Pirates put streak on line

Friday, September 15, 2006

A sectional loss to Ste. Genevieve ended Perryville's football season in 2004, and that loss was the first of 11 straight for the Pirates.

Following a winless campaign in 2005, the Pirates have started this season 2-0 heading into tonight's MAFC White Division contest against the Dragons (1-1).

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Perryville.

Perryville has looked dominant in wins over Pacific and De Soto, who are a combined 0-4.

"I'm really pleased with how the kids have come out to start this season," Perryville coach Rick Chastain said. "I'm really pleased with the way the offense is playing, and with the defense. We're clicking on all eight cylinders."

The Pirates had a high-powered running attack in 2004 -- led by Matt Unterreiner -- and so far this season, Perryville's running attack has been a big part of its success. Kris Cottner has rushed for 329 yards in two games and has three rushing touchdowns.

"I think what made Kris so much better is our offensive line," Chastain said. "I am so impressed with how well the offensive line is playing."

Ste. Genevieve knocked off the Pirates 36-13 last year. The Pirates have lost the last 12 meetings against the Dragons, including twice in 2004. Perryville's last win in the series came in 1994. During their current skid, the Pirates have played within a touchdown of the Dragons just twice.

Chastain said he expects tonight's game to be the first big test for his team.

"Ste. Genevieve, year in and year out, they do a tremendous job," he said. "Ste. Genevieve is a program that doesn't really ever have to rebuild, they reload. It's a very big ballgame for us. We know they're a high-caliber team, and we're excited to play them to see where the Perryville football team is at."

While Perryville's offense has had success both on the ground and in the air, its defense has limited opponents to just 13 points. De Soto's lone score last week came off a blocked punt.

The Pirates should get some help from the home crowd.

"The fan support is tremendous week in and week out no matter what your record is," Chastain said. "Our stands are normally full all the time. These people love their football here."

Week 3 woes

The six area teams which make up the Southeast Missourian coverage area struggled last year in posting a cumulative 19-41 record, but only twice did all six teams lose in the same week, with Week 3 being one of those weeks.

Jackson, Central, Scott City, Chaffee, Perryville and St. Vincent all fell in both Week 3 and Week 9 last season. St. Vincent was the lone area squad to play within 20 points of its opponent in Week 3, a 21-16 loss to Potosi.

Through two weeks this season, area teams are a combined 5-7, up from just 2-10 at this point last year. Only two teams are still winless, compared to four last year, and Central is the lone school to repeat the 0-2 start.

While the schedule has shuffled with the district reassignments -- Perryville and St. Vincent play different opponents -- the area teams were 0-6 against the teams they play tonight.

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