SIKESTON - As week four rolls around in high school football, the Sikeston Bulldogs are looking to bounce back from a tough loss last week to a difficult Dexter Bearcat squad.
"We've practiced hard this week," head coach Kent Gibbs said. "We'll be ready to play. The kids didn't like taking that loss last week and we know Jackson will be just as tough. They've got a great club."
Sikeston suffered it's first loss in week three to Dexter, losing the game 21-0 on the road. Dexter was hungry for a win after losing to two state-ranked teams in the first two weeks.
That was then, this is now
Now, Sikeston is the hungry team, looking for a victory that it hasn't seen in a while, one against Jackson.
"I told our kids that the last few years don't matter," Jackson head coach Carl Gross said. "We may have beaten Sikeston in the past, but this year's squad is really improved and a great team under great leadership in (Kent) Gibbs and his staff."
"This years' game will be a totally different look than the past," he added. "We've studied their film, and they haven't made very many mistakes in their first three games, and they've capitalized when others did. We'll have to be ready."
The Bulldogs, led by Charlie Bohannon behind center, started hot in the early going, defeating Caruthersville on the road 34-20, followed by a home victory against Charleston, 35-14. They look to build off of their success and their teachings to give them an edge against Jackson on Friday night.
"We know they'll be physical," Gibbs said. "We know they're well-coached and that they're strong. They'll be bigger than us, but we know that going into the game. We'll just have to be ready to play."
Jackson's offensive line averages around 250 pounds, while their main threat is tail-back Adam Zweigart, the 5'10", 170 pound workhorse, who is fast and gives it everything on every carry.
Sikeston looks to counter on offense with Bohannon and Gaviland Bland, who has accumulated 323 rushing yards on the young season and six touchdowns, while averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
The Bulldogs may look to air it out a little if Jackson runs their typical 3-4 style defense, bringing up the outside linebacker for a 5-2 coverage look. Sikeston's Josh Pierce leads the way in receiving yards, with two receptions for 90 yards, while Brandon Wright has five receptions for 87 yards and Bland adds four receptions for 39 yards.
Being the first conference game of the season, the Bulldogs would like to take home the victory.
"We'll have to be aggressive and physical," Gibbs said. "But, we can win this ball game if we give it our best. We've got to be ready come Friday night because Jackson will be ready."