DEXTER -- Dexter's jamboree scrimmage on Friday night was dominated by defense. Not counting two junior varsity matchups, Fredericktown scored two touchdowns, Portageville and Scott City each had one, and the Bearcats failed to score.
Of all the teams, Dexter's defense looked the strongest. In 12 plays against the Bearcats, Scott City's offense finished with negative 16 yards and Portageville was negative 14.
"I was real proud of our defense tonight," said Dexter coach Aaron Pixley. "We did not blitz one time, and both teams (Scott City and Portageville) blitzed us all night long. We read everything, reacted to the ball and swarmed on defense."
Portageville was also impressive on the defensive side, pitching shutouts against Fredericktown and Dexter.
"The defense didn't surprise me at all," said Portageville coach Jim McKay. "I've got a lot of kids back that played defense last year, and I thought it would be pretty good. I've been trying to build depth in practice and I tried to build depth tonight."
The jamboree started with junior varsity teams. Dexter scored twice on Fredericktown. Derek Clark first scored from five yards out, then QB Kyle Espey hooked up with wideout Derek Roberts for a 33-yard TD pass.
In the other jayvee scrimmage, Portageville scored once on Scott City. Caleb Henton had several impressive runs, the best being a 34-yard scamper to pay dirt.
In the first set of varsity scrimmages, Scott City's offense took the field against Dexter's defense. The Bearcats dominated the 12-play series, forcing three fumbles on the first three snaps.
"It's preached every day in practice to be very physical, fly around as fast as we can and arrive at the football in a bad mood," said Pixley. "Right now my main concern is on the offensive side of the ball. Hopefully we can get some things lined out."
When the sides switched, Dexter threatened to score but never did. Quarterback Preston Clark threw a 17-yard pass to Willie Dooley and Ryan Hyslop had a 19-yard run up the middle. Matt Burnett ran in a 7-yard touchdown, but it was called back for holding. The Bearcats got as close at the 3-yard line but couldn't punch it in.
"The penalties killed us tonight," said Pixley. "We had some good things going, then some bad penalties pushed us back. We should have scored against Scott City. That was just bad play calling on the goal line on my part."
On the south half of the field, Portageville took on Fredericktown without quarterback Lance Penn, who is out with a broken foot. His younger brother Jordan Penn was his replacement.
He threw an early interception and was flushed out of the pocket on several occasions.
"It wasn't Jordan's fault, we've got to protect him better," said McKay. "It wouldn't have made any difference who the quarterback was. Jordan is a good quarterback. He's a fine young man and he works hard. We've just got to do a better job of executing plays with him."
Portageville did put together one impressive drive, chipping the ball all the way down the field. Kyle Ezell finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown run.
In the second set of varsity scrimmages, Portageville took on Dexter. Neither team was able to score.
"I was more pleased with our defense than I was with our offense," said McKay. "We kind of sputtered, especially against Dexter. They shut us down, we could hardly get out of our tracks. That's what these scrimmages are for -- to show you what you've got to work on. We've got a lot to work on, but we've got two weeks because we're open next week."
In the other matchup Fredericktown took on Scott City. Jerry Jackson ran in one touchdown for the Rams. For the Blackcats, Jared Picou scored from 10 yards out and had a 35-yard score called back for clipping. Kyle Stephens also scored a touchdown.
One standout on the night was Dexter defensive end Ryan Hyslop.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior recorded two solo and two assisted sacks, and also rushed for 37 yards on three carries.
"We look for him to play well all the time," said Pixley. "We're proud of him. He had a good night and ran the ball hard there on the traps. He did a good job of coming around the corner on the pass plays and sacking the quarterback."
Dexter will open the 2002 season this Friday, hosting Poplar Bluff. Scott City will host Malden and Fredericktown will host Chester, Ill. Portageville has a Week 1 bye, and will host Scott City on Sept. 13.