Indians have a chance, fall short to Sikeston in opener

Saturday, September 7, 2002

JACKSON, Mo. -- Jackson High couldn't have asked for more.

With less then a minute left and the game on the line, the Indians had a fourth-and-goal situation at the 6-yard line with a chance to tie the game.

But Friday wasn't the night.

"We wore out and Sikeston beat us," Jackson coach Carl Gross said after his team's 21-14 season-opening loss. "They outcoached us and outplayed us."

After stopping Sikeston with a little less than four minutes left, Jackson took over on the Sikeston 25. With a couple of Jason Meystedt runs the Indians were on the 1, knocking on the door.

But a costly penalty on third down backed the Indians up five yards, and two incomplete passes later the chance of an undefeated regular season was over.

Despite a completely new offensive line, Sikeston lit up the Indians defense for 216 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Blake Dewitt led the way with 128 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Lavar Morgan chipped in 71 yards and a touchdown, along with 23 yard receiving.

Morgan said that the key to the win was the work of the offensive line.

"I really give all the credit to my line," he said. "Without them I wouldn't have even passed the line of scrimmage."

After trailing 7-0 at halftime, Jackson finally found its spark on offense early in the third quarter. It was the running of sophomore Meystedt that helped Jackson come back.

Meystedt was forced into the action when starting running back Stuart McIntosh went down with what could be a broken clavicle.

Meystedt ended the game with 136 yards rushing and one touchdown. Receiver Tyler Boyd scored the other touchdown for the Indians on a 26 yard pass play.

Boyd said that in the first half they were just too pumped up, but after words of encouragement to quarterback Tyler Profilet at halftime, the Indians came back with big plays.

"As soon as he calms down we'll be OK," Boyd said.

A key all night was turnovers. Sikeston forced three, including a costly fumble in the red zone late in the second half.

"They had a good defensive plan," Gross said. "They kept us off guard all night and forced some turnovers. For us to win we cant' have turnovers, we can't make those mistakes."

Dewitt ran wild on the Jackson defense, including the game-winning 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Gordon said that he just kept telling Dewitt to keep it up and they would win.

"He had a super night," Morgan said. "He had one of his best games."

Making his Indians varsity debut, Profilet threw for 77 yards with one touchdown. Despite playing less than five minutes in the second half, McIntosh finished the game with 85 yards rushing.

jjoffray@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 171

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