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Bland, defense have big games for SHS

Sunday, October 15, 2006

(Photo)
Sikeston's Gavilan Bland is tackled by a host of Kennett Indians.
KENNETT -- The Sikeston Bulldog defense and the running of junior tailback Gavilan Bland were the catalysts in a 21-13 victory against Kennett Friday night.

Sikeston's defense held Kennett to 203 yards of offense, a season-best by the Bulldog 'D.

Bland's 136 rushing yards is the best by a Bulldog running back since Apollo Patterson's 225-yard outburst in the 2004 season-finale against Cape Central.

"I'm really pleased with the offensive line's play in the second half and the running of Gavilan Bland," said Sikeston coach Jerry Dement. "His fullbacks Salamar, Tyler Dame and Jerod Scott all blocked well for him. Gavilan ran like a man on a mission and I'm really proud of his effort for that."

Bland filled in for starting tailback Byron Davis, who was nursing a groin injury according to Dement.

"He's been banged up," said Dement of Davis. "He's had a groin problem all week and he hasn't been able to go very much. We decided that with the way Gavilan was running to sit him on the shelf. Hopefully he'll be back next week."

Davis saw some playing time early in the game, carrying five times for 13 yards and catching a swing pass for 14 yards, but he sat out the entire second half, giving way to Bland, a between-the-tackles runner as opposed to Davis' open field ability.

Bland added a pair of touchdown runs and had six runs of 10 yards or more.

"He did a nice job -- we knew they had a couple (of) backs that we had to corral," said Kennett coach Kirk Welch. "He hit that hole going north and south. When you get backs that do that, they're tough to handle."

On the defensive side, Sikeston forced three turnovers, including two interceptions as Kennett, after its opening drive, never came close to scoring until its final drive of the game.

"They changed up defenses on us at halftime," said Welch. "I think that confused us a little bit. They dropped more people in the passing lane. We just never could get in our rhythm except for that first drive that we had there in the first half. We just never could get in a rhythm again."

Josh Jackson, already with two interceptions in last week's game against New Madrid County Central, intercepted a Blake Parr pass in the first quarter and also scooped up a blocked punt in the third quarter and returned it 10 yards.

Jerod Scott intercepted a pass and came through the middle for the blocked punt.

"We had different people step up at different times," Dement. "It was just a good overall defensive effort. I thought coach (Andy) McGill, (Jay) Eckert and (Terrance) Sterling had a good gameplan and the kids did a good job of believing it."

The Bulldogs, did however, allow another 100-yard rusher as Kennett's Demetrius Childress gained 112 yards on 17 carries.

Kennett sophomore quarterback Blake Parr completed 9-of-18 passes for 75 yards with the two interceptions.

"I'm also proud of our defense's effort all night," said Dement. "They gave up one score and we're really pleased with that."

Sikeston sophomore quarterback Charlie Bohannon was 7-12 passing for 86 yards with an interception and a TD. Michael Payne had four catches for 66 yards with a touchdown.

"We got a little conservative in the second half, but we were playing good defense and running the ball well, so I probably got a little too conservative," said Dement. "We've got a tough one next week, but we got a win tonight and hopefully we can build on that."