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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

COLUMN - Portageville's real test comes Friday

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

What's the real story behind these Portageville Bulldogs?

Can they be as good as they look, or are they just taking advantage of cupcake opponents?

One thing is certain: the Bulldogs are taking care of business. They're not just beating teams, they're obliterating them.

Scott City, 58-0.

Fulton County, 43-2.

Chaffee, 49-0.

Don't forget, this was the worst team in the SEMO Conference last season. Now teams can't seem to stay on the same field with them.

We'll see exactly how far Portageville has come when they travel to Kennett this Friday night.

Without question, the Indians will be the best team they've faced since a season-opening loss to Gosnell, Ark. If Portageville wins, they're the real deal. Just keeping the score close would be impressive.

Final score: Kennett 28, Portageville 20

After three straight convincing victories, Sikeston has to have some confidence heading into this week's game at Poplar Bluff. The Bulldogs have always matched up well with the rival Mules, and Sikeston's defense might be best Poplar Bluff has faced all season.

Still, expect the Mules to prevail in a close one. Poplar Bluff hasn't posted an eye-popping victory yet, but they might be the best team in the conference.

Final score: Bluff 21, Sikeston 14

If you want to see a barnburner, then don't attend this game.

The Tigers have been killed by all four of their opponents, and don't belong on the same field as NMCC. Earlier in the year, Charleston defeated Caruthersville 32-0. Last week NMCC beat Charleston 54-0.

Unless the Tigers sneak former greats Bobby Taylor, Sam Hollywood and Norman Prather into uniforms, the Eagles can't lose.

Final score: NMCC 48, Caruthersville 0

Cape Central seems like a disappointment now, but they were in this exact same position last season.

The Tigers failed to beat Graves County in 2000, but they will this year.

The Eagles scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to make last week's 41-20 loss to Jackson look respectable.

Final score: Cape C. 14, Graves County 7

Parkway South is the class of the Parkway High Schools in St. Louis. They would be a better matchup for the Indians. Parkway North will just give the Indians their fifth win of the season.

The Vikings are solid on the line and their defense is improved, but they've got no skill players.

Eric Gilley versus Mario Whitney. Puh-leeze.

Final score: Jackson 35, Parkway North 14

The Bluejays have something to prove after last week's 54-0 loss to NMCC. Expect Charleston to get back on track by defeating the Green Wave in a rematch of last year's 2A sectional.

This time the Bluejays have the dominant ground attack.

Final score: Charleston 28, Malden 7

Last week East Prairie hit a new low, losing to Fulton County, Ky. Unless Dexter takes the Eagles for granted and plays its worst game of the season, the Bearcats should win easily.

East Prairie should be focused on just getting out of the game healthy.

Final score: Dexter 29, East Prairie 12

In what might be the toughest pick of the week, Scott City travels to Chaffee. The Rams proved they weren't among the worst in the state by beating Brentwood last week.

The jury is still out on Chaffee, who has played some teams tough, but has mustered just one win. The last time Chaffee beat Scott City? 1985 -- head coach Alan Horrell's senior year. Chaffee will end the streak on their homecoming night.

Final score: Chaffee 21, Scott City 20

Turrell is a traditionally strong basketball school in Arkansas, but their football program is a cellar-dweller. Last year the Indians beat them 44-0.

Final score: Hayti 35, Turrell 0