Undefeated Elba bumps Sweet Water from playoffs

By Jeremy Sellers

With game time temperatures dropping into the mid-to-low 30s, Sweet Water hit the road for a second-round playoff contest against the unbeaten Elba Tigers. The Bulldogs came out on the short end of a 42-20 final.

Sweet Water's Xavier McIntosh fights for yardage

Sweet Water’s Xavier McIntosh fights for yardage

Elba started the scoring early when Stefan Caldwell, who led the Tigers with 141 yards on the night, caught a nine-yard pass for a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at 6-0 at the 5:47 mark in the first quarter.

The Tigers scored again with 3:12 remaining in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs were able to answer back early in the second quarter. Eric Jenkins got the ‘Dawgs on the board at the 10:08 mark in the second quarter on a six-yard touchdown run. Jonah Smith tacked on the extra point to cut the Elba lead to 12-7.

The Tigers would strike again on their next two drives, sending the score to 26-7 with 1:59 left on the clock before halftime.

Eric Jenkins breaks into the open

Eric Jenkins breaks into the open

Sweet Water would get a huge score just before halftime with 5.8 seconds left on the clock. Xavier McIntosh found Will Huckabee in the end zone for a successful halfback pass and touchdown of 35 yards. The extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the score at 26-13 in favor of Elba at halftime.

The Bulldogs received the ball coming out of the locker room in the second half, and put together a successful six-play drive that was capped by a four-yard touchdown run at the hands of Jenkins. Smith added his second extra point of the night to cut Elba’s lead down to 26-20 at the 9:25 mark of the third quarter.

Elba, however, would add another score late in the third quarter and one more early in the fourth quarter to send the score to 42-20 and secure the Tigers a trip to the quarterfinals against G.W. Long.

Sweet Water, which failed to reach the third round for the first time since 2005, finished the season with an 8-4 record overall and a 6-1 record in 2A Region 1 play.