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Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Reed too much for 'Dogs

Sunday, September 3, 2006

(Photo)
Sikeston's Byron Davis (35) runds for positive yardage.
SIKESTON -- Heading into Friday night's season-opening football game against the Caruthersville Tigers, the Sikeston Bulldogs knew they had to slow down star running back Kendrickus Reed to have a chance at winning.

It didn't happen.

Instead, Reed showed why he is a Carr Trophy front-runner as he ran right through the Bulldog defense to the tune of 359 yards and five touchdowns in leading the Tigers to a 38-8 win over Sikeston at SPS Stadium.

"He's a super back and he did some good things -- he's hard to tackle in the open field," said Sikeston coach Jerry Dement.

Reed, who tallied more than 2,000 rushing yards last season, had TD runs of 85, 93, 2, 20 and 27 yards Friday night.

(Photo)
Sikesotn's Jerod Scott (8) and Adrian Dixon (42) wrap up quarter Jake VanAusdall.
"He's got incredible vision and it just seems like at times he can slice through a defense like a hot knife through butter," said second-year Caruthersville head coach Brad Gerling of Reed. "I think he showed tonight that he's the real deal."

Reed was far from the only weapon for the Tigers as running back Tristan Starks and wide receiver Rashad Fields also showed their athletic prowess.

Starks had an 80-yard touchdown run of his own and Fields was simply all over the place on offense, defense and special teams, making two touchdown-saving tackles and racking up yards on the ground and through the air.

"For just being a junior, he's going to be a big-time player for somebody after high school," said Gerling of Fields. "I thought he did a good job of catching the football tonight and getting yards after the catch. He's got speed. He can hawk people down and he showed that tonight."

Overall, Caruthersville rushed for 516 yards on just 37 carries for a 13.9-yard per carry average.

"They've got three good athletes at the skill positions and we didn't tackle them," said Dement. "All the coaches know it. That's the story of the ballgame."

Another story of the game was Sikeston's problem of holding onto the football, after having similar troubles last season, is still an issue.

The Bulldogs fumbled five times, losing two inside the Tiger 5-yard line. Two other times Sikeston was inside the Caruthersville 10 and came away with no points.

"It just comes down to fundamentals," said Dement. "We had some fumbles in key situations that would have given us some momentum. We've been down for a while and when something bad happens sometimes that compounds the situation. You've got to hang onto the football. That's a fundamental. We stress it all the time. Until we do it, it doesn't matter."

But it wasn't all bad news for the Bulldogs.

Despite the lopsided final score, Sikeston was actually in the game for nearly three quarters.

Plus, the Bulldog offense showed signs of life as they racked up 279 yards of offense, better than any single game last season with the exception of the season finale.

"That's a much improved team from last year," said Gerling. "I give coach Dement and his staff a lot of credit for the work they've done. I think that's an up and coming program and look forward to seeing them do well in the SEMO North."

Bulldog junior tailback Byron Davis had a good all-around game as he rushed for 97 yards on 16 carries, caught three passes for 58 yards, had 124 return yards and scored the Bulldogs' only touchdown.

"He's a very elusive kid -- he ran very hard tonight," said Dement. "He's going to make some good things happen this year. We thought he did some nice things. I thought Jerod Scott ran the ball hard inside. I thought all our backs ran hard. We've just got to keep from putting the ball on the ground."

Scott ran for 45 yards on eight carries.

Junior quarterback Chase Ferrell had an efficient game, completing 8-of-16 passes for 129 yards.

"I thought our offensive line had a good ballgame," said Dement. "We had a few sacks on pass protection and we've got to shore that up. But I thought our run blocking was good. Our pass coverage was pretty good. But other than that it was a poor night. We're embarrassed as a staff."

On Caruthersville's opening drive of the night, the Tigers marched all the way to the 1-yard line before Starks fumbled.

Michael Payne scooped it up and reached the 50-yard line before being caught by Fields.

Sikeston then put together five straight impressive plays of their own before fullback Tyler Dame fumbled the ball back to the Tigers on the 2-yard line.

That marked Sikeston's only chance to take control of the game.

Reed had a 13-yard run and then an 85-yard TD run. Two possessions later, Starks took the handoff left, tip-toed the sideline, cut back across the field and was finally caught inside the 5-yard line, but he managed to drag two Bulldog defenders into the end zone for the 80-yard touchdown and a 12-0 lead.

Then, after another Bulldog drive inside the 5-yard line, Sikeston fumbled again, this time on a missed handoff. On the Tigers' first play, Reed streaked right up the middle for a 93-yard TD to lead 18-0 with 9:19 to play in the half.

Sikeston broke the shutout as Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards before being tackled by Fields at the 3-yard line. Davis scored on the next play. Dame provided the two-point conversion run to cut the lead to 18-8 with 9:00 left to halftime.

Coming out of halftime, Sikeston put together an impressive 12-play drive. Davis appeared to have scored a 23-yard touchdown as he had a spectacular dive for the pylon.

But it was ruled that he stepped out of bounds at the 7-yard line. The Bulldogs still managed to push the pile to the 1-yard line but got whistled for a rare illegal assistance of a runner penalty.

The penalty backed the Bulldogs up to the 6-yard line and they couldn't get inside the 5 the rest of the night.

The Bulldogs lost the ball on downs and with that, lost any real shot at getting back in the game.

"I don't mind them getting deep as long as they don't get in," said Gerling. "If we bend and don't break, I'll take it."

Caruthersville took over possession and proceeded to march 96 yards on six plays capped by Reed's 2-yard TD plunge with 1:40 left in the quarter to make it 24-6. In the middle of the drive, Sikeston stopped the Tigers on 3rd down and were about to force a punt, but a roughing the passer penalty resulted in an automatic first down to keep the drive alive.

Reed added two more touchdown runs in the fourth to put the game out of reach.

Sikeston had one final chance to get in the end zone in the waning moments as they drove inside the 10-yard line, but the drive stalled at the 6-yard line with 1:57 left in the game.

Fields finished with 61 yards rushing on three carries and he caught five passes for 47 yards. He had a 60-yard reception for a touchdown called back by a penalty.

Starks finished with 89 rushing yards on five carries.

Payne caught three passes for 27 yards and rushed twice for 17 yards. Joey Williams had two catches for 44 yards.

Sikeston will play at Charleston next Friday at 7 p.m. while Caruthersville will play at Kennett at 7 p.m.