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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Priday tackle seals win

Sunday, October 6, 2002

(Photo)
Sikeston's Wayne Guthrie (38) sacks quarterback Chris Bone (10) in the fourth quarter.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldog football team picked up its first home win of the season on Friday night with a 14-7 victory against the Farmington Knights.

For the second time this year Sikeston's defense held firm on a goal line stand with the game on the line in the final minutes.

In the season-opener, Sikeston stopped Jackson on 4th-and-goal with less than a minute left to win 21-14.

Deja vu occurred on Friday as the Knights had four cracks at the endzone inside the 10-yard line.

Farmington got as close as the 3-yard line, but on 4th down with 13 seconds left, a toss sweep to Derek Wiles was snuffed out by linebacker Jacob Priday. The junior broke through the line and tackled Wiles for a two-yard loss.

Sikeston took over on downs with eight seconds left and ran out the remaining time on the clock.

It was one of many outstanding plays by Priday, who also had an interception and several tackles for losses in the game.

"He's a great player," said Sikeston head coach Charlie Vickery. "He's all over the field, he makes plays, he's sideline to sideline. You come to expect that he's going to make a play like that. He does a great job."

Farmington, which falls to 1-4 on the season, ran the toss sweep with minimal success for most of the night, making the final call somewhat puzzling.

But Farmington head coach John Bacon said it was simply a good defensive play.

"You've got to give credit to their defense," said Bacon. "It comes down to one-on-one battles and their defender was one of a couple of one-on-one matchups with our blockers and he made the play."

The Bulldogs, which lost their home opener to Dexter two weeks ago, improves to 4-1 on the season. It marks Sikeston's best start since 1998.

But even with the win, the Bulldogs won't win any style points. With numerous drive-killing penalties, a few special teams gaffes, and an offense that just can't seem to break the plane of the end zone, Vickery wasn't overly pleased with the performance.

"We made a tremendous amount of errors that we're going to have to correct and we're going to have to get them corrected quickly," said Vickery. "Again we had way too many penalties, we had penalties away from the play even. And that puts you in a hole and it really negates your offense. And then you get conservative because you're in the hole and it takes you out of your rhythm. I was disappointed that we couldn't sustain drives, but that was because of penalties."

Even with the inability to put points on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs' 273 yards of offense is its second best total of the season.

Defensively, the Bulldogs played one of their best games of the year. They held Farmington to 174 yards of total offense, by far the best effort by the Sikeston 'D'.

They also held the Knights to just 98 yards rushing on 41 attempts, much of which can be attributed to four quarterback sacks for 32 yards lost.

"Sikeston did a great job defending the things we do well," said Bacon. "Their linebackers gave us problems and they were cutting off a lot of things. When we did do some things well we'd shoot ourselves in the foot with a penalty."

The Knights' penalties were just as costly as the Bulldogs. Three different times Farmington was whistled for roughing the kicker.

The first one of the night resulted in the Bulldogs' first score.

Instead of the Knights taking over the ball, Sikeston retained possession, scoring on quarterback Blake DeWitt's 38-yard touchdown pass to Scotty Keenan. DeWitt's point after made it 7-0 with 6:05 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, a 20-yard punt by Sikeston, which was preceded by a blocked punt by Farmington, set up the Knights at the Bulldog 44.

The Knights marched 44 yards in seven plays capped by Derek Wiles' 2-yard touchdown run with 3:55 left in the half. Andy Mell's extra point tied the score at 7-7, which is where things stood at halftime.

Sikeston wasted little time in getting the lead back when, on just the second play of the third quarter, fullback Josh Monroe took the handoff, broke right, and dashed down the sideline untouched for a 66-yard touchdown run.

DeWitt provided the extra point to make it 14-7 with 10:53 left in the third quarter.

Monroe's run is the longest of the season for the Bulldogs.

"It was a quick trap," said Vickery. "We made a good block up front and they were keying on Lavar (Morgan) on the toss sweep. Josh made a good run, got through the hole in a hurry and obviously it was a big play. It was the one that won the ballgame for us."

On the Sikeston's ensuing possession, the Bulldogs used 14 plays, helped by another roughing the punter penalty, to get within field goal range.

DeWitt's first attempt, a 32-yarder, was wide, but yet another roughing the kicker penalty gave the Bulldogs another shot. DeWitt missed again, this time from 27 yards out, to keep the score at 14-7 with 2:44 left in the third.

Sikeston had one more golden chance to put the game away when Felante Larry's 13-yard punt return set up the Bulldogs at the Farmington 28-yard line. But the drive ended when DeWitt's pass was intercepted by Jarred Shaner in the back of the end zone with 8:03 left in the game.

That set up Farmington's final drive of the game, which used up nearly eight minutes of the clock, covering 75 yards on 16 plays.

"We played good defense most of the night and we had the great goal line stand there at the end," said Vickery. "But we didn't take advantage of our chances. They gave us great field position early in the ballgame and even late in the ballgame we had great field position and we didn't take advantage. We should've put them away a long time ago. That's something that we've got to work on. We just need to get tougher mentally."

DeWitt threw for 112 yards on the night, completing 5-of-14 attempts. The interception was his first of the year.

Michael Colon caught three passes for a career-high 65 yards.

"We really didn't get into our passing game," said Vickery. "I think we're just going to have to come out and be more aggressive. We're going to have to get more balanced. I'm not satisfied at all with the offense -- that's my job. So we're going to get it straightened out, we're going to get it corrected, and we're going to do the things that we do well."

Monroe led the Bulldog ground attack, rushing for a season-high 82 yards on five carries. Morgan had 53 yards on 17 carries.

Wiles led Farmington with 96 yards on 27 carries. Quarterback Chris Bone was 6-of-14 passing for 76 yards with an interception.

Sikeston will host New Madrid County Central on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on homecoming night. Farmington will host Poplar Bluff at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.