(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The eighth grade Sikeston Bulldog football team defeated the Poplar Bluff Mules 18-13 Thursday night in Sikeston.
"The eighth grade played pretty well tonight against the toughest team we've played all year," junior high football coach Brett Blackman said.
The Bulldogs (5-1) were able to strike for touchdowns three times. First, Markieth Bratcher provided a 35-yard touchdown run with 0:58 in the first quarter. Then, quarterback Drew Harper passed to Tyler Neal for a 55-yard touchdown with 3:22 left in the second quarter. Finally, Harper connected with Bratcher from 77 yards out with 6:55 left in the third quarter.
Blackman noted that the staff was pleased with the results.
"Our kids played well tonight," he said. "More importantly they played very hard. We are playing solid on both sides of the ball. We've seen steady improvement all year from them. We are 5-1 now and would like to get a victory at Cape to end on a high note. We're just really pleased with the progress they are making."
SIKESTON -- The ninth grade Bulldogs fell short when there last second drive was stopped on the one-yard line to lose 22-16 to the Poplar Bluff Mules.
"Poplar Bluff was able to jump out 16-0 on us in the first half," Blackman said. "We made some adjustments at halftime on the defensive side of things. We were able to onside kick with some success in the second half which helped. We recovered right the ball that way to start the third quarter which lead to the touchdown drive."
Sikeston (0-6) recovered the onside kick and freshman quarterback Luke Keefer connected with Kil'ron Coleman for a 25-yard completion to set up good field position. The Bulldogs were able to score with 4:30 left in the third quarter from eight yards out when Keefer's pass to Eldridge Gibson was good for a touchdown. Keefer was able to pass for the two-point conversion to Coleman to bring the score to 16-8 Poplar Bluff.
Sikeston again attempted an onside kick, however the Mules were able to recover and drive down the field to score and bring the tally to 22-8.
The Bulldogs turned to the power run game on the ensuing drive, and found success with Shaquille Sherrod and Gibson driving it all the way down the field. Gibson was able to punch it in from 12 yards out with six minutes left in the fourth quarter to bring the mark to 22-16.
Sikeston had one last shot with time winding down, but was stopped on the goal line as time expired.
Blackman said things have been tough for the ninth grade squad this year, but steady improvement has been made.
"We look a lot of steps forward tonight both as a team and as individuals," he said. "It's been a tough season for the ninth grade. Everyone is frustrated. Tonight we showed that we are getting a lot better. If we would have played this way in some of our earlier games, we would have more wins. We have to get more consistent. But these kids are working so hard and continue to improve. Our attitudes remain good. We just have to keep working at it."
The eighth grade will return to action next Thursday at Cape Central and the ninth grade on next Saturday at Cape Central.
BENTON -- The East Prairie Lady Eagles were eliminated from the Class 2 District 2 softball tournament on Thursday afternoon as they fell to the Saxony Lutheran Lady Crusaders by a final score of 3-2. The Lady Eagles finish up the season with a 6-11 record.
East Prairie jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Grace Swann scored on Adalyn Woodard's sacrifice bunt.
Saxony Lutheran countered in the top of the fifth as they plated one run, but the Lady Eagles answered quickly in the bottom half of the inning as Stephanie Morgan scored Jennifer Nicholson. Heading into the sixth inning East Prairie led 2-1.
In the sixth however, the Lady Crusaders strung together a few runs and this time the Lady Eagles had no answer as they fell 3-2.
Woodard was handed the loss after throwing all seven innings in the contest. She allowed two earned runs while in the circle.
"We played pretty good for five innings," said East Prairie head coach Steve Stokes. "Then, we made a couple of mistakes. I thought the girls played with good effort we just didn't put up enough runs on the scoreboard."
"At times (this season) we started hitting and playing good ball," he added. "I thought we were pretty competitive for most of the season."
POPLAR BLUFF -- The Dexter Lady Bearcats earned a tough victory on the volleyball court Thursday evening as they traveled to Poplar Bluff and defeated the Lady Mules 22-25, 25-18 and 25-19. The win puts the Lady Bearcats' record at 18-5-3 on the season.
Cathryn Heil, Jessica Satterfield, Elisha Flanigan and Abbie Warren led the way for Dexter. Heil had eight kills, seven digs, two blocks and 12 assists, Satterfield had 14 kills, seven digs, three blocks and eight assists, Flanigan had three kills, six aces, four digs and two blocks and Warren had six kills, two digs, four blocks and two assists.
"Tonight was another example of how we've been starting out game slow, getting our backs against the wall and then having to scratch back," said Dexter head coach Kris Vandeven. "Our serving game really hurt us tonight. It seemed like every time we would get a string of points we would miss a serve and lose our momentum. We still need to get focused and get our kinks ironed out so we can be competitive in the conference tournament next week."
In junior varsity action the Lady Bearcats won in two sets, 25-22 and 25-21. The JV squad is 15-2-2 on the season.