WEEK 3 SD FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Sikeston looks to stop losing skid against Poplar Bluff; NMCC looks to go 3-0 against Dexter

Friday, September 7, 2018
In this August 31 file photo, NMCC's Quazavion Jackson (34) breaks a tackle against East Prairie, at New Madrid County Central High School in New Madrid, Mo. (Liza King/Standard Democrat)

Poplar Bluff at Sikeston

Records: Poplar Bluff 2-0; Sikeston 1-1

Series History: Sikeston leads 55-36-4

Last Meeting: 2017, Poplar Bluff won 27-0

Last Week: Poplar Bluff defeated Riverview Gardens 47-20; Sikeston lost to McCluer North 7-0

Outlook: Poplar Bluff has won the previous four meetings between the two rivals with the last Sikeston win coming in 2013 by a close score of 22-21. The Sikeston defense, which has allowed just one score all season, will have to limit an explosive Poplar Bluff offense led by Josiah Kilgore. The speedy senior can beat teams in a lot of ways, lining up as a receiver, running back and quarterback. Kilgore has carried the ball 12 times for 153 yards and a score while catching nine passes for 209 yards and four touchdowns. He also has completed 3 of 4 pass attempts for 34 yards and a score and has even returned a kick for a touchdown. Steven Pierce also plays quarterback for the Mules and has completed 15 of 24 passes for 242 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Mules also boast two good running backs in Isaiah Johnson (35 carries, 224 yards and 1 TD) and Shemyron Townsend (10 carries, 154 yards and 3 TDs). Defensively, Poplar Bluff has allowed 28 points in two games but faces a Sikeston offense that failed to score last week. Junior quarterback Gage Rolwing has completed 13 of 27 passes for 138 yards and 3 touchdowns while leading the team in rushing with 82 yards on 14 carries. Top receiver Ricky Scott, who missed last week’s game with illness, will be back after catching 3 passes for 71 yards and a score in the opener.

Dexter at NMCC

Records: Dexter 1-1; NMCC 2-0

Series History: NMCC leads 19-13

Last Meeting: 2017, Dexter won 38-0

Last Week: Dexter defeated Salem 28-20; NMCC defeated East Prairie 68-38

Outlook: Dexter has won the last four meetings between the two district and conference foes, but the Eagles appear to be a different team this year. NMCC, off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2009 when they made the quarterfinals, has exploded for 118 points in their first two games. NMCC uses the big play, as quarterback Christen Phillips has completed 13 of 23 passes for 414 yards — an average of 31.8 yards per completion. He has thrown for five touchdowns and rushed for three more while gaining 202 yards on 20 carries. Johnnie Walker has added 93 yards on the ground, and Quazavion Jackson gained 96 yards last week on just nine carries. The NMCC defense has allowed 78 points in two games but has been opportunistic, scoring two defensive touchdowns while forcing six turnovers. Dexter found their offense last week, knocking off Salem in a thriller. The Bearcats will use a physical running game behind senior running backs Caleb Hoggard (26 carries, 136 yards) and Corbin Strong (24 carries, 175 yards, 2 TDs). Sophomore quarterback Peyton Driskill, filling in for injured starter Haden Hillis, has completed 8 of 19 pass attempts for 75 yards and a touchdown. The Dexter defense, led by a strong defensive line and linebacking corps, has allowed just 41 points in two games.

Malden at Portageville

Records: Malden 0-2; Portageville 1-1

Series History: Malden leads 43-28-1

Last Meeting: 2017, Malden won 42-14

Last Week: Malden lost to Caruthersville 49-18; Portageville defeated Grandview (Hillsboro) 50-20

Outlook: Malden has defeated Portageville the last five meetings, but the Green Wave are off to their first 0-2 start since 2008. Senior Tye Miller has been the workhorse for Malden as the quarterback has rushed for 288 yards on 56 carries with seven touchdowns while completing 36 of 72 passes for 326 yards and a score. Shay Amoss has been the go-to receiver for the Green Wave, catching 15 passes for 169 yards with a touchdown. The Malden defense has struggled so far in 2018, allowing 99 points in two games. Tasked with stopping a potent Portageville passing attack; the Bulldogs put up 50 points last week against Grandview. Quarterback Connor Barham has thrown four touchdown passes and ran for two more this season. His favorite target is Bub Lance who had two touchdown receptions last season. The Portageville defense allowed 493 yards rushing and 56 points to Charleston in their first game, but the Bulldog defense improved last week, allowing just 20 points to Grandview.

Scott City at East Prairie

Records: Scott City 2-0; East Prairie 1-1

Series History: Scott City leads 30-28

Last Meeting: 2017, East Prairie won 43-33

Last Week: Scott City defeated St. Vincent 49-14; East Prairie lost to NMCC 68-38

Outlook: Scott City is off to a 2-0 start behind a high-powered offense that has scored 99 points in just two games. The Rams have been balanced so far in 2018, gaining over 300 yards rushing in their first game and throwing for 300 in their second. Sam Elders leads the team in rushing with 237 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns while Jimmy May has gained 178 yards with four touchdowns. Quarterback Spencer Stratman has completed 23 of 37 passes for 405 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with Joe Panagos seven times last week for 227 yards, five of which were for 30 yards or more. The Scott City defense has been stingy as well, allowing just 14 points on the season but they will face an East Prairie offense that can rack up points. The Eagles have been piling up yards through the air as quarterback Carson Aycock threw for 386 yards last week against NMCC. For the season, Aycock has completed 28 of 57 passes for 512 yards and seven touchdowns. His favorite receiver has been Derez Tipler who has caught nine passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns. He also leads the team in rushing with 93 yards on 12 carries. Jack Scruggs has eight catches for 123 yards and a score while Keaton Adams has caught seven passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns. While the Eagles have piled up yards, they also have turned the ball over 11 times this season.

Doniphan at Charleston

Records: Doniphan 0-2; Charleston 1-1

Series History: First-ever meeting

Last Meeting: NA

Last Week: Doniphan lost to Thayer 52-14; Charleston lost to Hayti 70-8

Outlook: Doniphan has gotten off to a rough start, as expected, as the Dons are playing their first season of varsity football since 1979. The Dons more than doubled its total offensive yardage from their first game last week, gaining 115 yards on the ground and 46 more through the air. Trey Mills ran for a 31-yard touchdown for the Dons while Kyle Reynolds scored from 5-yards out. Thayer was able to gain 278 yards on the Dons while running just 29 offensive plays. The Dons will have the tough task of taking on a Charleston team looking for revenge after their 70-8 defeat at the hands of state-ranked Hayti. The Bluejays dynamic running attack was shut down last week but hope to see a resurgence from standout running back Q’Nairies Anderson. The senior has gained 321 yards on the season with four touchdowns while quarterback Tyrese Tate has gained 123 yards with a score and James Durden has added 62 yards and a score as well. The Charleston defense looks to improve after giving up nearly 600 yards to the high-powered Indians last week.

SEMO Conference

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Poplar Bluff0000209728
Caruthersville 0000207642
East Prairie102212116080
Scott City0000209914

Friday’s games

Hayti at Chaffee

Malden at Portageville

Scott City at East Prairie

Doniphan at Charleston

St. Vincent at Kelly

Valle Catholic at Caruthersville

Dexter at NMCC

Ste. Genevieve at Kennett

Jackson at Cape Central

Farmington at Hillsboro

Poplar Bluff at Sikeston

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