Tonight's area high school football games

Friday, September 4, 2009

(Kickoffs at 7 p.m.)

Parkway South (0-1) at Jackson (0-1)

Last week: Saint Louis University High 21, Parkway South 9; Riverview Gardens 34, Jackson 16

Last year: Jackson 38, Parkway South 14

Outlook: Jackson mishandled several snaps during its opening loss to Riverview Gardens and finished with minus-20 yards rushing on 24 attempts. "Offensively we didn't block real well up front in the run game and we've taken steps to correct that this week," Jackson coach Van Hitt said. Hitt said the Indians passed more than they planned due to the problems in the ground game. Jackson junior quarterback Bobby Clark completed 16 of 43 attempts for 154 yards. "To me, in football at any level, to be successful you have to run the football," Hitt said. "You can't rely on the pass." Hitt said the offensive line was tentative in executing its new blocking schemes, made numerous mistakes in assignments and was not moving its feet. He said the Indians have focused this week on cleaning up those issues and said his team had a good week of practice both offensively and defensively. Parkway South abandoned the spread offense it ran last year and has gone to more of a power running game. The Patriots did not put together any long drives against SLUH, and their only touchdown came on a pass. "They're not quite as athletic as Riverview and we match up to them lot better than did against Riverview Gardens," Hitt said.

Portageville (0-1) at Scott City (0-1)

Last week: Mountain View Liberty 37, Portageville 6; Malden 50, Scott City 14

Last year: Scott City 26, Portageville 0

Outlook: The Rams yielded 42 points to Malden in the second quarter and ran into monumental problems with their punting game in the Scott City coaching debut of Jim May. The Rams had one punt blocked and three snaps sailed over the head of the punter, giving Malden possession inside the Rams' 15 each time. A bright spot was the Rams' Garett Schaefer and Brandon DeProw returning kickoffs for touchdowns. May said an inexperienced team made too many mistakes against Malden. The Rams also allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown and an on-sides kickoff recovery. "For the most part, special teams did us in," May said. "We're going to get better as the year goes on. It's just a learning curve for us right now." Junior fullback/linebacker Hunter Griffith missed the opener and again will miss tonight's game due to an injury suffered in two-a-days. Griffith, who plays middle linebacker, is expected back for next week's game against East Prairie. May said junior offensive guard Wade Keesee played exceptionally well at linebacker in Griffith's absence. "That was a bright spot for us," May said. Portageville freshman running back Dominique Walker opened up the eyes of the Scott City staff. "The freshman tailback is lights out and one of the best in the area," May said. "He can absolutely fly." May labeled Portageville as much improved over the last few years with a lot of good athletes who are short on experience. "If we can eliminate mistakes and not give up big plays, we'll have a chance," May said.

Park Hills (1-0) at St. Vincent (0-1)

Last week: Park Hills 22, Maplewood 8; Caruthersville 43, St. Vincent 14

Last year: Park Hills 13, St. Vincent 12

Outlook: The Indians' 29-point loss in the return of Paul Sauer to the St. Vincent sideline was a little deceiving. St. Vincent trailed 15-7 at halftime and was down 29-14 with 7 minutes left in the game before Caruthersville returned a couple of late interceptions for touchdowns. "Early on we played pretty good," Sauer said. "We had a lot of penalties in the second quarter and kind of stopped ourselves." St. Vincent found tough sledding on the ground. Senior running back C.J. Pavlovsky led the Indians with 26 yards on 20 carries. Sophomore quarterback Tim Schumer had 15 yards on nine carries and completed 8 of 19 passes for 64 yards. Caruthersville, a Class 2 school, was big and physical, and the Class 1 Indians find themselves up against a similar challenge this week. "Park Hills is going to be a handful," Sauer said of the Class 3 school that boasts a 315-pound lineman and other linemen who weigh more than 200 pounds. "We'll definitely be outmanned on the line of scrimmage." The Rebels run both a spread offense and a power-wishbone. The wishbone features 230-pound fullback Tyler Friend, 180-pound fullback Jaron Bridges and running back Matt Ketterer. Further complicating the task before the Indians is the loss of two offensive linemen to shoulder injuries in the opener. Right tackle Dylan Geringer is out indefinitely, while center/defensive end Chase Davis might miss a couple of weeks. Sauer was unsure who would step into those positions.

Central (0-1) at New Madrid County Central (1-0)

Last week: New Madrid County Central 42, Poplar Bluff 36, OT; Parkway North 50, Central 0

Last year: New Madrid County Central 44, Central 35

Outlook: Central is coming off a lopsided rout while New Madrid County Central is coming off an emotional overtime victory. Central managed just 15 yards of total offense (minus-33 rushing) in a game the Tigers trailed 44-0 at halftime. The defense surrendered 379 yards rushing. "We need to play with a whole lot more effort from start to finish," Central coach Rich Payne said. Sophomore tailback Tae Jenkins will miss tonight's game after suffering a deep knee bruise during last week's game. Jenkins had five carries for a team-high 13 yards. Junior James Poindexter will fill in for Jenkins, who Payne expects to return next week. The Eagles were playing their first game since the death of junior Raymond Tindle during practice Aug. 12. Eagles senior quarterback G'Darius Stevenson led the way with 144 yards rushing, including a 25-yard jaunt in overtime. "He's the kind of kid you don't want to get loose 'cause if you do, you'll have some problems," Payne said. Stevenson also completed 5-of-12 passes for 178 yards--80 yards came on a touchdown pass to junior Jamareia Jones. Rodney Anderson rushed for 122 yards on seven carries. "They have a lot of speed and are better on the offensive line than last year," Payne said. "We'll have to find a way to slow them down a little."

De Soto (0-1) at Perryville (0-1)

Last week: Fox 46, De Soto 24; Pacific 28, Perryville 7

Last year: De Soto 38, Perryville 14

Outlook: Both teams are coming off losses, but both played bigger-class opponents closer than the final scores indicate. Perryville, a Class 3 school, trailed Class 4 Pacific 14-7 entering the fourth quarter, and De Soto, a Class 4 school, held its own against Fox, which reached the Class 6 semifinals in 2008. Perryville committed five turnovers against Pacific. "We have to become more disciplined," said Perryville coach Keith Winkler, who made his debut with the Pirates. "Five turnovers, you can't win ballgames doing things like that." Winkler said De Soto is big but young up front. "They're starting a new quarterback this year and he runs the ball well and throws well," Winkler said. Senior Jay Algier, who averaged 10.8 yards a carry for De Soto in 2008, has taken over at quarterback. Algier was the Dragons' fourth-leading rusher last season, and De Soto also returns its third-leading rusher in senior Tyler Danback, who averaged 8.1 yards a carry. De Soto also returns its top two receivers in juniors Harrison Evola and Donald Hoss. As a sophomore, the 6-3 Evola averaged 24.3 yards a catch and led the team with 560 yards receiving.

-- Jeff Breer

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