(David Jenkins, Staff)
"They do a nice job with their offense," he said. "A lot of motion, a lot of misdirection, a lot of deception and if they find a crack they can score from anywhere on the field.
"They're really fast. Really athletic -- the most athletic team that we will have seen."
The Roosevelt Rough Riders may be the only team that can truly matchup with the Bulldogs' boasted speed. Not only would a foot race be a tight finish between the two teams, Roosevelt operates a similar type of offense like Sikeston's that has turned an 0-10 Rough Rider team last year into a 9-2 playoff team this season.
"They run a lot of the same stuff that we run," said Gibbs. "It's going to be big for us to hold down their big plays. Holding them down on offense and making them grind a little bit and get some turnovers is our game plan on defense."
Sikeston earned a shot against the Rough Riders by defeating the Cape Central Tigers 40-0 on Monday in their sectional rematch. Saturday's quarterfinal game will be played at Roosevelt High School in St. Louis with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.
Roosevelt senior quarterback Thomas Lott is their version of Sikeston's Trey Lewis.
Lott has accounted for 1,490 yards of offense in both the passing and running game. With 832 yards through the air and 658 yards on the ground, Lott has scored a combined 22 touchdowns. He's a 50 percent passer (41-of-82) who has thrown only five interceptions this season.
Senior running back Charles Banks leads Roosevelt with 942 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Banks is also one of Lott's weapons in the passing game catching 10 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target would be Roosevelt Newton who has 29 receptions for 604 yards and eight touchdowns.
"They're ball hawks," said Gibbs. "They get turnovers on defense and they go up and catch it on offense."
Banks caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from Lott during their sectional game against Gateway Tech on Monday. His catch-and-run tied the game at 20 until senior kicker Reginald Curry kicked a game-winning, 21-yard field goal in overtime to keep their playoff hopes alive.
"Your at the time of the season where every team you play is going to be better," Gibbs said. "You just have to execute and take care of things."
Sikeston, ranked fourth in the final Missouri high school Class 4 football poll, will counter with a stout offense of their own that has led them to a 12-0 record. It's that same offense and same team-speed that Sikeston's defense goes against every day in practice.
In this case, Sikeston may be one of the few teams that can simulate the type of speed they will eventually see.
"I think our defense, seeing quickness in practice and vice versa, helps us going into this game," said Gibbs. "I don't take anything away from us as far as us being quick and us being fast. Some of (our) 80-yard runs and things like that, might be 30-yard runs and we might get caught.
"You don't know that until you get up there but, they're very, very comparable to what we have team-speed wise."
Saturday's game will be one of the few long road trips the Bulldogs have had in their two-year playoff run. Their last, a 37-8 loss to Helias in last season's semifinal.
"It's a big challenge," Gibbs said about the trip. "We don't know what the situation will be once we get there. We hope we have a lot of fans. We're just going to have to play hard.
"If you want to make it to the state championship game, you have to be able to handle trips," he continued. "Hopefully, we've learned from last year and we have enough leadership where the trip won't be a problem. Everybody's got to get to bed early on Friday night and get ready to go early."
Top Defensive players
|Ray Clark||140 tackles|
|Treston Pulley||115 tackles (29 tackles for loss)|
|Faylon Marshall||12 sacks|
Top Defensive players
|Jeremy Robinson||60 tackles (5 interceptions)|
|Rene Faulk, Jr.||52 tackles|
|Asim Mamel||5 interceptions|
Take I-55 North and exit at 206C. Turn left on Arsenal and then make another left on Compton Street where the field is located.
Morning showers with highs in the mid 50s.