"Last year we overlooked a team," Landrum said. "Throughout the season, even though I was down, I was still talking to my teammates. We just kept talking about not overlooking anybody and playing that game. We weren't concerned about who we had next. We wanted to play hard that game and not worry about anybody else. We just said in our minds that we're going to get there and keep fighting. We got down in a couple of games and we just kept fighting and kept fighting."
Injured in the first game of the season, Landrum didn't return until week 10 after surgery on a broken foot kept him sidelined for nine weeks. Working his way back into form on the field, the big senior put his best foot forward in his final high school game.
Scoring a touchdown on offense, recovering a fumble, and finishing with nine tackles, Landrum earned MVP honors for his team. Coming from not playing at all and playing perhaps his best game of the season, Landrum said it's like a dream come true.
"It's special," Landrum said of earning MVP honors. "I don't know what to say about it. Being MVP here (Jordan-Hare Stadium) means a lot. My teammates know I worked hard to get back. During workouts sometimes I would be crying because it hurt so bad but I kept pushing. They're happy for me and that's all that matters."
Following a scoreless first quarter filled with hard hits and physical play, Sweet Water finally got things going early in the second. Following an R.A. Hubbard fumble at the Chiefs' 34-yard line, the Bulldogs completed a 17-yard pass to open things up for the offense. Later in the drive Deon Watters ran the ball down to the three-yard line to seee up first and goal. Following two Landrum runs, Brett Davis plunged in from the one. The extra-point made it 7-0 Sweet Water.
Landrum runs in the title game.
Later in the second quarter the Bulldogs took over on their own 33 and put together the drive of the game on offense. A pair of 12-yard runs by Waters moved the ball into R.A Hubbard territory. Fiesty fullback Michael Thompson followed with a 15-yard burst to put the Bulldogs in prime position to open up the lead. With eight yards to go on third down Sweet Water kept it on the ground and it was the right move as Terrence Sewell galloped down to the four before being stripped of the ball by Floyd Jones. Lineman Kyle Brown was paying attention though as he jumped on the ball for a touchdown. A missed extra-point left the score at 13-0 but it would get much worse for the Chiefs.
Turnovers led to three Sweet Water touchdowns in the third quarter, one of them coming on an eight-yard run by Landrum. Throw in a snap over the punter's head for a safety and you have a 36-0 runaway for the Bulldogs. Through three quarters R.A. Hubbard had just 104 yards of offense as Sweet Water was well on the way to its ninth state title as they finished things off by allowing just 140 yards of total offense for the game.
For Landrum the search for a title is complete but he's not done wishing for championships this year. As solid as solid gets with his commitment to Auburn, he said he's looking forward to seeing what the Tigers have in store for the rest of the season.
"They're real scrappy," Landrum said of Auburn. "That's what I've been doing my last four years. I can just take that on to the next level."
When he gets to the next level his coach Stacy Luker predicts big things for the linebacker because of not only what he brings to the plate on the field but what he does every day to become a better player and person.
"He had a good game," Luker said. "He may have saved his best game for tonight. He's learning how to play inside linebacker. I saw him playing on the line of scrimmage a little bit better tonight than he has. I thought he did a great job.
"He was determined (to come back)," he added. "We told him the night he broke it that if we could get him back by the playoffs, the kids told him we would try to give him five games. That's what they did. He's been a great leader. Even when he was on a pair of crutches he was a great leader for these kids."