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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Playoffs begin

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bulldogs brace for Potosi air attack

sd_sports@yahoo.com

SIKESTON -- For the second straight season, the Sikeston Bulldogs will be playing playoff football with an unblemished record.

Although the experience is there, the Bulldogs learned something about themselves and about what they can't do last week in their comeback win over the Farmington Knights.

"I think our kids have learned you can't just show up," Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs said. "You have to go play. It's been a couple of years now that we've been down in a ball game and had to come back and win. I think we showed ourselves, at least, that we have the fortitude to come back and do that."

Hoping they won't face another deep hole like the one the Knights put them in last Thursday, a 19-6 deficit after the first half, they will, however, face a similar passing attack from one of Missouri's biggest arms.

Sikeston's first test out of the playoff gate will be senior quarterback Matt Marler and the Potosi Trojans.

Marler, who has thrown for 2,239 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, has led the Trojans to a 7-3 record and commands a slightly similar version of what the Bulldogs saw last week with Farmington. Although they showcase the cannon-like arm of Marler.

"They throw the ball a little more vertical, with seam routes and things like that," Gibbs said. "They'll also run a lot of different formations. They just don't run a true spread. They like to get in different things.

"We have to keep them from getting the big play with the Marler kid because he can throw it a long, long way," Gibbs added. "If we can do that and move the football then, it should be a good ball game for us."

Marler's favorite target this season has been Dylan Eye who has caught 42 passes for 558 yards and four touchdowns. However, Potosi's more dangerous receiver could be Trevor Cain who has made the most of his 24 receptions. Cain leads the Trojans with 726 yards and 10 touchdowns for a yards per catch average of 30.3.

Potosi will lineup in many different formations trying to utilize both Cain and Eye as well as Garth Rogers, who leads them on the ground with 620 yards and seven touchdowns.

"With the different looks, you have to make sure you align to that properly and know what to do so you have the proper angles," said Gibbs. "It's a little bit more of a diversified offense.

"If (Marler) completes some big passes early, then it could be a scoring thing."

Potosi is no stranger to playoff competition. This will be their first playoff game as a Class 4 team, though, after having success in Class 3 the past two years.

"Any time at this particular stage of the game, whoever you see, mentally they're going to be in the game and they're going to be sharp at what they do," Gibbs said. "Certainly, just as we think some of our kids playing in big games before helps us, they're not going to be scared or anything like that. We expect a tough ball game."

As for Sikeston, no big changes to either the offense or defense will be made. However, if a certain team or scheme presents a change, it will be made but, for the most part, the Bulldogs will go with what has gotten them this far.

"Your only going to change a little bit as far as who you see," said Gibbs. "I say this again, it's all about practice. If you practice the way you need to practice, then you'll play most of the time the way you need to play."

The kickoff will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Sikeston Public Schools Stadium.