(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs could not have asked for a better start to Friday's game against Dexter at Sikeston Public Schools Stadium.
Then Mother Nature took over.
After racing out to a 21-7 lead less than seven minutes in, the game was postponed due to inclement weather. The game was scheduled to resume on Saturday, picking up with 5:03 left in the first quarter with Sikeston kicking off to the Bearcats.
Final results from the game were not available when the Standard Democrat went to print, but will appear in Monday's edition.
The Bulldogs' first two games of the season did not start well, with early turnovers and penalties hindering them, but Sikeston coach Kent Gibbs felt good about Friday's start.
"We talked all week long about taking care of the little things and mistakes," Gibbs said. "We wanted to get a good start. Early on we didn't have those mistakes that we've been making. We were able to use our speed a little bit and get on the edge so it was a good start. We gave up the long touchdown which hurt, but we were able to come right back and get another score."
Sikeston took its opening possession and marched 68 yards on 10 plays, including a 4th-and-1 conversion. The drive was capped on a 20-yard tackle-breaking touchdown run by junior running back Chris Word to give the Bulldogs the early lead with 8:53 left in the quarter.
Sikeston then recovered an onside kick.
Four plays later, Nick Nichols scored on an 8-yard TD run on a sweep to the right with 7:29 left in the quarter. Dustin Oakes' second extra point kick was successful, giving Sikeston a 14-0 lead.
Sikeston then tried another onside kick that appeared to be successfully recovered by Oakes, but, in a rule change this season, it was ruled that the Bulldogs initiated contact with a Bearcat player before the ball traveled 10 yards, giving the ball to the Bearcats at the Bulldog 41.
On Dexter's first play, quarterback D.J. Dowdy found Chase Young for a 41-yard touchdown pass. The pass was a high-arcing, under-thrown ball that a Bulldog defensive back appeared to have pegged for a break-up or even an interception, but he mistimed the ball and it landed in Young's hands for the score to cut the lead to 14-7 with 7:19 left.
On the ensuing kickoff, Sikeston's Jacob Stinnett returned the short kick to the 50-yard line, giving them good field position. The Bulldogs scored in eight plays with Word plunging in from the 1-yard line to extend the lead to 21-7 with 5:03 left in the quarter.
Following the touchdown, the officials stopped the game with severe weather surrounding the area.
Just six minutes and 57 seconds into the game, Sikeston had already accumulated 171 yards of offense and was winning the time of possession battle, with Dexter only having the ball for 10 seconds.
After the game, Gibbs was concerned about his team coming back the next day with the same focus and intensity.
"I think that's a problem," Gibbs said. "The kids just needed to go home and get plenty of rest and get hydrated and come back with the same attitude they had today."
Similar to last week's game at New Madrid County Central that started at 5:30, Gibbs said there was some discussion about moving the game time to earlier on Friday or bumping it to Saturday due to the impending weather moving in, but the decision was made to keep the original time slot of 7 p.m.
"We talked about changing the game, but there's no right or wrong on those decisions," Gibbs said. "Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't."