(Chris Pobst, Staff)
In a 58-0 victory against the Pirates, Sikeston showed new formations, the "swinging gate" on extra point tries, and a lot of different players getting touches.
While the new tactics worked well against the young and inexperienced Perryville squad, head coach Kent Gibbs is also hoping future opponents Cape Central and Farmington will take note, giving them something extra to prepare for in the coming weeks.
"We've been working on some things the last couple weeks to have for the districts, maybe give us an edge here and there," Gibbs said. "We think that some of the things we added are good and we think we can use them in the districts. Any time you think you can do something to give yourself a little edge going into those last couple of games, you need to do it and that's what we did."
For the second time in as many weeks, Sikeston had a slow start, fumbling the ball away on its first snap of the game.
The Bulldogs overcame the miscue, however, scoring on their next six possessions and adding a defensive touchdown, their sixth of the season, to build an insurmountable 51-0 halftime lead.
"I thought our kids played hard," Gibbs said. "We kind of started a little sluggish, but I thought we played hard and flew around. We got a couple turnovers and did what we needed to do. Offensively after the first four or five minutes we got things going.
"You've got to win that first one before you can talk about that second one. We came in, we did what we needed to do. Perryville's a little bit beat up and they're down a little bit, but you've got to respect your opponent and play hard and I thought we did. So now we're ready to go on to the next game."
Sikeston came out on offense with new variations on offense, even sending linemen out wide where receivers normally line up.
The Bulldogs got on the board with 5:35 left in the first quarter on Keldon Warfield's 37-yard touchdown reception from David Foster, and then scoring a two-point conversion out of the swinging gate formation with Warfield and Foster hooking up again.
A minute later, Spenser Clark caught a short pass and raced to the end zone for 32-yard touchdown.
Then with 58 seconds left in the quarter, sophomore Chris Word scored on a 14-yard run. Markeith Bratcher run in the two-point conversion to lead 23-0.
In the second quarter, James Watson scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 18 yards, Word added a 25-yard TD run, and Watson returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown.
"We knew that could happen, I mean Sikeston's loaded for bear," Perryville coach Mike Wojtczuk said. "Coach Gibbs and I go way back and I know what kind of program he runs because I worked for Coach Gibbs for about eight years when he was at Fredericktown. I know he demands excellence. He's done a great job with that football program. They've got some great athletes and they're gonna go places."
Sikeston, winners of seven straight, scored one final touchdown in the fourth quarter when sophomore quarterback Reese Porter raced 45 yards untouched for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs (7-1) had Perryville (1-7) so outmatched that even Watson, a 1,200-yard rusher coming into the game, was barely needed on offense.
The senior only had five carries for 37 yards.
Word led the Bulldogs with 77 yards on four carries. Porter had 71 yards on five carries.
Warfield caught four passes for 78 yards. He also intercepted his fourth pass of the year, returning it 51 yards to set up a score in the second quarter.
Foster threw for 104 yards and a pair of scores, completing 6-of-7 passes.
Sikeston's longest scoring drive of the game was just 58 yards. Five of the Bulldog scoring drives started in Perryville territory.
The Bulldog defense forced four turnovers in the game and limited Perryville to minus-10 yards at halftime.
The Pirates eventually finished the game with 53 yards of total offense.
"It was kind of Murphy's Law tonight -- if it can go wrong, it did go wrong," Wojtczuk said. "We've been so beat up and we're really young. We're playing lots and lots of sophomores and juniors. Like I told the kids at the end of the game, I told them a little bit about where Sikeston was a few years ago and where they are now. We've got to start as soon as the season is over and work on next year. We've got to get in the weight room and come together as a group. I think we've got a good nucleus of kids to build on and we'll see what happens."
Sikeston will host Cape Central in district action next Friday while Perryville will travel to Farmington.
S -- Keldon Warfield 37 pass from David Foster (Warfield pass from Foster), 5:35
S -- Spenser Clark 32 pass from Foster (Hunter Williams kick), 4:17
S -- Chris Word 14 run (Markeith Bratcher run), 0:58
S -- James Watson 2 run (Williams kick), 10:44
S -- Watson 18 run (Williams kick), 8:28
S -- Word 25 run (Williams kick), 4:54
S -- Watson 20 interception return (Williams kick), 3:07
S -- Reese Porter 45 run (Williams kick), 10:30
|First Downs||9 3|
Sikeston --Chris Word 4-77, Reese Porter 5-71, James Watson 5-37, David Foster 4-30, Chase Davis 2-10, Kyland Gross 1-9, Markeith Bratcher 1-6, Pat Gross 2-6, Clay Porter 4-4, Team 1-(-1). Perryville -- Wyatt McAfee 21-77, Robert Brewer 3-0, Devin Blandford 1-(-2), Jonny Pruiett 1-(-2), Levi Zook 4-(-1), Team 2-(-9), Cody Call 3-(-12).
Sikeston -- David Foster 6-7-0 104. Perryville -- Cody Call 1-13-2 2.
Sikeston -- Keldon Warfield 4-78, Spenser Clark 1-32, Kyland Gross 1-14. Perryville -- Levi Zook 1-2.