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Surge pushes Lamar County past Sulligent


Logan Lowery Special to the Dispatch



VERNON, Ala. -- In the first half of a heated county rivalry Thursday night, neither Sulligent or Lamar County could get anything going offensively and headed into halftime in a scoreless stalemate. 


But the homestanding Bulldogs were able to strike the initial blow on their first possession of the second half and tacked on another late touchdown for a 14-0 win at George Bell Stadium. 


"At times this year we haven''t had the effort we''ve got to have to win," said Lamar County head coach Ken Adams. "Some of it is maturity and some of it is they just don''t know if they can do it. Tonight they came out and they were determined. After the last two weeks, it was either we had to step up or not. They did and I am very proud of them." 


One player that dominated the second half was Eric Hudson, who rushed for the two touchdowns and snagged a late fourth-quarter interception to seal the win for Lamar County. 


Hudson finished the night with 156 yards of offense including 117 yards on the ground on 29 carries. He also completed 3-of-9 passing for 39 yards and an interception. 


"We just had to play hard and everybody worked as a team," Hudson said. "Everybody just played as one. The line got down and blocked and the defense closed down. We don''t like Sulligent. That''s our rivals." 


Justin Perkins hauled in a pair of passes for 25 yards to help the Bulldogs (3-3) finish with 217 total yards of offense. 


The Lamar County defense also stood strong, limiting the Blue Devils to not only a shutout, but just 68 yards of offense and two turnovers. 


"(Lamar County) just had a great game tonight," said Sulligent interim head coach Ronnie Hubbard. "I thought that we had more athletes, but they just held onto the ball. We couldn''t get anything going on offense and that''s just the truth. I hate it for our guys and it''s all on me; I just didn''t have them ready." 


The Bulldogs orchestrated a 13-play, 67-yard drive on their opening possession of the third quarter to finally break open the scoreless tie. Hudson plowed his way in from a yard out on a quarterback sneak. 


Tyler Sprouse came on to kick the extra point to give Lamar County a 7-0 lead. 


Lamar County was threatening on its next drive, but Hudson was picked off by Mason Franklin at his own 11-yard line. Sulligent, however, was unable to move the chains and punted the ball right back to the Bulldogs. 


Lamar County took over near midfield and marched the distance in eight plays as Hudson rushed in from 8 yards out on a sweep left. Sprouse again provided the point after to go up 14-0 with just less than four minutes remaining. 


The Blue Devils offense took the field at the 50-yard line after two Lamar County penalties and a 22-yard return by Ryan Reeves. Sulligent moved as close as the Bulldogs'' 35-yard line, but Hudson intercepted a John Potmesil pass that was tipped by his teammate Perkins to douse any hopes of a comeback. 


"We gave (Potmesil) a good rush and he went back to the right side and tried to throw it back across the middle," Hudson said. "Our three men came up and jumped up for the ball and I came down with it." 


Ken Hill also recorded a first-half interception for Lamar County 


Potmesil finished the night 3-of-11 passing for 27 yards and two interceptions. 


Sulligent, which fell to 5-2, was led on the ground by Ishmael Riggins with 11 carries for 40 yards. Wesley Parson caught all three passes for 27 yards. 


Lamar County hopes to build off the momentum next week, hosting Colbert County while the Blue Devils try to bounce back against Red Bay at home.



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