Charleston prepares for incoming Bombers

Monday, November 12, 2001

Charleston coach Brent Anderson realizes the challenge his Bluejays face tonight.

But Anderson isn't about to concede a thing.

The unranked Bluejays will put their 9-2 record on the line at home against second-ranked, 10-0 John Burroughs in a Class 2A quarterfinal game. The kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

"They're a good team. A real good team. They do a lot of things well, obviously," said Anderson of John Burroughs. "Of course we're biased, like everybody else at this point, but we think we can win out. Our kids are confident right now."

Charleston has been impressive all season, losing only to 4A Sikeston and 3A power New Madrid County Central early in the year. Since then, the Bluejays have reeled off seven consecutive victories, including Wednesday's dominating 27-6 sectional triumph at Portageville.

Dangerous option quarterback Dontay Clark led the Bluejays offensively against Portageville as he rushed for a season-high 215 yards on only 12 carries. The speedster scored three touchdowns, on runs of 61, 1 and 71 yards.

Tailback Jordy Mixon added 96 yards on 15 carries for the Bluejays as he has more than 1,200 yards on the season. Fullback Orrice Stanback has gained close to 1,000 yards.

"We have some kids that can run and we think we match up pretty well with them," Anderson said.

John Burroughs, a traditional state power, is led by quarterback A.J. Van Slyke, the son of former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player Andy Van Slyke. A.J. Van Slyke has completed 79 of 139 passes for 1,265 yards and 20 touchdowns, with just four interceptions. He has also rushed for 405 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Bombers' leading rusher is A.J. Eades with 859 yards and 12 TDs. Eades averages more than 6 yards per carry.

NMCC, HAYTI PLAY

New Madrid County Central and Hayti will both be on the road for quarterfinal games tonight.

Fourth-ranked NMCC (10-1) visits unranked Clayton (8-3) in a 3A matchup while fourth-ranked Hayti (11-0) travels to ninth-ranked Tipton (9-2) in a 1A battle.

Winners advance to Saturdays' semifinals.

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