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Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014

Bearcats face tough test in No. 2 Bombers

Friday, November 12, 2010

(Photo)
Dexter players celebrate after defeating Park Hills Central 28-20 in a Class 3 sectional game on Monday night in Park Hills. Dexter will take on the No. 2 ranked team in Class 3, John Burroughs, on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis.
(Brent Shipman, Staff)
DEXTER -- Pushing ever deeper into the playoffs, the Dexter Bearcats will face their toughest test of the season Saturday when they take on the John Burroughs Bombers at 1:30 p.m. in the Class 3, quarterfinals.

"We feel good about being in the state quarterfinals," Dexter coach Aaron Pixley said. "John Burroughs is very good and we know we're going to have to play very well to win it."

In the Bombers, the Bearcats will be facing the No. 2 ranked team in Class 3 in the final regular season poll. John Burroughs also sports a perfect 12-0 record on the season after Monday's 28-19 sectional win over the Cardinals Ritter Lions.

Doing most the damage against the Lions was Bomber's star receiver Grant Wallace, who went off for four touchdowns in the game, two on offense and two on special teams, to push his season total to 21 with 865 receiving yards.

Wallace is just one-half of a dangerous receiving tandem the Bearcats will have to deal with as Nathan Adams has hauled in 10 touchdowns with 606 receiving yards on the campaign.

Those gaudy numbers wouldn't be possible if not for quarterback Sam Van Doren, who has thrown for 36 touchdowns and 2,605 yards while only being picked off six times.

"We're definitely going to have to play great pass defense," Pixley said. "But we can't get so caught up in their passing game that we forget about the run. They have excellent running backs and they can go."

Their main running back Pixley is referring to is Karlos Bledsoe who has carried the ball 150 times this year for 800 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The Bearcats aren't without weapons themselves, however, as running backs Josh Overall and Nick Summers make up a dual threat backfield who have combined for 1,470 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Throwing for 1,744 yards and 23 touchdowns, quarterback Cody Stevens is able to run a strong passing attack while just as easily taking off and making a play on foot.

Not afraid to scramble, Stevens is third on the team in rushing yards with 485 and seven scores.

Through the air, the Bearcats have a dual-threat in ball hawk Jake Cox. Cox leads all Dexter receivers 640 yards and 10 touchdowns while also coming up with a team-leading nine picks on defense as a safety.

With a lot of talk of how dominant the Bombers can be, Pixley hopes his team doesn't get sucked into all the pregame talk.

"You hope they don't get caught up in hearing about their record and all that," he said. "They know their record and they know they're a good football team. We've studied them on film, but at the same time we're going to go play as hard as we can.

"It still is a high school football game and nothing more. So we're going to play as hard as we can and see what happens."