(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The 100th year of Sikeston Bulldog football continues on Friday evening as they welcome in the Charleston Bluejays for their 123rd meeting in the history of the two programs. The Bulldogs lead the series 84-34-4.
Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs is experiencing his second contest between the two schools, and in his first bout with Charleston his Bulldogs pulled off a 35-14 victory on their home turf. He said that there is a slight buzz in the locker room about the match-up.
"The kids have talked about it," said Gibbs. "They've talked about how they can't let Charleston beat them. I do think it's a little bit more special of a game for our kids than just any old game. It will be full out here Friday night."
Coming into week two, both squads are 0-1 on the young season. The Bulldogs fell to Fredericktown on the road last Friday by a final score of 42-29, while the Bluejays lost on their home turf 32-22 to Kennett.
"It's the 100th year of Charleston and Sikeston playing," said Charleston head coach Dan Kesselring. "That's kind of a big tradition and we're going to give it all we've got."
The Kennett Indians piled up 441 yards against the Bluejays in week one, while the Blackcats topped off their total yardage at 442 against the Bulldogs. Both Sikeston and Charleston will have to contain a steady running game from their opponent.
"Offensively, they're going to have a power running game," said Gibbs. "We saw that the other night (against Fredericktown) and we had a hard time stopping it. They've got Jerquawn Sherrell back this week. He's a big kid and he runs well."
Sikeston will stick Jarian Wims in the backfield on Friday evening after a stint on the offensive line last week.
"One of the reasons we were shuffling quarterbacks (last week) was because we were looking at Jarian Wims at guard, and we needed a fullback. Charlie (Bohannon) was the next best candidate. So, we think we have some of our issues lined out on the offensive line and Jarian's going to be at fullback. What that means is, Charlie will be our starting quarterback and Rico Ivy will be one of our starting running backs."
While Bohannon has been penciled in at quarterback in week two for the Bulldogs, the Bluejays bring back their everyday quarterback Chase McClendon fresh off of a 4-for-11 performance in week one against the Indians.
"Their quarterback threw the ball well against us last year and did a lot of rolling out type stuff," Gibbs said of McClendon. "The other night we didn't do a good job of stopping that."
"I think we need to try to wear them down a little bit," he added. "Hopefully we can slow their running game down a little bit and if we do then maybe we can get our offense on track."
Gibbs said that he thought the loss in week one against Fredericktown was a character builder for the Bulldogs. Friday evening they'll have another chance to see what they're made of as they take the field at 7 p.m. against their rival the Bluejays.