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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Indians slop past Sikeston

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sikeston's Brandon Wright tackles Jackson's Trae Smith.
JACKSON -- The Sikeston Bulldog football team had to battle lightning and heavy rain along with SEMO Conference powerhouse Jackson on Friday night.

But the Bulldogs' biggest enemy wasn't the weather or the Indians -- it was themselves.

Fumbles and special teams breakdowns reared their ugly heads on the Bulldogs once again as Jackson cruised to a 49-0 homecoming rout.

"Jackson's just more physical than us -- they just lined up and ran over us," said Sikeston coach Jerry Dement. "They could've beaten us worse. Coach (Carl) Gross showed some class and they didn't try to run it up on us. It's our job to stop them and it's our job to move the football and we didn't do either."

The Bulldogs fumbled on their first snap of the game which set up a short Jackson touchdown.

Three plays later, lightning forced the officials to delay the game an hour and a half.

After resuming play, Sikeston punted to the Indians only to see Danny Miller return it 39 yards for a touchdown.

Just five minutes in, Jackson now led 14-0.

It never got any better for the Bulldogs, who simply could not block the Indians nor could they stop them from marching down the field.

Jackson never attempted a pass as they steadily punched right at the gut of Sikeston's defense for 289 yards on the ground. Jackson never punted in the game. The Indians' only mistake came on a muffed punt that Sikeston recovered in the first quarter.

"They shot themselves in the foot early, and we came out juiced up because it's our first conference game, and we were able to stick it in the end zone early," Gross said. "Then the momentum was with the red shirts. It was one of those nights everything we touched turned to gold."

In the second quarter, after forcing a Sikeston punt, Jackson marched 82 yards capped by a 37-yard naked bootleg run by quarterback Rex Meyr.

On Jackson's next possession, Trae Smith scored on a 7-yard run to make it 28-0 by halftime.

Jackson took it's opening drive of the second half and marched 80 yards capped by an 11-yard TD run by Smith to enforce the mercy clock at 35-0.

Jackson tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a 6-yard run by Kevin Pridemore and a 4-yard scamper by Zach Humphrey.

"For the first time I really thought our kids dropped their head and gave up and I'm very disappointed in that," said Dement. "They're not used to winning and they're looking for things bad to happen. It's our job as coaches and our team leaders to step up and get the team through these tough times."

Meanwhile, Sikeston's offense never could get anything going. The Bulldogs were held to season-lows across the board with 27 yards total offense, including minus-two rushing yards.

Junior tailback Byron Davis had both of the Bulldogs' biggest plays as he broke a 15-yard run and had a 15-yard reception. But every time he, or any other Bulldog ball-carrier took a handoff, it seemed like a wall of red jerseys were there waiting for them.

"Our quickness on the line kind of showed up," Gross said. "Adam Collier's a man-child, and Ben Wood, he's a 290-pound animal. Both those kids are impossible to block one-on-one. We've got another Corvette at defensive end with Dallas Proffer. That sure takes the pressure off those young linebackers we've got."

In all, Sikeston fumbled four times, losing two. Jerod Scott's 14 yards on four carries led the team.

"The rain was an advantage for us," said Gross. "It kind of negated their speed sometimes when they tried to make cuts."

Jackson improves to 3-1 on the season and takes the conference lead in the process.

Sikeston is now 0-4 heading into next Friday's road trip to Farmington. Gross, in his 18th year as Jackson's coach, feels Sikeston's pain.

"I've been in the coaching business a long time and when you haven't been successful and something bad happens to you, you try to do too much sometimes," said Gross. "And when you do that you make mistakes, like jumping off-sides, or try for that extra yard and the ball pops out. Coach Dement's scheme is sound and he's doing the right things. He's probably spending more hours in trying to get it turned than we're spending winning. I've been on both ends of it."