SULPHUR—In a matchup of highly ranked teams, No. 2 ranked John Marshall rolled over the No. 5 ranked Sulphur Bulldogs 38-18 at Agee Field, Friday behind a bruising performance by Bears star running back Devonte Lee.

SULPHUR—In a matchup of highly ranked teams, No. 2 ranked John Marshall rolled over the No. 5 ranked Sulphur Bulldogs 38-18 at Agee Field, Friday behind a bruising performance by Bears star running back Devonte Lee. 

Devonte Lee, listed at 5’10 220 pounds ran roughshod over the Bulldog defense, carrying the ball for 242 yards and four touchdowns.

The Sulphur defense did what it could to stop the the wrecking ball of a running back, but by the second half the body blows grew to be too much.

Sulphur coach Jim Dixon said Lee is a generational talent.

“I’ve been around this game for while,” he. “(Devonte Lee) is the best I’ve ever played against, the best. He’s the best running back I’ve ever faced.”

In the first half, the Bulldogs kept pace with the prolific running back, taking the lead on their opening drive. 

Sulphur quarterback Dawson Muck connected with Bradley Vineyard for a 21-yard touchdown reception to get the scoring started for the Bulldogs. 

But after a failed two-point conversion, the score was kept at 6-0.

After a pair of punts by the Bulldogs and the Bears, John Marshall got things going. 

The Bears put the ball into their star running back’s hands and after five straight carries by Lee, the Bears rumbled on a 62-yard touchdown drive. 

With a successful point after try, John Marshall took a 7-6 lead.

The Bulldogs fired back on the next drive, capping off a 62-yard drive of their own. 

A 45-yard rush by Sulphur running back Trey Kiser put the Bulldogs deep in John Marshall territory before Muck would connect with receiver Houston Haines for a 19-yard touchdown. Another failed two-point conversion brought the score to 12-7.

On the ensuing drive, Lee cashed in on his third touchdown of the game, showing off his balance, strength and agility as he shrugged off Bulldog tacklers then hurdled into the Sulphur end zone, bringing the score to 14-12. 

The Bulldogs would take their final lead of the game on the ensuing drive, marching 59-yards down the field before Bradley Vineyard scored his second touchdown of the game, carrying the ball across the goalline for a one-yard touchdown.

The Bears fired back with a 77-yard touchdown drive, with Devonte Lee bringing the score to 21-18 after a four-yard touchdown on the ground. 

Three converted extra points by John Marshall and three failed two-point conversion attempts gave the Bears their three-point lead.

In the second half, the John Marshall defense stiffened, shutting out the Bulldogs.

Dixon said he didn’t think the John Marshall defense made many adjustments. 

“They just whipped us up front,” he said.

After deferring to receive the kick in the second half, John Marshall mixed things up with the Sulphur defense keyed-in on Lee.

With Lee sharing the backfield, John Marshall’s Trey Eason ran for 49-yards on six carries, capping of the 61-yard touchdown drive by punching it in the endzone from the goalline. 

Sulphur needed a quick response to take back the momentum, but after driving into John Marshall territory, the Bulldogs fumbled on the Bears’ 26-yard line.

On the next play Sulphur’s Haines would take the ball back, leaping to grab an interception. 

But after a three and out, the Bulldogs ended up punting, spoiling the opportunity to start a comeback for Sulphur.

With 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Lee drove a dagger into the Sulphur defense after he broke loose on a 25-yard touchdown run to bring the game to its final score of 35-18. 

Dixon said the 35-18 loss was more a reflection of their opponent than anything else.

“We got beat by a real good football team,” Dixon said. “They’re very talented. They played hard and they played well.”

Muck finished the game with 161 yards and two touchdowns passing. Sulphur running back Trey Kiser lead the Bulldogs rushing attack, carrying the ball 96 yards. 

Vineyard racked up two touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground. Haines racked up 51 yards receiving and a touchdown in the losing effort. 

Sulphur (3-1) will face the Madill Wildcats on the road next Friday night to open district play.

Following their matchup with the Wildcats, the Bulldogs will take on Lone Grove at home Sept. 29.