Class 3 sectional football preview
NEW MADRID -- Football season is lingering around New Madrid County Central once again this postseason, as the Eagles get set to play the Fredericktown Blackcats in a Class 3 Sectional game tonight in New Madrid.
The Eagles will be going for their ninth win, while the Blackcats are in search of their tenth victory of the season.
"We played well last week," NMCC head coach Arlen Pixley said.
"Dexter was a tough team, and we played hard (to get here)."
The Eagles come into the playoff scene with the aid of sophomore running back Lennies McFerren, who has accumulated 1,327 yards on 175 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and has added 14 touchdowns.
Junior Bryan Waters brings to the table 742 yards on 77 carries, with 15 touchdowns, averaging 9.6 yards per carry.
The Eagles will rely on their running game to attempt to wear out the Fredericktown defensive backfield.
On the defensive side for the Eagles, they will look to contain Ryan Sawyer, who comes in with 1,858 yards, on 210 carries and 17 touchdowns. Quarterback Nathan Wilkerson also comes in with over 650 yards passing.
"Fredericktown is similar to Poplar Bluff," Pixley said. "They run one similar play, with a lot of options. They'll run a fake toss to the sweeper and hand off to (David) Penwell."
Penwell, is the Blackcats second leading rusher, with over 700 yards on the season.
"We haven't seen a lot of their passing game," Pixley added. "But, they have a really good play action. They're big up front."
Pixley said that in order to come out victorious against Fredericktown, that his team would have to step up their defense, against the powerful Blackcat offense.
"That will be what wins the game," he said. NMCC is coming off of the big win last week against the Dexter Bearcats, 36-14, while Fredericktown is trying to rebound from a tough loss to Park Hills Central, 33-31.
"They're going to be quick off the ball on offense," Pixley said.
"Their line will try to drive you right in the sternum. We have to stay low and play hard up front."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at NMCC.
>Playoff appearances: 3
>Points per game: 37.2
>Points allowed per game: 9.0
>Leading rusher: Ryan Sawyer 210-1,858 (17 TDs)
>Leading passer: Nathan Wilkerson (over 650 yards passing)
>Common opponents: Perryville (Fredericktown won 35-0; NMCC won 20-0); Charleston (Fredericktown won 40-0, NMCC won 47-20)