SULPHUR - The Sulphur Bulldogs were totally dominant on both sides of the football Friday night, and that dominance led them to a 47-6 victory over the Purcell Dragons in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs at Calvin Agee Field.

SULPHUR - The Sulphur Bulldogs were totally dominant on both sides of the football Friday night, and that dominance led them to a 47-6 victory over the Purcell Dragons in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs at Calvin Agee Field. 

The victory for the Bulldogs means they will be back at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday night, taking on Prague in round two of the playoffs.

Sulphur’s offensive and defensive lines were strong and unyielding against the Dragons. Purcell managed just 123 rushing yards and 143 yards of total offense. Their only score came late in the fourth with Sulphur starters pulled.

By contrast, the Sulphur offense opened up good running lanes for the Bulldog backfield. 

Sulphur rushed the football 51 times for 349 yards and finished the game with 370 offensive yards and seven touchdowns. 

Trey Kiser led the Bulldogs with 176 yards rushing on 14 carries and two touchdowns, while Brant Miller had 19 carries for 89 yards and one touchdown.

“Our offensive line performed extremely well tonight,” Sulphur coach Jim Dixon said. “They opened up some big holes for our running backs to run through. 

“All three of our backs and our quarterback ran hard. The kids did a phenomenal job of getting the job done.” 

“We need to improve on what we do, because we have been very effective,” Dixon added. 

“Our running game is performing well at this time, and the players deserve a lot of credit for their willingness to compete at a high level.”

The first Sulphur touchdown was set up by an odd-looking interception by a Bulldog defensive lineman. 

Purcell quarterback, Garrett Galyean, was attempting a pass to the left side. 

But the ball slipped out of his hand. 

Before the ball hit the ground, Sulphur lineman Jacob Ferrell picked it off in the air and returned it to the Dragon 19-yard line. 

Two plays later Kiser skirted right end 17 yards for a touchdown.

Sulphur (10-1) and ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, added to their lead in the second quarter in a strong showing by their offense. 

The Bulldogs drove 60 yards in 13 plays and used 5:12 of clock time to go up 14-0. The touchdown came with Brant Miller taking the ball over right tackle from three yards out with 6:37 left in the half.

The Bulldogs went on to score on their next two first-half possessions. Kiser scored his second touchdown to finish a 3-play, 51-yard drive that put Sulphur up 20-0.

A fake punt attempt by the Dragons failed, and the Bulldogs took over at the Purcell 36-yard line. 

Now moving on all cylinders, the Sulphur offense needed just four plays to increase their advantage to 26-0. 

Dawson Muck scored from two yards out on a quarterback keeper play over left tackle.

 By halftime the Bulldogs had rolled up 213 offensive yards and 11 first downs and had limited the Dragons to just 34 offensive yards and three first downs.

On their initial possession of the second half Sulphur had to overcome three penalties to put the ball in the end zone. 

The Bulldogs moved from their own 36-yard line to the touchdown in eight plays and four minutes of clock time. 

The score came with Bradley Vineyard taking it in on a 2-yard scamper around left end for a 33-0 Sulphur lead.

“Our offense and defense continue to get better and better as we move through the season,” Dixon said. 

“This was an especially strong game turned in by our starting defensive unit. Purcell was unable to get anything to work the way we were running to the ball carrier. I was very pleased with those guys for the fine effort they turned in tonight.”

On the first play of the fourth Vineyard scored on a 19-yard run around left end that ended an 8-play, 59-yard drive for a 40-0 Bulldog advantage.

Purcell (5-6) managed to dent the scoreboard on their next possession. The Dragons moved 71 yards on 11 plays and scored when Caylin Nimmo ran it in from two yards out with 7:16 left in the game.

The final Sulphur  touchdowns came on the ensuing kick-off. 

Tavius McDonald fielded the Purcell kick-off at the 11-yard line a returned it all the way 89 yards for the score and a 47-6 lead for the Bulldogs.

“We will have the next playoff game here as well,” Dixon said. 

“You need a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck to make it in the playoffs. One thing I am very thankful for this year is the way we have remained healthy as a team.”

“That’s a blessing when you have all your people healthy as you work your way through the post season,” Dixon added. 

“I am proud of the players for coming out tonight and taking care of business the way they did. It was a great team win for us.”