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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Two out of three ain't bad

Sunday, October 6, 2002

One of the unwritten themes of football is, if you are good at two of the three main aspects, offense, defense or special teams, then you have an excellent chance of winning.

That's what the Sikeston Bulldogs have done this year. With a 4-1 record, Sikeston has gotten it done with defense and special teams. The defense has been great, making it probably one of the area's best. The special teams have been solid, while the offense is still lagging behind.

But two out of three is usually good enough to win.

Sikeston has given up 63 points this year. Six of those points came on a meaningless touchdown late in a game, another six came on an interception return.

And many times the defense is on the field for extended periods of time, making its accomplishments even more impressive.

Sikeston has seen nearly every end of the talent spectrum. They've seen big, powerful runners like Orrice Stanback and Matt Burnett and they've seen quicker players with speed like Jason Meystedt and Tyree Goolsby.

But they haven't seen a quarterback that is just as dangerous running the football as he is throwing, which is what they'll see next Friday in New Madrid County Central's Remond Willis. It'll be interesting to see how the Bulldogs handle the mobile signal-caller.

* Sikeston's win against Farmington Friday night snapped a four-game losing streak to the Knights.

How significant was Farmington's four-year run against Sikeston? Well consider, only one other team since the 1980s has had the Bulldogs' number more times. And that's the Poplar Bluff Mules, who own a current five-year streak. Prior to that, Sikeston won seven straight years against Poplar Bluff.

These things always go in cycles.

* Next Friday will feature some intriguing matchups. For starters, how about the matchup between SEMO South powers Hayti and Portageville?

Both are undefeated with 4-0 records. Both score a bundle and give up little.

The Bulldogs nearly pulled off the massive upset last year before losing 14-6. This time it will be in Portageville. But with the way Hayti is slaughtering its opponents, it's hard to pick against them.

Another matchup that won't get near the media attention, but is interesting nonetheless, is the Chaffee-East Prairie game. It may not mean much to the average football follower, but you can bet that both these 0-5 teams will be playing as if it were for all the marbles.

The loser will almost certainly be considered the weakest team in the SEMO Conference this year. East Prairie is riding a 12-game losing streak dating back to last season while Chaffee has lost nine straight.

At some point these schools will get it turned around. I don't know when, but it will happen.

May the best man win.