WEST PLAINS -- The West Plains Zizzers proved that they have a tough schedule on Friday evening as they defeated the visiting Sikeston Bulldogs by a final score of 52-28. The Zizzers were coming off of a previous win in week seven where they defeated the reigning Class 5 state champion Waynesville by three points. Sikeston was fresh off of a victory over Kennett, but couldn't provide enough offense to match West Plains' 475 total yards from scrimmage.
The Bulldogs jumped on the board first as CJ Council rushed in from six yards out and after Eli Jackson added an extra point it was 7-0 in favor of the visitors.
The Zizzers scored four minutes later as quarterback Austin Riggs ran it in from nine yards, but the extra point was blocked and after one quarter of play Sikeston led 7-6. West Plains didn't stop there however, as they went on to pile in four more scores on three touchdowns and a field goal. Halfway through the third quarter the Zizzers led 31-7.
Council once again scored for the Bulldogs at 7:38 in the third on a 24-yard reception from back-up QB Sam Erwin. West Plains rattled off two more touchdowns until Jackson rushed in from one yard out for Sikeston at 7:08 in the fourth. Each team scored once more before the final buzzer as the first district contest ended with the Zizzers on top 52-28.
"It was a tough night," said Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs on KSIM 1400 following the game. "They've (West Plains) got a good football team and they don't get enough credit from what you see, you think 'well we're going to be able to come out and do that.' We just couldn't stop them on offense, and when you can't stop anybody you have to score a lot."
"Unfortunately, I felt like in the first half we shot ourselves in the foot too much," he added. "We made too many mistakes and you can't do that against good football teams."
Jackson was limited on yardage for Sikeston in the loss, but managed to pick up 92 yards on 18 carries.The Bulldog junior has accumulated over 1000 yards rushing on the season with 17 TDs. Jackson also had four receptions for 65 yards while teammate Niquavious Dixon had four for 45 yards.
Other offensive producers for Sikeston were both back-up quarterbacks, Austin Williams and Erwin. Regular starter Charlie Bohannon was out for the second straight week due to injury. Williams was 3-for-3 with 45 yards and Erwin was 10-for-13 with 160 yards, a rushing touchdown and an interception.
Gibbs said that despite the loss, he knows that they aren't out of contention for a playoff spot with the new playoff format allowing two teams into the post-season.
"We're not out of it," said Gibbs on KSIM 1400. "The one thing we told the kids was there was nothing we could do about this game. They kicked our tails and we take our hats off to them. We tell them (West Plains) that they've got a good team. We come back next week and try to get Poplar Bluff. We get them (Poplar Bluff) and we at least put ourselves in the hunt."
As for the winners, West Plains running back Tommy Meyer provided most of the damage as he rushed 27 times for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Riggs carried the ball nine times for 62 yards and two touchdowns in addition to going 6-for-8 with 121 yards in the air. All seven of the Zizzer touchdowns were on the ground.
West Plains is now 2-6 on the season while Sikeston falls to .500 with a 4-4 record. The Bulldogs will be at home on Friday evening to take on the Poplar Bluff Mules. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sikeston Public Schools Stadium.