FARMINGTON -- The Farmington Knights' offensive balance combined with Sikeston's offensive struggles proved to be a lethal combination for the Bulldogs on Friday night at Farmington High School.
The Bulldogs did break a two-game scoreless streak against the Knights, but it wasn't enough to overcome turnovers and a sophisticated option attack in a 40-12 loss.
"When we did our assignments we played it well," said Sikeston coach Jerry Dement. "That's the thing about the option, you have to do your assignment every single play. They were patient. We'd stop them, stop them, stop them. And then they'd pull the ball and fake us and they'd beat us."
Plus, the Bulldog offense continued its stagnant ways along with costly fumbles and mistakes on special teams.
By the time Sikeston (0-5) was able to put something together, Farmington led 40-0.
The Bulldogs outscored Farmington in the second half and the Bulldogs registered a season-high in rushing yards with 181.
"We didn't get much of a running game established in the first half, though I think we did a better job in the second half," said Dement. "We spread them out and got some inside runs. The only thing I'm pleased with is in the second half we held our own and played much better. We showed a little bit of pride."
Farmington (4-1) quickly raced out to a 14-0 lead to start things off as star running back Travis Ribbing scored on a 9-yard run on the Knights' opening possession. Twenty-five seconds later, Ribbing was dancing in the end zone again, this time on a 50-yard fumble return.
"In the first half they jumped on us, as much to our mistakes as them," said Dement.
But the Bulldogs settled down, holding the Knights on their next two possessions, including a fumble recovery by Michael Payne.
But with 8:17 left in the second quarter, Ribbing finally broke free for his longest run of the night, a 73-yarder for the touchdown. Despite a penalty flag for a clipping violation, Ribbing's touchdown stood and the penalty was enforced on the extra point, which was wide. But Farmington now led 20-0.
Later in the quarter, Sikeston attempted to punt but the snap sailed over the punter's head and was recovered in the end zone by Farmington's Parks Peterson for the touchdown. Ribbing ran in the two-point conversion to make it 28-0.
After a 38-yard pass play, Ribbing added another touchdown run, this one from eight yards out, with 54 seconds left. Sikeston blocked the extra point, leaving the score 34-0 by halftime.
Farmington quarterback Aaron Baker scored on the Knights' second possession of the second half on a beautifully run option keeper that faked out the entire Bulldog defense for a 69-yard TD to make it 40-0 with 6:29 left in the third quarter.
Sikeston responded with one of its best drives of the year as they marched 89 yards on eight plays that churned out seven minutes of clock time. The big play was a rollout pass that new starting quarterback Charlie Bohannon turned into a 40-yard scramble.
"For his first game as a starter, he did a very, very good job in tough conditions against a good team," said Dement. "He threw the ball pretty well on the button most the night. He didn't get rattled and broke a long run himself. I thought he had a solid night."
Byron Davis punched it in from there on a 5-yard run with 11:31 left in the game to make it 40-6.
Two possessions later, Davis took the quick pitch and broke down the left sideline for a 67-yard touchdown. The play is Sikeston's longest play from scrimmage this season.
Davis also had several long kick returns including 36, 47 and 62 yards. He finished the game with 91 yards rushing on 16 carries with two scores and had 268 all-purpose yards.
"I thought Byron ran hard and ran well," said Dement. "Our backs on the perimeter blocked pretty well. They were shutting us down inside, so we went to the perimeter game with some passes and executed a little bit better. Byron had close to 100 yards and the kids blocked better for him. We showed a little backbone in the second half."
Bohannon completed 5-of-11 passes for 32 yards and rushed for 17 yards.
But Bohannon, and the rest of the Bulldog ball carriers, spent most of the night running into a wall of Farmington players as the Knights consistently stacked the box with eight defenders, daring the Bulldogs to throw the ball.
"We feel like we have some guys that can play pretty decent man coverage and when you do that you can put a lot of people in the box to stop the run," said Farmington coach Todd Vaughn.
Ribbing rushed for 121 yards on 11 carries and Baker rushed for 59 yards on six carries. But Sikeston's defense somewhat contained Ribbing outside of his 73-yarder, limiting him to 48 yards on 10 carries.
"They were blitzing people quite a bit and we weren't doing a very good job of handling that," said Vaughn.
Baker was 3-7 passing for 91 yards.
Farmington finished with 219 yards rushing and 310 yards total.
Sikeston will host New Madrid County Central next Friday at 7 p.m.