No. 3 Sweet Water downs Keith to win Region 3, 1A title

Published 10:57 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

Third-ranked Sweet Water won the Region 3, Class 1A title with a 27-7 win over Keith on Friday night at J.V. Caldwell Memorial Stadium.

The Bulldogs (7-0, 5-0) already defeated Linden earlier this month, owning the head-to-head tiebreaker.

“The goal is to win always win the Region and state championships,” Sweet Water coach Pat Thompson said.

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The Bears (5-3, 3-2)  will finish as the third seed, losing to Linden last month.

Keith took a 7-0 lead midway in the second quarter as quarterback Aveon Young threw a 12-yard TD pass to Malcolm Jones.

But Sweet Water stormed back, scoring 13 straight points to grab a 13-7 halftime lead.

Quarterback Timothy Kelly and running back DJ Lucy each scored on 3-yard TD runs.

The Bears had two chances to regain the leading with 17 seconds left before halftime.

Young couldn’t connect with Jarius Sanders and Jaquavion McElroy in the end zone.  The Bears never threatened again to take the lead.

Sweet Water shutout Keith 14-0 in the second half to pull away.

DeShaunard Blanks’ 3-yard TD run gave the Bulldogs a 19-7 lead after three quarters.

Sweet Water put the game away on Ethan Carr’s 45-yard TD with 7:16 left to play. Lucy added the two-point conversion run.

Keith head coach Anthony Lumpkin did not make any excuses after the game.

“We had a game plan, but we did not execute,” Lumpkin said. “Hats off to them. They were well-coached and physical. We were physical with then, but we could not execute.

Sweet Water had two chances to score in the first quarter, but Jaquavion McElroy’s interception and a turnover on downs ended both opportunity. “Keith has a tough place to play,” Thompson said.  “Coach Lumpkin had them ready to play and gave us all we could handle.”

The Bears have an open date next Friday.