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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

SHS sacked by Caruthersville

Sunday, September 5, 2004

Sikeston quarterback Bryce Wibbenmeyer is wraped by Caruthersville's Evan Gibson.
CARUTHERSVILLE - Jerry Dement waited his whole coaching career for this moment -- leading his hometown Sikeston Bulldogs onto the football field as the head coach.

But his dream moment was spoiled in a big way.

In his first game at the helm, the Bulldogs were blown out by the Caruthersville Tigers on Friday night at Hopke Stadium, 60-6, marking one of the worst defeats in school history.

Caruthersville dominated every phase of the game, out-gaining the Bulldogs 418-to-138.

The Bulldogs couldn't generate any kind of offense and, at the same time, couldn't stop anything the Tigers did offensively.

"We ran into a very fine football team -- we ran into a buzzsaw tonight," said Dement. "They played well and made very few mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes and didn't play well. At times we had a very good effort and at times we didn't. We're embarrassed. Our kids are upset and our coaches are upset. But we're going to fix things starting Monday morning. We're going to be better each week from here on out."

The Tigers, who went 11-2 and reached the Class 2 semifinals last season, didn't look like they missed a beat on Friday. "As a coach you can never expect this," said second-year coach David Gilmore. "You line up and you play every down and you execute and you take what comes after that. As the game goes on you make corrections on the sideline. I think we showed some people tonight that we picked up where we left off last year. We've got a lot of unfinished business."

The Tigers entered the game with a few question marks after losing 2,600-yard running back Jimmy Jackson and 2,100-yard quarterback Rogers VanAusdall.

But their replacements filled in nicely.

Sophomore tailback Kendrickus Reed, who had 270 yards rushing last season as a freshman, tallied a game-high 209 yards on the ground on 17 carries, scoring three touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Keith Creekmore completed 9-of-22 passes for 181 yards with four scoring strikes.

"Those kids were on the team last year and they paid attention," said Gilmore. "They remember what we did last year. Kendrickus Reed watched a good running back in Jimmy Jackson. Keith Creekmore watched a good quarterback in Rogers VanAusdall. They learned from the system."

Caruthersville took charge from the opening kickoff, intercepting a Bryce Wibbenmeyer pass three plays into the game which set up a three-play drive capped by Reed's 20-yard run with 9:35 left in the first quarter.

After forcing a Bulldog punt, Caruthersville needed just six plays to march 85 yards with Creekmore, carrying out a play-action fake, finding Paul Sanders for a 49-yard touchdown strike.

The Tigers put the game away in the second quarter with 27 points. Reed added a 30-yard run, Adam Cecil plowed in from two yards out and James Jones scored on a 60-yard fumble return to extend the lead 35-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, Sikeston's Felante Larry sprinted 90 yards up the middle before finally being angled out of bounds at the 3-yard line. After a delay of game penalty, Wibbenmeyer hit Apollo Patterson for their only touchdown on a 4-yard swing pass with 1:51 left in the half.

Caruthersville was still able to score again as Creekmore hit Kyle Hubbard for a 27-yard scoring pass to lead 41-6 at the half.

The mercy rule kept the clock moving the entire second half but it didn't keep the Tigers from posting more points.

Reed scored his third touchdown on a 17-yard run. Plessie Ellitt caught a 15-yard pass for a score with 52 seconds left in the third.

Ellitt caught another touchdown pass with 6:38 left in the game to reach the final margin.

Even though the score was well in hand, Gilmore kept his starters in the entire game, catching the ire of Dement.

Dement wouldn't comment on the situation, but Gilmore tried to explain his actions and insisted he wasn't running up the score.

"Our kids are going to play four quarters of football," said Gilmore. "I think our conditioning took over. I think we out-ran them and were in better shape and that resulted in some big plays for us. I'm not taking anything away from their coaching staff -- Jerry Dement is a great man and he's got a good program. I meant him no ill will, but I can't pull my guys at halftime and get to the level we need to play at. Our guys have got to get in game shape."

The Bulldogs never could get anything going on the ground and the passing game never could get on track either. Wibbenmeyer was 9-of-17 passing for 74 yards, but he threw three interceptions.

The Tigers' offensive and defensive line also controlled the game.

"We got whipped physically and we got out-quicked," said Dement. "There's things that are fixable and we're going to start fixing them. We never got in sync. We couldn't establish the line of scrimmage on the running game and that was disappointing because we think we've got the possibilities of being a good running football team, inside and outside. We ran pretty good on the edge but we didn't do anything interiorly up front."

Sikeston will play at Charleston on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Caruthersville will travel to play Kennett on Friday at 7 p.m.