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It's win or go home tonight for the 'Cats

Thursday, October 25, 2012

JERRY JARRELL-jjarrell@dailystatesman.com Dexter quarterback DJ Dowdy (No. 4) in brought down by Malden freshman Zach Gray (No. 34) during last Friday's 58-26 loss to the Green Wave on the road. Dexter will be in action tonight on the road at Fredericktown in what will be the season finale for the loser of the Class 3, District 1 first-round clash. Also pictured, offfensive lineman Drew Mason (No. 68).
It's win or turn in your helmet and pads. Your season is over.

That's the cold hard facts tonight when the Dexter Bearcats try to ease the pain of a dismal 1-8 season when they travel to Fredericktown tonight for what is a first-round Class 3, District 1 playoff game under the new MSHSAA playoff format this season.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

So what do you tell your team heading into tonight's game?

"What we told them is it doesn't really matter what records are right now," Dexter coach Aaron Pixley said Wednesday afternoon. "Whoever wins a game goes on. Who ever loses a game goes home. So it's a win or go home situation for everybody in the state of Missouri right now.

"Records are a good indication of things, but it's not always the bottom line." he continued. "We understand that. We've been underdogs before and pulled district championships out before. We've been favorites before and been upset. So that why you play the game.

Dexter will try and rebound from what is already the worst season ever for a Pixley-coached Bearcats team. The 'Cats are coming off maybe the low point of the season, a 58-26 loss to rival Malden last week in a game that Dexter allowed 532 rushing yards.

Fredericktown enters the game supporting a 5-4 record. The 'Cats will be looking to contain the Blackcats' dual-threat quarterback Jeremy Gremminger. The senior has over 1000 yards both rushing and passing.

Gremminger is very efficient at running the spread offense, the scheme that has become the offense of choice for many schools these days.

"They have good speed on the outside where they run the fly sweep," Pixley pointed out. "They have a hard-nosed running back. They run the counter-trey quite a bit out of spread. And run the fly sweep. They have a very good passing game."

Also on Dexter's list of area's to improve on is coming out ready to play in the second half. Dexter has been in several games this season at the intermission, but have been unable to finish in the second half.

"We've had good starts," Pixley noted. "And if you look back on the course of the season, we've been out-scored in the third quarter more than any other quarter.

"First of all, you've got to come out of the gate and play well early and we have shown that we can do that. But you definitely have to come out after half time and play well and expect to win instead of hoping for something good to happen."

Dexter is allowing just over 31 points per game while only scorning an average of 13. In the end, it's just another uphill challenge for the struggling team.

"That's what I was saying earlier," Pixley added. "We've got to get on that bus and we've got to travel. We've got to get off that bus and get ourselves ready to play four quarters. And if we play has hard as we can for four quarters, then we'll have a chance. But they are a good football team. They are going to play hard. And we've had some really good games in the past. But I'm sure that Fredericktown does not feel sorry for us one bit with the record we have so we better be ready to play."

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