(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
PERRYVILLE -- What the Sikeston Bulldogs have been working towards throughout the regular season is about to officially count.
Racking up an impressive 6-1 record so far, the Bulldogs are gearing up for Class 4, District 1 play on Friday with their first game against Perryville.
"You just have to get ready," Sikeston coach Kent Gibbs said. "This is our first district game. You have to win that first one and you go from there."
Perryville (1-6) hasn't had much luck in the last few seasons as far as the win column is concerned. Or against Sikeston.
Sikeston leads the overall series 33-12-2. The Bulldogs have won the last 14 meetings between the two and their last win against Sikeston was on Sept. 27, 1974 in a 7-0 shutout.
Other than their lone win against Potosi earlier this season, Perryville has lost 18 of their last 19 games.
The Pirates were flattened by Ste. Genevieve 72-6 last week. The Dragons were up big in the first quarter, 34-0, and held a 53-0 lead at halftime.
"They got beat by a wide margin and they're having a tough year," Gibbs said about Perryville. "I know they have a lot of people hurt, but for us we just want to get better. I've been really pleased with our practices as of late and (Wednesday) was probably the best one we've had in a while."
The Pirates run multiple sets in their offense. They sometimes go to the spread, a pro set or a double wing. They have averaged 188.7 yards per game and 345 yards on defense.
"They run a lot of stuff on offense," Gibbs said. "It's basically knowing alignments and assignments."
The Bulldogs, who have won their last six games after kicking off the season with a loss to Gateway Tech, have leaned heavily on their running game to give them the edge over most of their opponents.
They have rushed for over 2,000 yards this season with running back James Watson leading the way.
Watson, by far, leads the team in carries with 128. He's rushed for 1,212 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Kyland Gross has 58 touches for 432 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sikeston is looking to 3-peat in the district.
"I think we're ready," Gibbs said about taking a stab at their third-straight district crown. "I think our kids are excited about the opportunity to advance. They realize they have to win the first one and go from there. Districts are always an exciting time and we've pointed to this for a couple weeks now.
"I think our kids really respond in crunch time and they do a good job of being focused and getting themselves ready to go," added Gibbs. "I would be disappointed if we're not excited or ready to play all three district games."