SULPHUR — Fresh off a state runner-up finish last season, the Sulphur Bulldogs were eager to prove they still have plenty of bite left Friday night in their opening contest against Madill.

SULPHUR — Fresh off a state runner-up finish last season, the Sulphur Bulldogs were eager to prove they still have plenty of bite left Friday night in their opening contest against Madill.

Thanks to Logan Smith, the message was sent loud and clear.

Smith finished with four total touchdowns, with three of them coming on the ground as the Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats 49-21 at Calvin Agee Field. 

Both teams moved the ball well offensively, as Madill had 372 yards on 46 rushing plays, while Sulphur was a bit more balanced with 291 yards on 37 rushes but added 116 passing yards for 407 total yards.

Sulphur (1-0) took the opening kick and moved 64 yards in eight plays to take the lead. 

Smith scored on a 15 yard run around right end to cap the drive. 

Madill wasted little time tying the game, as Wildcats quarterback Asa Robertson broke free and rambled 65 yards for a touchdown to even the score.

The Bulldogs needed just seven plays to go ahead for good. 

Quarterback Reece Ratchford ran it over left tackle 14 yards for a score and a 13-7 advantage.

The second quarter is one the Wildcats did not need. Two holding penalties stalled a solid drive down the field, as penalties and two lost fumbles turned the game momentum in Sulphur’s favor.

The first miscue gave the Bulldogs possession at the Wildcat 18-yard line. 

From there Smith ran it over right guard almost untouched for a 19-7 Sulphur lead. 

Following Madill’s lone punt of the night, the Bulldogs moved from their own 48-yard line for their fourth touchdown, a 5-yard scamper by Smith which put Sulphur up 27-7.

Following the Wildcats’ second lost fumble the Bulldogs needed just four plays and 37 seconds to increase their lead to 35-7. 

This time Ratchford hit Smith with a 32-yard scoring pass. 

What appeared to be a close game in the early going turned out to anything but following the Madill mistakes.

“We stopped ourselves tonight,” Madill coach Todd Vargas said. 

“We knew we would need to score a lot of points to stay in the game, and those two holding penalties and the two fumbles killed our offensive momentum. We have got to spend this week working on ourselves.” 

“We have a good chance to have a successful season, but we have to keep the mistakes down,” Vargas added. 

“We returned a number of starters, and we want to capitalize on that. Although we came up short tonight I was proud of the players’ efforts.”

Smith led the Bulldogs in rushing with 12 carries for 112 yards, and Tavius McDonald added 111 yards on 14 carries. 

Ratchford had a solid night throwing the football for Sulphur with 116 yards on an 8-of-10 passing game. 

Madill (0-1) fumbled on their second snap following intermission. 

The Bulldogs quickly took advantage of that mistake, as they had with the other Wildcat miscues. 

McDonald scored on a 9-yard run over right tackle to up the Sulphur lead to 42-7.

“I was extremely pleased with our offensive line play tonight,” Sulphur coach Jim Dixon said. 

“That is the strength of this football team right now. I also thought our running backs did a good job of finding lanes to run it. Plus Reece did a super job of quarterbacking the team. His passing game came up big for us several times.”

“Madill is much improved from last year,” Dixon added 

“We were able to get the turnovers we needed for some easy scores. But our defense must get better. We gave up too many yards, especially on the ground, and we cannot be successful if that does not get better.”

Madill scored twice on consecutive drives in the fourth. 

Hunter Elkins scored on a 7-yard run to cap and 80-yard march early in the fourth. 

On their next possession Jered Fields scooted left end 14 yards for the Wildcats’ final score.

The Bulldogs’ final touchdown came with 2:38 left in the game when Ethan Massey ran it in from three yards out.

Sulphur heads to Davis next Friday for the annual Battle of the Arbuckles. 

Madill will try out their new turf this week when they host the Lone Grove Longhorns at Blake Smiley Stadium.