Dogs face heafty challenge in trenches

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 17, 2005

Twelve games into the season, you would have thought that Brantley coach David Lowery had seen every type of offense or defense thrown at his Bulldog squad.

Not quite.

Last week the Bulldogs shut down a prolific offense in Sweet Water that averaged almost 51 points a game to advance to the Class 1A quarterfinals. Three Sweet Water running backs had rushed for almost 3,000 yards and almost 45 touchdowns.

Those running backs were held to just 98 yards rushing in a 30-13 domination of the defending 1A champs.

Now the Bulldog defense faces the biggest offensive line this year at Loachapoka.

&#8220Their starting linemen are 310 (pounds), 285, 280, 190 and 185,” Lowery said. &#8220They are the most athletic and powerful team we've seen all year.”

Running behind that massive line is tailback Quincey Smith, who has rushed for 1,560 yards and 19 touchdowns.

&#8220He's not the only person on this team,” Tate cautioned. &#8220We've got 10 other folks who do a decent job.”

Although the gerth of Sweet Water's offensive line may not compare with Loachapoka, the two teams are similar in playing style.

&#8220Their defense is (Loachapoka's) strength,” Lowery said. &#8220But that's the case with us, too.”

The Indians come into Friday's quarterfinal game having posted six shutouts so far in 12 games played. Loachapoka's defense has given up 6.9 points a game, while Brantley's defense has held its opponents to 8 points per game.

Offensively, the Indians have averaged 10 points less per game than Brantley.

&#8220They have a tremendous amount of speed, and they don't give up very many points,” Lowery said. &#8220The key (Friday night) will be to get ahead of them, and force them out of their power game.”

Aside from facing Loachapoka's power game, Lowery also is concerned with his players going through a letdown after the win over Sweet Water to avenge their semifinal loss to the Bulldogs last year.

&#8220Consistency will take it get to the championship (game),” Lowery said. &#8220When you get to this point, you can't have a letdown. We have to try to keep away from it, because our goal wasn't just to make it beyond the second round.”