MALDEN -- As he walked victoriously back to the lockerroom, first-year Malden coach Gary Blaylock was greeted by some well-wishers.
"I make a motion we extend his contract another week,"one fan joked.
Especially if his team keeps playing like this. Blaylock used a simple formula in his debut, steadily pounding the ball on the ground with his deep, talented and speedy backfield. The Green Wave only attempted one pass and scored on four straight possessions in the second and third quarters to build a big lead as they cruised past Scott City 28-6 in their season opener Friday night.
As his team gathered around on the field afterwards, Blaylock admitted he dreamed he would lose his first game on the sidelines. It didn't happen.
"I'm trying not to get too high but it feels a helluvalot better than being 0-1," Blaylock said. "I've been here with new coaches before, you start off bad and sometimes the kids jump ship. Every time we can get a 'W,' more of them are going to stay and that makes it better for everyone."
Malden, which hasn't had a winning season since 2000, appears rejuvenated under Blaylock, whose been at the school since 1979 and several times before been an assistant football coach. He took over during the summer when former head coach Kevin Collier moved to defensive coordinator
"Coach Blaylock is one of the tightest coaches that's ever been through here," said junior Quentin Gordon, who had two sacks and was one of four running backs to score. "This is the reason I played, because of him." Blaylock, the son of a former professional baseball player and coach by the same name, inherited a talented team that returned most of its skill players. And they made him look good in his first night on the sidelines.
Speedster Kaleum Reid excited a big crowd by weaving through the Rams defense for a pair of long runs and junior tailback Trey Porter, who eclipsed 1,400 yards last season, plowed his way for tough yards. Thirty-eight of Malden's 39 plays were rushes to account for their 292 total yards.
Reid gained 98 yards on four carries before sitting out the second half with a toe injury. Porter had 88 yards, Ryan Criglar added 31 and three others had 18 or more.
"We knew one of two things could happen; We could play with them and maybe get a little momentum, or they could pop one or two on us real quick and they did," Rams coach Terry Flannigan said. "I told the kids we can contain them for a little bit and they would gash us, they're too good of athletes."
The Green Wave hounded Scott City quarterback Jamie Pinkston to the tune of five sacks and a pair of interceptions. Pinkston got loose for a 51-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter but still only managed 37 yards on 15 carries.
Scott City (0-1) started the game with a smash-mouth approach, running seven straight plays up the middle for 51 yards to march deep into Malden territory. But after the quick start that stalled with a sack and incomplete pass, the Rams managed just 128 yards on the ground the rest of the game.
"We thought we were just going to roll down the field and ole Malden said, 'Oh no you're not,'" Flannigan said.
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Green Wave (1-0) struck quickly with their ground attack to put he game out of reach.
Reid eluded multiple defenders before being pulled down inside the 1-yard line to set up a Criglar score and one possession later out-raced the Scott City secondary down the left sideline for a 52-yard touchdown.
Porter leapt inside the right pylon for another score with 17 seconds left in the first half and Gordon capped a 10-play, 53-yard drive to open the third quarter with a 3-yard plunge.
Reid, who averaged 8.1 yards per carry in limited opportunities last year, flashed his breakaway speed each time he touched the ball. One play after losing a touchdown run to a holding penalty, Reid took a counter handoff around the right side, danced past a pair of defenders and raced 32 yards to the goal line. On Malden's next possession, Reid turned a simple a pitch around the left end into a long score.
"We have two or three guys that have home run potential, " Blaylock said, "but tonight was his night."
The only thing that slowed Reid was an injury following a 12-yard gain late in the first half. He attempted to play a defensive series in the third quarter but came out.
"He got hit late out of bounds and his toe is about as big around as my head right now," Blaylock said. "He may not be available next week."
KENNETT -- After Kennett's football game against the Charleston Bluejays Friday, head coach Kirk Welch said he was pleased that his players didn't give up.
The Indians certainly didn't give up. With 1.6 seconds remaining in the game, the Indians scored their final touchdown of the game. Marco Finley, who had been the Indians workhorse throughout the game, made a 14-yard carry for a TD.
When Brandon Hardwick successfully kicked the point after, that settled the score at 31-19 in Charleston's favor.
The Bluejays had come to town and left with a victory. Before they left, however, they knew they had been in a battle.
Charleston's head coach, Al Marshall, said after the game, "I've waited 26 years to be a head coach. I had family here from all over the country at the game tonight."
Marshall's family and team went home excited about their season opening win.
The Bluejays defensive effort did intensify in the second half. The Indians final scoring drive came late in the fourth quarter, after Charleston inserted many of their subs into the game.
James Williams scored on a 5-yard run to make the score 19-12 at the 8:19 mark in the third quarter. Eventually, Charleston scored twice more.
NEW MADRID -- Whether the Farmington Knights passed the ball or ran it, the New Madrid defense did little to stop them on Friday night. Farmington scored on each of its first seven possessions to build a huge halftime lead, and cruised to a 52-21 blowout victory.
Senior Josh Kimrey was impressive in his first varsity start at quarterback, completing 7-9 passes for 133 yards.
Kimrey threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the second quarter, before watching the entire second half.
The Knights (1-0) did the majority of their damage on the ground, rushing for 317 total yards as a team behind strong blocking by the offensive line. DuJuan Glaspy collected 93 rushing yards and Travis Ribbing ran for 75 to lead the backfield.
New Madrid (0-1) mounted a threatening opening drive, but stalled at the Farmington 31 to waste a 35-yard run by Antonio McIntosh.
The Eagles also committed three turnovers while forcing none.
Farmington responded in just seven plays with Tyler Epstein rumbling straight ahead for a 10-yard scoring run after Ribbing broke free for a 30-
yard jaunt. Ribbing scored from eight yards out on the Knights' second drive to make the score 14-0.
The Eagles answered early in the second quarter to halve the deficit on a 15-
yard touchdown pass from Jordan Kimball to Woody Smelser, but Kimrey quickly restored the 14-point advantage with a sudden 42-yard option keeper to the end zone.
A pair of fumble recoveries by Parks Peterson gave the Knights great field position and were converted into 10 insurance points. A fourth-down connection of 42 yards from Kimrey to Eric Schweiss made it 28-7 before Jordan Pannett tacked on a 29-yard field goal.
Caleb Owens continued the rampage by hauling in a fluttering pass near the goal line for a 30-yard scoring play, and Peterson made an over-the-
shoulder grab from 26 yards away with 14 seconds remaining in the first half to extend the margin to 45-7.
New Madrid made its first play of the third quarter count as Kimball found Tommy Rowe with a 57-yard touchdown pass. Kimball tossed his third scoring pass to Leslie Williams from 30 yards out in the final minute of play.
Back-up quarterback Derek Stroup used a sneak up the middle to score the Knights' lone touchdown of the second half, which proceeded quickly under running time.
PORTAGEVILLE - The Portageville Bulldogs football team entertained the Mohawks from Piggott (Ark.) on Friday night and came up a bit short in capturing the first win of the season, falling 19-14.
Coach Ashley Swims of Portageville was pleased with the overall effort but did emphasize his team needed to cut down on mistakes both physical and mental.
"I think we had pretty good effort, we just made a lot of mistakes." said Swims, "We had some fumbles early and that killed us. We rushed the ball pretty good up the middle but those fumbles hurt us real bad."
The Bulldogs coughed up four fumbles on the night, losing two of those to Piggott.
Portageville was led in rushing by Casey Ash who gained 49 yards on only four carries.
Tyler Fowler, quarterback for the Bulldogs, threw for 44 yards and a touchdown pass to Trey Mosby good for 37 yards.
Coach Swims saw some good special teams as kicker, C.J. Medley, went to 2-
for-2 on PATs.
On defense, the Bulldogs played pretty well but did allow some big plays to Piggott. The back-breaker was a 60-yard run gained by the Mohawks.
"Our defense played pretty good. We just had a lot of missed tackles on that play (60-yard run) and that allowed them to get the big yards. We lost containment," said Swims.
Portageville will travel to Scott City on Friday with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
STE. GENEVIEVE - The last football game Valle Catholic tailback Colby Schilly played in, he left the field in an ambulance while his teammates celebrated their lopsided shutout over Chaffee in the final game of 2004.
Schilly never forgot it. Last night at Dempsey Field, the junior rushed 21 times for 90 yards and a touchdown to power Class 1's eighth-ranked Warriors to a 14-8 win over Class 3's Park Hills Central.
Schilly punched in a 3-yard touchdown run up the gut to give Valle a 6-0 lead with four minutes left in the opening quarter.
Central carried an 8-6 lead into halftime when junior fullback Dustin Doyle broke away for a 25-yard TD run with less than three minutes remaining and junior quarterback Ronnie Calvird found freshman tailback Tony Martin in the end zone for the conversion.
CAPE GIRARDEAU - The Sikeston Bulldogs soccer team continued play in the Notre Dame Tournament as they defeated Marion (Ill) 5-2 on Friday.
Blake Taylor led the Bulldogs as he scored three goals in the match. Jeff Lumbattis and Chris Carnell also notched a goal apiece for Sikeston. The Bulldogs outshot Marion (Ill.) 22-15.
Carnell also assisted on three goals with Taylor and Carl Midgett getting one assist each.
In goal, Scott Droddy made 14 saves to record the win.
"We're real happy with our forwards," said Sikeston coach Derrick Long, "We think we can be in every game just because of those two (Carnell and Taylor) and Timmy Hart. That's a good three scorers."
Sikeston was 1-1 in the tournament and played in the 5th place game against Cape Central on Saturday. Results from that game will be in Monday's paper.
Some information provided by Jeff McNiell, Matt King, Jack Rollins, Michael Boyd Jr., of the SEMO News Conference.