gallery)

‘Dawgs, Panthers hash out differences in 1A region contest

09-09-16 -- Dixons Mills, Ala. -- Sweet Water's Jaylin Johnson (23) leaps over Marengo's Clarence Tolbert (51) in Friday's game at Marengo High School in Dixons Mills, Ala.  Sweet Water won the Class 1A Region 1 battle, 33-22. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

09-09-16 — Dixons Mills, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jaylin Johnson (23) leaps over Marengo’s Clarence Tolbert (51) in Friday’s game at Marengo High School in Dixons Mills, Ala. Sweet Water won the Class 1A Region 1 battle, 33-22. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

It was everything you’d expect out of a Class 1A Region 1 rivalry Friday night when the Sweet Water Bulldogs made the short trip down to Dixons Mills to take on the Panthers of Marengo High School.

“That was a great game tonight, you played hard, but we’ve got more work to do,” Marengo head coach Eberne Myrthil told his Panthers following the 33-22 loss. “Never again. Never again. You don’t want to feel this way again, and neither do I. You’ve got to play from point A to point B”

Sweet Water would find the end zone first in the match-up when quarterback Jonah Smith connected with Will Huckabee for a 23-yard touchdown reception. The PAT off the foot of Smith put the ‘Dawgs up 7-0 with 3:07 to go in the first period of play.

The Panthers were quick to answer, setting the tone for the knock-down, drag-out game that would ensue when Quindaris Ausborne took the kickoff 86 yards. A two-point conversion pass from quarterback Cordarius Pritchett to Alphonzo Lewis Jr., was successful, giving the Panthers the edge, 8-6.

Marengo extended the lead at the 7:14 mark of the second quarter when Ausborne found Pritchett open for an 18-yard touchdown pass. A failed two-point conversion left the score at 14-7.

The Bulldogs tied it up heading into the half when Smith hit Trent Sams for a 78-yard touchdown reception with 5:43 to play. At the break, both teams were tied at 14.

Following the half, the ‘Dawgs put the pedal to the floor and never looked back.

09-09-16 -- Dixons Mills, Ala. -- Sweet Water's Jacory Brown (40) is wrapped up in a pile as Marengo's Clarence Tolbert (51) attempts to tackle him in Friday's game at Marengo High School in Dixons Mills, Ala.  Sweet Water won the Class 1A Region 1 battle, 33-22. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

09-09-16 — Dixons Mills, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jacory Brown (40) is wrapped up in a pile as Marengo’s Clarence Tolbert (51) attempts to tackle him in Friday’s game at Marengo High School in Dixons Mills, Ala. Sweet Water won the Class 1A Region 1 battle, 33-22. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

After taking the kick to open second half play, Sweet Water punctuated a 4:14 drive when Shamar Lewis crossed the line from 6 yards out. The Smith PAT was no good, and with the Bulldogs on top 20-14, the Panthers would not be able to regain the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Sweet Water would go on to score twice in the fourth quarter, once on a 9-yard Smith run, and again on a Jaylin Johnson run, eventually extending the lead to 33-14.

Marengo found the end zone once more late in the fourth when Pritchett linked up with Christion Wright, Sr. Wright fumbled, but his own Clarence Tolbert was able to recover the fumble and score. A two-point pass from Pritchett to Roosevelt Thompson rounded out scoring for the night, leading to a final of 33-22.

“Too many mistakes tonight,” said Myrthil. “And at the end of the day, we were still in the game, but you can’t commit that many mistakes and beat a good team like Sweet Water.”

“This was a big region win for us,” said Sweet Water head coach Pat Thompson. “This is us getting back to Sweet Water football.”

The ‘Dawgs racked up 423 yards of offense in 61 plays while Marengo put up 165 yards in 35 plays. Of those 423 yards, 134 yards came through the air with 289 on the ground. Marengo relied more heavily on the pass game, with 125 yards coming through the air and 40 on the ground.

Sweet Water had 20 first downs to Marengo’s 11.

“We had too many turnovers to win a game like this,” said Myrthil.

Marengo committed four turnovers, two coming by way of interceptions and two on lost fumbles.

Sweet Water’s Smith went 5 of 9 on the night with two touchdowns, one interception, and rushed eight times for 57 yards and one touchdown.

Shamar Lewis lead the ground game for the ‘Dawgs with 109 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown, while Jaylin Johnson touched the ball 15 times for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Marengo’s Pritchett completed 9 of 14 attempts for 107 yards and two interceptions.

Alphonzo Lewis Jr., pulled in four receptions for 53 yards while Thompson lead Panther rushers with 28 yards on five carries.

“We’re just working on Sweet Water, that’s all we’re worried about,” said Thompson of the upcoming week of preparation for J.F. Shields. “This was a big confidence builder for our team and we’ll take that into next week with us when we play Shields.”

“This isn’t the same Marengo team that people were used to four or five years ago,” said Myrthil. “These guys want to win, and they have the talent to do it.”

With the win, Sweet Water (2-1, 2-0) will host J.F Shields next week while the Panthers (2-1, 1-1) will face another region foe as they travel to A.L. Johnson.

Marengo has little trouble with Millry

DIXONS MILLS, Ala.—Marengo is not joking around when it comes to competing in Class 1A. The Panthers looked to make that very clear Friday night when it dismantled Millry 47-14 to open Class 1A, Region 1 play.

The Panthers turned a 14-6 halftime lead into a laugher by with a 25-point third quarter en route to the victory.

Cordarius Pritchett was 8 for 12 through the air for 71 yards and a touchdown. He also added 76 yards and another score on the ground on 12 attempts. Alphonzo Lewis tallied 124 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Roosevelt Thompson had 105 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Calvin Ferguson ran for 64 and Quindaris Ausbon had 85 as the Panthers totaled 454 yards on 45 carries. Ausbon also returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. Lewis also caught a 12-yard touchdown pass in the effort.

Christion Wright led the defense with eight tackles while Ronald Bouler had seven and two sacks. Curtis Autery had six tackles and a sack. Johnny Kennedy also had a sack.

The Panthers (2-0, 1-0) stay in region play next week when they host Sweet Water (1-1, 1-0) in what promises to be among the most intriguing match-ups of the season.

Sweet Water pummels ALJ in return to 1A play

09-02-2016 -- Sweet Water, Ala. -- Flynn Mabowitz's (53) tackle jars the football loose from an ALJ Eagle RB. (Photo by Johnny Autery)

09-02-2016 — Sweet Water, Ala. — Flynn Mabowitz’s (53) tackle jars the football loose from an ALJ Eagle RB. (Photo by Johnny Autery)

SWEET WATER, Ala.—Sweet Water showed little mercy to its old intra-county rival Friday night, blasting A.L. Johnson 42-6 in its return to Class 1A, Region 1 play.

The teams played to a scoreless tie through two quarters but the Bulldogs turned the Eagles every which way but loose in the second frame en route to a 21-0 halftime lead. Jacory Brown scored on a 10-yard run with 6:43 to play in the half before Jonah Smith hit Hunter Mendenhall on an 11-yard touchdown strike for the 14-0 advantage. Smith then went over the top to Will Huckabee for a 21-yard score and the three-possession lead going into the locker room.

Shamar Lewis scored on a 5-yard run with 7:19 to play in the third quarter before Braiden Broussard hit Damion Young for a 21-yard touchdown pass with 2:09 to go in the frame.

Jaylin Johnson capped the Bulldog scoring with a 5-yard run with 9:10 to go in the game.

Deandre Croom scored the lone Eagle touchdown of the night with a 47-yard sprint with 8:07 to play in the contest.

Sweet Water was up to its old 1A tricks with 52 plays for 372 yards that included 278 on the ground. The Bulldogs also managed 94 yards through the air. ALJ countered with 118 yards on 35 plays and turned the ball over three times. Sweet Water outpaced ALJ 19-5 in first downs.

Lewis had 121 yards on 12 carries. Johnson added 56 yards on six runs. Croom had 53 yards on two totes for the Eagles.
R.J. Rodgers and Trent Sams each had an interception for Sweet Water.

A.L. Johnson (0-3, 0-1) will look to get into the win column next week when it travels to Fruitdale. Sweet Water (1-1, 1-0) hosts Marengo (2-0, 1-0) in what promises to be a slugfest next Friday.

Linden plunders Pirates in 61-0 skunking

LINDEN, Ala.—Just about everybody in a Linden Patriot jersey got on the field Friday night as the perennial 1A powerhouse wasted little time dispatching of Fruitdale in a 61-0 romp.

The Patriots hung 33 points one the board in the second quarter to runs to a 47-0 halftime lead. Davontae Poole opened the scoring by returning a blocked punt 35 yards for a touchdown with 4:06 to play in the first quarter. Deauris Jones then punched it in from two yards out with 13.8 second to play to stretch the advantage to 14-0.

Linden scored five times in the second quarter as C.J. Robinson hit Isiah Scott for touchdown passes of 32 and 15 yards respectively. Scott also scooped a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Jones added an 18-yard touchdown run while Charles Blackmon had a 9-yard scoring run.

The third quarter saw Eric Jenkins score on a 15-yard run while Timothy Thurman got his first varsity touchdown with a fourth quarter sprint of 15 yards.

The Patriots held Fruitdale to 70 yards on 42 snaps. The Pirates fumbled the ball seven times but were fortunate to only lose two. Linden managed 266 yards on the ground and 62 more through the air on 37 snaps.

Jones led the ground game with 45 yards on six carries. Justin Jenkins had 10 tackles on defense. Graderius Brown had a pair of sacks. Chris Virgess forced two fumbles.

Despite the offensive and defensive numbers, it was another component of the game that most impressed Linden coach Andro Williams.

“I thought our special teams was solid tonight. Defensively, for the most part, we got off the field. That’s what you want. We got better from last week to this week. I know we got better this week on special teams. We moved the ball offensively and we were explosive when we did it,” Williams said. “I was real pleased with our younger guys when they came in the game. I thought we moved the ball with those guys as well. I was real proud of my defense too.”

Linden (2-0, 1-0) is set to travel to McIntosh next week.