Sikeston football team jumps on Jackson early

Sunday, September 25, 2011
Jackson's Garrett Miller gets tackled by a Sikeston defender during the third quarter Friday in Jackson. (Laura Simon)

The Sikeston Bulldogs played perhaps their best football that they've played all season in the first quarter against Jackson on Friday night.

The Bulldogs exploded for 21 points to open the game, which was more than enough to propel them to their fourth consecutive victory, a 35-9 decision.

It's Sikeston's first victory on Jackson's home field since 2002, and it's the Bulldogs' third consecutive against the Indians.

While Sikeston (4-1) was sharp to start the game, the rest of the night was a bit spotty for the Bulldogs.

"You look at what we did in the first quarter, there wasn't a whole lot going wrong for the Bulldogs, that's for sure," Sikeston coach Kent Gibbs said. "It's hard to know what goes through your kids' minds -- if we lost focus or if Jackson just woke and started playing better."

Jackson receiver Brannon Wright looks for an opening against Sikeston's defense during Friday's first quarter.

The Bulldogs came out on fire, scoring on their opening possession when Kyland Gross ran 36 yards to cap a seven-play, 73-yard drive with 9:34 left in the first quarter.

After forcing a three-and-out, Sikeston scored on its first play of the ensuing drive when David Foster hit Keldon Warfield over the middle for a 36-yard touchdown pass.

Following another three-and-out, Sikeston marched 46 yards on six plays. James Watson scored on a 21-yard run.

Sikeston led 21-0 barely nine minutes into the game, which stunned the loud and energetic home crowd at Jackson High School.

But the Indians responded with a 15-play scoring drive that covered 63 yards. They converted two fourth downs in the process. They scored on quarterback Ty Selsor's 13-yard pass to Stephen Dunn, cutting the Sikeston lead to 21-7 with 8:10 left in the first half.

Jackson fans celebrate a touchdown by Stephen Dunn (8) during the second quarter Friday in Jackson. (Laura Simon)

"We felt like we needed to start the game fast, and we certainly did in the first quarter," Gibbs said. "But then I don't know if we thought we had the game in the bag or what we did, but Jackson certainly started playing well and just took it to us and shoved it down our throats and got their score."

Jackson (1-4) kept the momentum with an interception at the Bulldogs 9.

But Sikeston's defense forced another three-and-out.

"Jackson was playing a little bit short-handed and that was tough on them, but we played really well on defense," Gibbs said. "I think one of the things that we've got to overcome is a little bit of that adversity when they're hitting you in the mouth and coming at you. And I think we did. I think we responded."

Sikeston scored again 40 seconds before the half on a Gross 6-yard run for a 28-7 halftime lead. The key play on the drive was when Foster, under heavy pressure from the Indians defense, found Aundrea Golden for 10 yards on fourth-and-8 to keep it alive.

Sikston's Kyland Gross gets tackled by Jackson defenders Kyle Greenwalt, left, and Devan Wolpers during the third quarter Friday.

Jackson played the game without starting quarterback Lowgn Wren, who coach Van Hitt said was "unavailable."

His absence contributed to Jackson's struggles in the first quarter. The Indians were so discombobulated that they burned all three of their timeouts less than six minutes into the game.

The sophomore Selsor, Wren's replacement, was harassed by Sikeston's defense all night.

Watson continued his breakout season with another solid performance, rushing for 176 yards on 29 carries with two touchdown runs.

Gross finished with a season-high 101 yards on 11 carries and a pair of touchdown runs.

The Jackson cheerleaders prepare for the player introductions before Friday's game against Sikeston.

"We tried to run their offense in practice this week, and it's hard," Hitt said. "They're smooth with it. They're very quick with it and they do an excellent job of running it. We don't have any backs come near what they have to practice against, so they kind of caught us on our heels a few times in the first quarter. They're an excellent football team. They've got tremendous athletes."


First Quarter

S -- Kyland Gross 36 run (Hunter Williams kick), 9:34

S -- Keldon Warfield 36 pass from David Foster (Williams kick), 7:23

S -- James Watson 21 run (Williams kick), 3:15

Second Quarter

J -- Stephen Dunn 13 pass from Ty Selsor (Adam Brown kick), 8:10

S -- Gross 6 run (Williams kick), 0:40

Third Quarter

J -- Safety, 9:10

Fourth Quarter

S -- Watson 3 run (Williams kick), 11:56

First downs176
Total yards406113
Passing yards11922


RUSHING -- Sikeston, James Watson 29-176, Kyland Gross 11-101, David Foster 2-18, Aundrea Golden 1-0, Team 2-(-3), Markeith Bratcher 2-(-5). Jackson, Colten Proffer 18-82, Garrett Miller 8-34, Brannon Wright 1-(-1), Nick Cooper 2-(-1), Ty Selsor 10-(-23).

PASSING -- Sikeston, David Foster 7-9-1 119. Jackson, Ty Selsor 4-7-0 22.

RECEIVING -- Sikeston, Keldon Warfield 4-63, Markeith Bratcher 1-37, Aundrea Golden 1-10, Kyland Gross 1-9. Jackson, Stephen Dunn 1-8, Garrett Miller 1-11, Trea Forbs 1-4, Nick Keser 1-(-6).

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