Area game of the week: Bulldogs set to battle Pats in crucial 1A showdown

by dentonramsey

Area game of the week: Bulldogs set to battle Pats in crucial 1A showdown

 

Tonight’s “area game of the week” will present two ranked opponents in class 1A action fighting for playoff positioning.

As the Sweet Water Bulldogs, ranked No. 9 in AHSAA class 1A polls, prepare to do battle with the highly touted American Christian Patriots, ranked No. 4 in the polls, head coach Stacy Luker feels his team is prepared for the match up.

“We’ve pretty much prepared the same as we do every week,” Luker said. “We get the game plan in on Monday and try and polish it up on Tuesday and Wednesday. So our preparation for this game has pretty much been the same as every other week.”

With the season now a little past the halfway point, coach Luker says there are a few members of the Bulldogs team that have stepped up as leaders.

“Tony Johnson and Blake Luker have both stepped up as leaders for this team,” Luker said. “They both play on the offensive line. And on defense, Tony starts at defensive line and Blake starts at linebacker. Also, Deon Williams, our quarterback, has done a good job of stepping up as a leader.”

With the Bulldogs sitting at 5-1 and the Patriots riding the wave of an undefeated team at 6-0, tonight’s match up should be a good one.

 

And coach Luker knows the importance of tonight’s game.

“We open the playoffs,” Luker said. “And I think it’s very important that we finish in the top two in our region.”

With only one loss so far, coach Luker is proud of his Bulldogs improvement since their only loss at Thomasville opening the season.

“I think we’ve made steady improvement,” Luker said. “We just ask our boys to go out and work hard every day and improve every week. I think we have done a good job at doing that. And I feel we have progressed nicely to this point after the Thomasville game.”

But the Bulldogs goal remains the same as any team coming down the stretch towards the playoffs.

“Our goal is to win the region and win the state,” Luker said. “Those goals are not going to change. We’re playing to win a state championship.”

Sweet Water heads to American Christian with a healthy team, and a fully suited team, for the first time all season.

“We’re just about 100% healthy,” Luker said. “Right now we have some bumps and bruises… just football stuff you see this time of year. We have everybody back and suited for this game. I feel we’ve relatively gotten ourselves healthy to this point.”

With the playoffs quickly approaching, tonight’s game will become a deciding factor as to where these teams will be sitting come November.

“We know we’ve got our hands full tonight,” Luker said. “It’s a big game for both teams with definite playoff implications.”

Last week, Sweet Water beat Carrollton 55-20 and American Christian ran over Linden 33-20.

Look for a nail-biter tonight as the Bulldogs battle the Patriots for a top playoff spot.

As good as the Patriots have played all season, I smell an upset win for the Bulldogs of Sweet Water.

My prediction: Sweet Water 35, American Christian 28

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