A look at this week's high school football games

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crystal City (0-2) at Chaffee (1-0)

Last week: Sullivan 16, Crystal City 14; Chaffee did not play

Last year: Crystal City 35, Chaffee 21

Outlook: Chaffee has had two weeks to savor a 12-6 victory against Grandview in its season opener. The Red Devils can get off to their first 2-0 start since the 1990 season, when it opened with wins against Hayti and Crystal City. Crystal City is winless, scoring 14 points in both of its losses -- Brentwood and Sullivan. Nathan Cicardi led the Red Devils in rushing in their season-opener with 42 yards on five carries. Zach Dannenmueller had 10 carries for 40 yards and quarterback Jordan Yahn had 19 for 31. Chaffee coach Charlie Vickery was not crazy about the bye week, "especially having an open date that early. It seems like we haven't played in a month." Vickery said there was one positive about the layoff. "We were able to work on a lot of fundamentals and individual teaching instead of team stuff, and I think that helped us," Vickery said. Crystal City runs a spread offense, throwing the ball 53 times and running it 20 times in its loss to Sullivan. Neil Slabby is the Hornets quarterback. "He makes some things happen for them," Vickery said. "He can run the ball as well as throw it"

Gateway Tech (1-1) at Jackson (0-2)

Last week: Jefferson City Helias 41, Gateway Tech 0; Parkway South 27, Jackson 3

Last year: Gateway Tech 14, Jackson 7

Outlook: Jackson is playing its third straight home game as it looks for its first victory. The Indians will try to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 2002 season when they opened the year with losses to Sikeston, Rockwood and Pattonville. The Indians' offense has netted just 19 points through the first two games and the defense has yielded 61. After netting minus-20 yards rushing in the opener, the Indians ran 44 times for 134 yards against Parkway South. Jackson has yet to establish a primary rushing threat. Six different Indians rushed against Parkway South with junior Ethan Ruch leading the way with 13 carries for 41 yards. Levi Rutherford had six carries for 39 yards and Cole Rodgers had seven for 30. Ryan Marble, Jerrett Schwab and quarterback Bobby Clark combined for 15 carries for 15 yards. The passing game netted just five yards on 11 attempts and Clark threw two interceptions. "We couldn't complement the running game with the passing game," Jackson coach Van Hitt said. "Hopefully this week we get them both put together." The offense is averaging 125 yards a game. The Indians will play tonight without Ruch, who suffered a concussion last week, but return injured junior Stetson Proffer at running back and as a slot receiver. "He's the best possession receiver we have right now," Hitt said of Proffer. The defense has allowed an average of 457 yards, including 234 yards rushing a game and 6.6 yards per carry. Gateway Tech has a bona fide threat in 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior Anthony Pierson, who had 10 rushes for 275 yards and five touchdowns in a season-opening 38-0 win vs. Soldan. "He's one of the best running backs in the St. Louis area," Hitt said. "As I told the kids, one mistake and it's six points." Hitt described Pierson as both fast and elusive. Helias, one of the top teams in Class 4, was able to contain Pierson on the edges and did not give up any big gains. Gateway runs a Pro I offense and will run power sweeps and twin-receiver sets. Gateway is coached by Charles Cole, a former assistant with the Oakland Raiders. "Gateway is going to be big and they're going to be athletic. ... To me, this is a big ballgame because next week we play Sikeston and it's the start of the conference season," Hitt said.

Valle (2-0) at St. Vincent (0-2)

Last week: Valle 47, Ste. Genevieve 12; Park Hills 27, St. Vincent 20

Last year: Valle 46, St. Vincent 7

Outlook: St. Vincent lost its first two games, but for the first time it will be playing a school its own size -- Class 1. The Indians dropped their first game to Class 2 Caruthersville before losing by seven points to Class 3 Park Hills. However, Valle does not appear to be your normal Class 1 team as it owns a pair of comfortable victories against a pair of Class 3 schools, including a rout of crosstown rival Ste. Genevieve by 35 points last week. The Warriors have scored at least 42 points in both their games. "They've just got so many weapons," St. Vincent coach Paul Sauer said. "They have a talented bunch of seniors and there's so many things they can do to you. We just have to try to slow them down and hopefully keep the ball in our possession." Valle's attack is run by senior quarterback Mike Greminger, a three-year starter. He has passed for 495 yards and rushed 20 times for 95 yards. He's completed 26 of 41 attempts with six touchdown. His leading receivers are Nick Brown (seven receptions, 159 yards, two TDs), Nathan Geile (seven, 140, two) and Jason Bloom (six, 128, one). Junior Luke Uding leads the ground game with 170 yards and three TDs. All-state offensive lineman/defensive end Bryan Kertz (6-5, 229) is being recruited by Division I schools and linebacker/offensive guard Aaron Basler leads the defense in tackles. On the other hand, St. Vincent has found itself beat up along the line. Senior tackle Dylan Geringer and senior defensive end Chase Davis remain sidelined with shoulder injuries, while senior lineman Matt Schnurbusch was injured in practice this week. Juniors Dominic Haertling and Travis Koenig filled holes last week, and senior Brandon Trapp will join the effort this week. "It's not ideal at any point of the season to have some linemen out, but definitely not against a high-powered offense and defense Valle brings," Sauer said.

Central (0-2) at Obion County, Tenn. (1-2)

Last week: New Madrid County Central 38, Central 35; Crockett County 34, Obion County 21

Last year: Did not play

Outlook: This is a meeting of two struggling programs. Central managed one victory last season, and it was one more victory than Obion County, which went winless in 2008 and 2007. Obion County's fortunes appear to have improved under first-year coach Shawn Jackson, a Hayti, Mo., native who led the Rebels to a 52-14 victory over Fulton County, Ky., in this season's opener. Obion has lost two games since and 22 of its last 23. Central has lost 16 of its last 18 games and is looking for its first win of 2009. After a 50-0 pasting by Parkway North in the season opener, Central displayed resiliency in a 38-35 loss to New Madrid County Central. "I think the kids played hard and gave the kind of effort we need to have to be in the ballgame," Central coach Rich Payne said. "I'm proud of them for that, even though we didn't come out on the winning side." Starting tailback Tae Jenkins missed last week's game with a knee bruise and will miss tonight's game too, but the Tigers got a 192-yard performance from James Poindexter, who averaged 8.7 yards a carry on 22 attempts. "He's a small back, but he's a hard runner," Payne said of the 5-foot-7, 165-pound junior. Central quarterback Andrew Williams also completed 8 of 14 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Obion runs a spread offense. "Hopefully we can turn the corner," Payne said. "We take a long road trip, but hopefully we can come home happy."

East Prairie (2-0) at Scott City (0-2)

Last week: East Prairie 20, Grandview 14; Portageville 35, Scott City 0

Last year: East Prairie 35, Scott City 0

Outlook: Scott City is coming off a notable loss as Portageville ended a 32-game losing streak with its rout of the Rams. The Rams are looking for their first win under first-year coach Jim May. East Prairie owns victories over Hayti and Grandview in its first 2-0 start in 15 years. "Hayti is a perennial power, so it tells you where they're at, and they got past Grandview last week, and Grandview is improved," May said. May described East Prairie as a physical team that tries to run between the tackles and power sweeps. "I feel like we have a chance to match up with them," May said. "We have similar talent, but they're at a different stage. We're trying to get to that stage." Garett Schaefer led Scott City's offense against Portageville with 22 carries for 105 yards. Schaefer also was about all the offense, as the Rams had 116 yards overall. May said he likes his team's running backs, but they need the blocking up front. He thinks a young offensive line is improving and does not anticipate any changes. "We're young and feel we're getting better, and hopefully it'll show in the score before too long," he said.

Perryville (0-2) at Ste. Genevieve (1-1)

Last week: De Soto 47, Perryville 7; Valle 47, Ste. Genevieve 12

Last year: Ste. Genevieve 41, Perryville 17

Outlook: Perryville has scored seven points in each of its first two games against Pacific and De Soto, while surrendering totals of 28 and 47, respectively. Ste. Genevieve is coming off a 35-point whipping by crosstown rival Valle after defeating Dexter 30-25 in its opener. The Dragons field a sophomore quarterback in Brendan Weiler, who has turned in some big numbers. Weiler, the son of the team's offensive coordinator, has completed 39 of 75 passes for 452 yards. He has thrown three TDs and three interceptions. He also has rushed 26 times for 82 yards. Weiler's top target is senior Brock Meyer (16 receptions, 194 yards). The Dragons' ground game has struggled, with Tim Lurk the team leader with 13 attempts for 53 yards. Senior lineman Jake Gegg and senior linebacker Michael Hermann lead the Dragons' defense.

-- Jeff Breer

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