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Sikeston football team ready for young NMCC

Thursday, September 29, 2011

sports@standard-democrat.com

NEW MADRID -- Heading into Week 6, Sikeston football coach Kent Gibbs is looking for one thing -- consistency.

The Bulldogs have shown signs of what they can do, but Gibbs is looking for what they can do until that final whistle blows.

"It there's something that we're looking to do, it's to be consistent through all four quarters," he said, "in all three phases of the game."

Sikeston (4-1) will travel to New Madrid County Central High School on Friday to take on the winless Eagles.

The Eagles (0-5) have been shutout in three of their five games and has only crossed the goal line twice this year.

NMCC recently broke a 16-quarter scoreless drought during a 45-6 loss to state-ranked Caruthersville last week. It was their first touchdown since week one against Cape Central.

"I know (NMCC) is having a hard time winning games, but you look at the front end of their schedule and they got themselves a little beat up," Gibbs said. "They still have kids that can run and they still play a couple of different defensive looks that have given us problems this week in practice.

"They're always a threat to break off long plays."

James Watson leads Sikeston's dynamic rushing attack with 902 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Kyland Gross has 358 yards and seven touchdowns.

They both ran for over 100 yards last week against Jackson where the Bulldogs possibly played a flawless first quarter scoring 21-unanswered points.

"We played a really good quarter against Jackson," Gibbs said, "probably as good as we can play. We had a little bit of a letdown when they went on a 15-play drive and scored on us, but we kind of got our bearings back and did the things we needed to do."

Those types of signs gives Gibbs some hope that his squad is starting to find their rhythm. He's seen improvement throughout his football team over the last few weeks.

"We do feel like there are times where our defense has gotten better and played like they're capable of," said Gibbs. "There's been times where our offense has done that. I think we're getting better and progressing. I don't think we've put those four quarters together yet, though.

"We want to control the line of scrimmage and limit their long plays. We need to come with a little more consistency on offense. We started real well last week and then we kind of started making those silly mistakes and penalties."

The Eagles, who has an abundance of youth plastered on their roster, continue one of the regions most grueling schedules this week.

Other than Class 2 opponents Charleston and Caruthersville, NMCC has battled schools a class ahead of them including Cape Central, Farmington, Poplar Bluff and, this week, Sikeston.

Running back Jayshawn McDaniel and quarterback Corey Guest continue to be NMCC's most dangerous threats on offense, although they have only put up a total of 12 points in five games.