Prep football: Kennett (5-1) at Sikeston (2-4)
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs (2-4) will be back in action Friday as they look to defend their turf on Homecoming night against the (5-1) Kennett Indians.
The last time the Indians defeated the Bulldogs was back in 2000. Sikeston lost 41-27 at Kennett that year but the Bulldogs have rebounded well, winning the last six meetings between the two.
"History will play no part in our game Friday night," said Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs, "I don't know what the buzz around the locker room is like but we know Kennett is a very talented ball club. They fly around and are good at what they do so it will be a tough match."
"It's a new year and a new chapter," said Kennett head coach Kirk Welch. "Obviously there's not anything we can do about the last few years. We're just going to go in there and try to take care of business and hopefully be able to spoil a team's homecoming."
On offense, the Indians will be led by quarterback Blake Parr, who is one of the area's top passers this season. Parr will be looking to hit his favorite playmaker, Jarvis Finley, in stride out of the shotgun set or dump it off to tailback Demetrius Childress out of the flex-I formation. When given space both Finley and Childress have potential to burn up yardage considering they are both fast, run hard and handle the ball well.
"Kennett really likes to spread teams out," said Gibbs, "They have tremendous team speed and have a lot of ways to attack you."
Defensively, Kennett will show Sikeston looks from a 4-4 set as well as a 6-2 set, bringing up the outside linebacker for coverage. When the Indians do set up in the 4-4 defense, look for them to fall back into zone coverage. However, in the 6-2 defense, look for them to blitz either the two outside linebackers or the two inside linebackers while the rest of the team will pursue in man coverage.
Offensively for Sikeston, the Bulldogs look to return team leading rusher Gavilan Bland to the lineup as he will carry the load from the I formation. Under center, Charlie Bohannon or Chase Ferrell will take the snaps as they will depend on leading receivers, Josh Pierce and Niquavious Dixon.
Defensively, Bland will resume his position at middle linebacker as he rejoins the five linebacker set of the Bulldogs. He will be well accompanied however, setting up behind defensive tackle Robert Madison who had four tackles for a loss last week and the team's leading tackler Adrian Dixon who brought down 19 Eagles in last week's game. DeAdrean Grissom will also be a force in the linebacker position after racking up 14 tackles last week.
"We had a good week of practice this week," said Gibbs, "We took it a little slower this week because we got a some guys banged up here in week seven but I definitely feel we are on the right path."
"Sikeston is a good ball club," said Welch. "It's a tough transition with a new coach coming in but I know Gibbs will have his kids ready to play. This is going to be a good test to see where we really are right now."
Kennett's conditioning will play a huge factor in this one being that they start nine players both ways. Sikeston will try to take advantage of this by keeping fresh legs in the game.
"Hopefully we will get some offense going this week," said Gibbs, "It all starts with the line of scrimmage and our kids staying healthy. As long as our defense continues to play strong, we got a good shot in this one.
"This is a big momentum game going into districts. Hopefully we will head into next week's district play, riding the momentum of a victory."
Kickoff for the Sikeston and Kennett match up will begin at 7 p.m.