Bulldogs must stop Poplar Bluff option to end skid
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldog football team travels to Poplar Bluff on Friday night, where they will take on the Mules that come in as the district-
favorite with a record of 4-4.
"Poplar Bluff has gotten a lot stronger in one year," Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs said. "If you look at their lineup, they've got a pretty good mix of juniors and seniors. I expect a physical game."
Sikeston, 2-6, is coming off of a loss last week to West Plains, 69-34.
"We moved the ball last week," Gibbs said. "Chase (Ferrell) threw the ball well, and he was 13-26, with over 200 yards. (222 yards) Gavilan (Bland) ran the ball for 92 yards."
Sikeston will attempt to contain the Mules' leading offensive producers in junior quarterback Todd Bullington and sophomore tailback Zach Ferguson.
Bullington comes in with 74 rushing attempts, for 337 yards, with three touchdowns, while through the air he is 29-for-76, for 392 yards and one touchdown.
Ferguson is the Mules' main threat on the ground, where he has 100 carries for 615 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry. He also has three catches for 25 yards.
The leading receiver for Poplar Bluff is junior Ben Knuckles, who has six receptions for 100 yards.
On Sikeston's offensive side of the ball, senior quarterback Chase Ferrell leads the way, coming in 25-for-67 passing, with 456 yards and seven touchdowns.
Senior Josh Pierce is the leading receiver, with 240 yards on 10 catches and has one touchdown.
Fellow senior Gavilan Bland is in the backfield once again, and will be looking to add to his 533 yards. Bland has carried the ball 120 times and has six touchdowns.
Poplar Bluff will be showing a 5-2 defense against the Bulldogs, but the key for Sikeston will be containing the running game of the Mules.
"They run downhill really well," Gibbs said. "They are big and physical. They run a lot of option on offense. They will run the ball more than anything."
"Bluff comes in like the other teams we've been playing," he added. "They play a lot of guys one way. We just can't do that right now."
Gibbs said the one thing that he was happy about this week was that his club was finally in good shape and healthy to go against the Mules.
We've got as many coming back from injuries that we are going to get back," he said. "We're relatively healthy for this time of year."
The Bulldogs will look to capitalize off of their better offensive performance last week against the Zizzers, and will have to take care of business on defense to go head-to-head with the Mules.
"For us to have a chance against Bluff, we'll have to stop the option," Gibbs said. "That's our assignment. It just depends on if we can take care of our assignment. It's that simple."
Sikeston will battle with Poplar Bluff Friday night at 7 p.m.