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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Dexter running game strong at jamboree

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Dexter running back Alex Becker busts a long run.
DEXTER -- Portageville, Scott City, Kennett and Dexter signaled the end of preseason and beginning of the 2005 football season with their first game-

type scrimmages against outside opposition at the Dexter Jamboree on Friday.

In the opening varsity matchups, Dexter faced Scott City on one end of the field, while Portageville and Kennett tangled on the other.

In the second half, Portageville met Dexter and Scott City confronted Kennett. Each team was allotted 12 offensive possessions against an opponents' defense, with play starting on the 40-yard lines.

Following varsity action, the junior varsities of all four teams paired in the same format.

The Dexter Bearcats' offense looked impressive with five touchdowns on the evening, three against Scott City and two against Portageville.

"We started off a little sluggish but got better as it went on," said Dexter coach Aaron Pixley. "We popped some pretty good plays off our running game with (starting tailback) Alex Becker and (backup tailback) Zach Ventura."

Dexter also got a scoring toss from junior quarterback Josh Stevens to junior receiver Drew Pixley.

"Our quarterbacks are young and inexperienced, but we threw some good footballs and whenever the ball hit the receivers' hands they caught it," said coach Pixley.

The Bearcat defense held its own, also, not allowing the opposition to dent its goal line.

"Defensively, we gave up a few good runs early but then we cranked up the intensity a little bit and started plugging the gaps better," said Pixley.

"For this team, which is pretty young and inexperienced, to do well, we've got to make sure that we attack on defense and do a better job of taking on lead blockers."

In summary, Pixley said, "We saw good and bad stuff tonight, but, just like every other team in Missouri, you've just got to go back to practice on Monday, work on the things you did wrong and try to get better."

The attitude of his charges drew the most praise from Portageville coach Ashley Swims.

He said, "They're playing hard. Sometimes last season, when we were faced with adversity, they kind of got their heads down a little bit, but they fought through that today and I hope it goes that way the rest of the year."

The Bulldog offense put together a solid scoring drive against Kennett, culminated by running back C.J. Medley's plunge.

"We did what we wanted to do running the ball," said Swims. "We still need a lot of improvement on getting our plays down."

Portageville's defense held Kennett scoreless, but did yield the two scores to Dexter.

"We need to be a little more aggressive on defense," added Swims, "but we're making progress there, too. So, hopefully, by next week we'll be ready to go." "Lot of youth and a lot of mistakes," lamented Scott City coach Terry Flannigan, of his sophomore-dominated squad. "We've got a lot of things to work on next week."

Scott City failed to reach the end zone, but did show flashes of offensive capability.

"Offensively, we moved the ball a little bit," said Flannigan. "Execution-wise, we're not totally satisfied, but, when we needed the yards, we usually got the yards."

Flannigan's major concern, at this juncture, is his defensive unit.

"We've got to learn to run to the ball, get off blocks and get some people there," he said. "If we don't do that, people are going to run all night on us."

It was, obviously, an eye-opening experience for the youthful Rams, who have only six seniors, three of whom have not suited up since junior high, and a handful of juniors on their roster.

"When you're going against a bunch of freshmen and sophomores in practice, you look pretty good," said Flannigan, "but we found out, when you line up against (an opponent's) No. 1s, we've got a lot of work to do."

All four teams open the regular season on Friday. Ste. Genevieve visits Dexter, Portageville entertains Piggott, Ark., Scott City travels to Malden and Kennett hosts Charleston.