"Dexter came out and were a more physical ball team than we were," said Charleston head coach Dan Kesselring. "They came out ready to play and we couldn't man up with them.
"They did a good job coming off the ball and all night Dexter was in our backfield. Their linebackers flew to the ball well. It was just one of those nights we just couldn't get anything going."
The Bluejays had a rough time getting any type of a consistent offense going as anytime Charleston was able to put a strand of plays, the physical Bearcat defense would get a stop.
"We knew coming in that we couldn't take this Charleston team lightly," said Dexter head coach Aaron Pixley, "They played some good teams really tough. They had New Madrid down 20-6 at one point and played Hayti tough last week so we knew they were the best 1-4 team around, that's for sure." Dexter got the scoring started with 4:19 left to go in the first quarter after Nick Hessling punched it in for 6 from one yard out.
Charleston's biggest chance to get into the game came after a huge defensive stop own their own goal line. With time winding down before half, Dexter went for the touchdown on a fourth-down conversion attempt but the Bearcat's runner coughed the ball up on the one yard line. Dexter fans could only watch as the ball was jumped on by the Bluejays in their own end zone for a Charleston touchback.
With less than two minutes to go, the Bluejays marched down the field but weren't able to capitalize on the huge stop as a fourth down flea flicker pass from Matt Medlock was knocked down by Rawson at the goal line.
"I thought we did a good job in their passing game though we didn't do a very good job of containing their quarterback, because they roll out quite a bit," said Pixley, "Their quarterback made it real hard on our defense to make plays because he was out there just running free. However, luckily he was hanging back a lot to try and find someone open and we stayed with the receivers well enough to hold him to minimal runs."
With two seconds left to go in the half, Dexter's aggressive play almost cost them as Charleston's Alan Hemphill broke loose after intercepting a Bearcat touchdown attempt. However, Hemphill was brought down in Dexter territory as the horn sounded for the first half. Charleston entered the locker rooms with some positive momentum down only 14-0 but the Bearcats would quickly shut the door on the Bluejay's hopes in the second half.
Dexter came out in the third quarter ready to go as Hessling managed to find the end zone on two touchdown carries. One was at the 6:53 mark from four yards out while the other came with 2:40 left to go in the quarter from three yards out, giving Dexter a comfortable 27-0 lead.
"I felt like we tackled a lot better in the second half," said Kesselring, "We had a some mistakes in the first half and I felt like we found a way to correct them in the second half with the exception of that one long run they had."
That long run for Charleston came from a 65-yard blast from halfback Jerquawn Sherrell with 3:28 left to go in the game. However, the touchdown was overshadowed by the looming 33-7 points on the scoreboard after Hessling found the end zone again following a five yard run at the 5:46 mark.
An optimistic Bluejays team didn't give up though as Alan Hemphill was able to recover an onside kick attempt in the middle of a confused Bearcat's special team unit. However, it proved to be too little too late as the benches were cleared out to run down the rest of the clock.
"We've been playing good ball. You just have to look at the people we're playing." said Kesselring, Our boys are giving everything they got, it's just a matter of time before we get some wins.
"We knew coming in that it was going to be a rough road early in the season and we're just trying to get better and prepare ourselves for district play and hopefully come out as district champions."
Charleston (1-5) will travel to Fredricktown Friday while Dexter (3-3) will host Caruthersville.