WE HONOR BREAST CANCER MONTH
THIS IS FLYER NATION
THE FLYER'S ALL WAYS SEEK THE BEST COMPETITION IN THE COUNTRY BAR NONE
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THE FLYERS FALL SHORT TO WEST 29 TO 28
FLYERS at BELLEVILLE WEST MAROONS
East St. Louis has won 13 in a
row on the field against Belleville West. The last outright win was 2002
when the Maroons won 21-6. West did get credit for a 2-0 forfeit win in
the 2011 postseason. ... East St. Louis has a penchant for putting up
big points on the Maroons. Since 2001 the Flyers have gone over 50
points six times including last year's 62-17 win. In 2005 the Flyers won
74-0. ... East St. Louis has won four in a row, all in Southwestern
Conference play. The Flyers have scored more than 55 points in three of
those wins. ... Quarterback Reyoundus Estes has thrown for 1,273 yards
and 16 touchdowns. ... Wide receiver Jeff Thomas has caught 35 passes
for 811 yards and nine scores. ... Missouri recruit Natereace Strong has
rushed for 831 yards and 11 touchdowns. ... Marvin Young has been a
weapon in the backfield, too, with 563 yards and seven scores. ...
Defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. has a team-high 72 tackles, two
sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception. ... LaMontre Harvey has 51
tackles. … Raekwon Griffin has a team-high five interceptions. ...West
has alternated wins and losses since the second week of the season. ...
The Maroons came up with five interceptions against Collinsville,
including two by Jack Laxton, one of which went for a 37-yard touchdown. Flyers at West fri at 1:00 pm the game will be played at Lindenwood community college in belleville.
Flyers beat Alton on home coming night 27 to 7
1979 Flyers state championship team honored
Jeff Thomas have big home coming night for the flyer two TDs one receiving and one interception for a TD
Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 6:46 pm
By Maurice Scott, Jr.
The history started in 1925, and 89 years later, most, if not all are trying to keep the tradition going.
On a damp, soggy homecoming night last Friday at historic Clyde C. Jordan Memorial Stadium, I couldn't help but reflect on that history. That is especially true for those years since 1975 when the East St. Louis High football program became really special.
Sure, most people over the age of 65 like to brag about the Fred Cameron days from 1951-1971 when the Flyers posted an impressive record of 107-28-8. Those were indeed some great teams with some great players, but they would have been beaten soundly – like a pair of Sylvester "Sunshine " Lee drums – by the Cornelius Perry teams and the Bob Shannon teams that followed them.
Last Friday night, the 1979 Illinois Class 5A State championship team was honored prior to Flyers’ game against Alton. The great Bob Shannon was in attendance, albeit keeping a low profile as usual when he returns home.
Plenty people often ask, "Does Coach Shannon ever come around?" I always reply, “Sure, he does. He still helps out often when asked too."
The 1979 team defeated Burbank St. Lawrence 20-14 for the state title at Hancock Stadium on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal. At that time, 5A was the largest classification in the state of Illinois. It was truly a great team. They had 16 players who went on to play college football. Some even made it all the way to the National Football League. They included:
Victor Scott (Colorado/Dallas Cowboys), Kerry Glenn (Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, N. Y. Jets/Minnesota Vikings), Daryl Dixon (Michigan State), Avin Jones (Tennessee), Jarvis Hall (Arkansas), Dennis Edwards (Indiana), Vincent Allen (Wisconsin/ Illinois State), Walter “Too Tall” Jackson (Southern Illinois), William "BT" Thomas (Southern Illinois), Condolla Jackson (Illinois State).
Other great players on that team included team caption Roosevelt Golliday, who recently retired as a colonel in the United States Air Force, and Avery Bryd, who was once featured on the cover of Black Enterprise magazine.
Former players Garry Joshway, Louis Lockett, Dennis Doublin, Dennis Johnson, Everett Fields, Everett Holemon, Alphonso Baity, Dwight Holley all were in attendance.
This sort of head-knocking tradition started in my opinion in 1971 under Cornelius Perry, who posted a record of 37-13-3 during his six seasons at the helm. During the 1974-75 season, Perry's Flyers finished 12-1, with its only loss coming in a dramatic 19-13 OT loss to Harold Samorian Northbrook (Glenbrook North) in the state championship game.
Perry’s team consisted of some of the greatest Flyers ever. Among the best were quarterback Maurice Tolson, Stanley Braggs, Cleveland Crosby (Cleveland Browns), Eugene Bryd (Michigan State/Atlanta Falcons), and a guy that coach Perry and his staff recruited from the "CHESS TEAM" to play only one year of high school football. His name was Kellen Winslow, who became a future Hall of Famer.
It was after the 1975-76 season that the great Bob Shannon took the keys to the Cadillac. His first season he started 5-4, but after that Shannon’s teams won six State titles and had two runner-up finishes. His 1979 crew was his first state championship team.
Shannon’s teams finished with a record of 193-32 in 20 seasons. During that span, the Flyers won three consecutive state titles from 1983-85 and enjoyed a 44-game winning streak. In addition, East St. Louis also won the mythical National Championship in ‘85 and ‘89.
My friend Terry Hill took the helm for five years, guiding the Flyers to three playoff appearances. Now, Darren Sunkett is at the helm of the Cadillac. In his 13 seasons, he has compiled a record of 113-34 with one state championship in 2008-09.
With an overall record of 742-184-36, East St. Louis is still among the top programs in the country.
I just hope will don't let our tradition go down the drain like Lincoln High School, Parsons Field and others gifts forgotten.
But hats off to the organization that made me and others celebrate the tradition – a tradition some just don't understand.
Flyers take on Alton
Tonight the East St Louis Flyers take on the Alton Red Birds at Clyde Jordan Stadium @ 7:00 pm
it is the flyers home coming game.
THE EAST ST LOUIS FLYERS
Former ESL duo flying high at Jackson State
By Maurice Scott, Jr.
Former East St. Louis Flyers standouts Daniel Williams and LaMontiez Ivy are both doing quite well at Jackson State University.
In his second season at Jackson State, Daniel Williams is doing his thing both on and off the field. Williams’ efforts in the classroom at Jackson State has earned him honors on the Dean’s List.
On the field, Williams played 10 games last season for the Tigers as a true freshman. So far this season, Williams has receptions for 377 yards and four touchdowns. The 6'3 200 sophomore is a key weapon in the Tigers’ offense.
Throwing Williams the ball has been Ivy, who is quarterback of the Tigers, who are currently 3-3 this season. The 6’3 230-pound redshirt sophomore is starting to make opposing coaches pay close attention to the athletic Ivy. He is currently one of the best quarterbacks in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
There have been some whispers, comparing Ivy to the late former Alcorn State and NFL star Steve "Air" McNair with his strong arm and athletic ability to run the football when needed. Through six games, LaMontiez currently has 1,407 yards passing and 11 touchdowns.
Ivy had a coming out party a few weeks ago when he threw for 407 yards and four touchdowns against Grambling State University. In that same game, Williams had eight receptions for 171 yards The duo also hooked up for a 61-yard touchdown last week in a loss to Prairie View.
This week, the Tigers face a familiar foe on a couple of fronts. This week’s opponent for homecoming is Mississippi Valley State. The Delta Devils’ quarterback is Patrick Ivy, who is LaMontiez’ brother. Patrick, a 6'4 senior, was a multi-sport star at Cahokia High School. Patrick Ivy and current Mizzou wide receiver Jimmy Hunt are former teammates at Cahokia.
Another story line in this game will be the coaches. Jackson State hired former NFL player Harold Jackson, which started a controversy among some alumni. And across the side line will be the head coach at Mississippi Valley State in Rick Comegy, who was the former Jackson State coach.
Comegy was 50-35 in eight seasons for the Tigers. He was fired in December despite finishing 8-1 in the SWAC.
It will be a bittersweet return for Comegy, who recruited most if not all of the players on Jackson State roster, including Ivy and Williams.
The Flyers defeated Granite City 61 to 6
EAST ST LOUIS FLYERS
The FLYERS at Granite City tonight Fri Oct 3
East St Louis Jeff Thomas is one of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Journals Athletes Of The Week
OCT 2, 2014
in a 55-21 win over Belleville East, Thomas, a 5-foot-10, 167-pound
sophomore wide receiver, caught nine passes for 206 yards and touchdowns
of 25, 27 and 80 yards. It was the third consecutive big game for
Thomas, who had eight catches for 144 yards and two TDs against O'Fallon
and seven receptions for 146 yards and a TD against Edwardsville. Last
season, Thomas was a first-team all-Southwestern Conference selection
after catching 56 balls for 988 yards and 10 TDs. He already has offers
from 20 Division I schools, including Ohio State, Florida State and
After 0-3 start, ESL looks ready for another playoff run
By Maurice Scott, Jr.
Things were not going well for East St. Louis football coach Darren Sunkett when his Flyers opened the season with three consecutive losses.
The talk around Flyers Nation, especially the "street patrol fans,” was that people were going to be putting the dogs on Coach Sunkett like a scene from the movie “Django Unchained.”
Early-season injuries, combined with a tough schedule, played a major role in those losses. And yes, you can argue that being manhandled by conference rival Edwardsville 57-32 at home was a bit surprising.
But with impressive victories against other conference rivals O'Fallon and Belleville East in the past two weeks, the Flyers seem to be taking off at the right time as they get ready for another playoff run. If you remember last season, the Flyers were 1-3 to start the season, but then got hot and advanced all the way to the IHSA Class 6A state semifinals. The Flyers are starting to look like that team again.
Leading the way for East St. Louis has been sophomore wide receiver Jeff Thomas. The top rated receiver in the class of 2017 is healthy now, and he is playing like the top performer that he was predicted to be before the season.
A healthy Thomas means that much to this team on both sides of the ball when he's healthy PERIOD! The offense has always scored points this season. But now it seems to be soaring with an almost healthy Thomas.
Thomas is tied for the lead in the Metro East receptions (29) with Danny Hotz of Alton Marquette, and Christian Kimble of Jerseyville. His 29 receptions for 601 yards is currently second in the Metro East. He is averaging a solid 20.7 yards per reception.
But also leading this offense alongside Thomas with his decision-making and throwing ability is the smooth sophomore quarterback Reyondus Estes. Estes’ progression at the quarterback position has enabled massive lineman Tre'vour Simms and Ball State recruit Kenny Knight to protect him better. It also helps to have the 1-2 running back punch of Mizzou recruit Nate Strong and tough Marvin Young in the backfield.
Estes has put up some impressive numbers in his first five games as a high school player. He currently is rated fourth in the Metro East, completing 59 of 111 for 1,008 yards with 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions for the super sophomore.
Reyondus is a winner. He has played on all four levels at some point in the Flyers basketball program as well, logging minutes on the varsity level as well at point guard.
Having a healthy Nate Strong at running back is also big for the Flyers. He trails only Roxana running back Logan Reardon on this side of the river in rushing. Strong has 703 yards rushing this season.
The Flyers’ offense has been quite impressive, but at the end of the day the Flyers defense must continue to get better if they want to reach their ultimate goal of winning a state championship. And that seems to be coming into form as well. Some people didn't realize that they were playing a lot of young guys early.
You have All-American defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. leading the way, but he is surrounded by young players, including junior Markieth McGary, who missed last season due to injuries, along with sophomores Justin Knight and Lamontre' "State Street" Harvey, one of the best downhill young linebackers in the area.
Coach Sunkett stated last week that Jeff Thomas reminds him of former Flyers great Terry "Black -Kat" Hawthorne! Well, you know what happened the last time the Flyers coach spoke about Hawthorne as a member of one of his teams …
Get your popcorn and get ready for the next eight weeks.
The FLYERS second Conference win 55 - 21 over Belleville East
EAST ST. LOUIS — A team seemingly on life support just two weeks ago, the East St. Louis Flyers were soaring once again on Saturday at Clyde Jordan Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Reyondous Estes threw three scoring passes to wide receiver Jeff Thomas while Natereace Strong added three touchdown runs to lead a resurgent East St. Louis offense as the Flyers romped to a 55-21 win over Belleville East in a Southwestern Conference game.
One week after a 55-10 win over O'Fallon, the Flyers (2-3, 2-1) amassed 41 points and 520 yards of total offense -- in the first half -- against a Lancers defense which had allowed only 76 points in its first four games.
But its safe to say the Lancers (3-2, 2-1) hadn't gone up against a team with the weapons the Flyers displayed on a hot fall afternoon.
Estes completed 18 of 27 passes for 353 yards. Thomas caught nine passes for 204 yards while Strong (127 yards) and Marvin Young (168 yards) combined for five rushing touchdowns.
"We did a lot of good things on offense today and I thought our defense played very well. The only drawback was our special teams which basically gave up their three touchdowns. We know that's an area that we need to improve on and we will," East St. Louis coach Darren Sunkett said. "We didn't punt the football but once all day and when that happens, you know the offense is doing a pretty good job."
The Estes-to-Thomas combination wasted little time in making itself known. A 25-yard scoring pass put East St. Louis up 7-0 with still over nine minutes left in the first quarter.
The lead didn't last long. A 66-yard kickoff return by senior DeMarius Ward set up an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Millas to Os Moore as the Lancers tied the game at 7.
Moore struck again later in the opening quarter with a 77-yard kickoff return which would give East its only lead of the game at 14-13.
Moore's score would be the last highlight of the day for coach Tim Funk and the Lancers.
"We concentrate on doing well on the three parts of the game -- offense, defense and special teams. Today, we did well in only one of those," Funk said. "We moved the football well at times but we couldn't sustain it.
"Defensively, we couldn't stop them. I said it before the game and I'll say it again, East St. Louis is a good football team."
Strong then gave East St. Louis the lead for good with a 9-yard run early in the second quarter then broke loose on a 66-yard run to increase the margin to 27-14.
The Lancers didn't quit. Millas marched his team inside the Flyers 10-yard line but was intercepted by Raekwon Griffin in the end zone.
On the next play, Estes found Thomas alone on a fly pattern and an 80-yard scoring play to make the score 34-14.
"He's a special talent. Kids like Jeff (Thomas) come along once every 10 years if you're lucky," Sunkett said. "The last one like him was Terry (Hawthorne) seven years ago."
Young then ran 78 yards with 2:20 left in the first half to give East St. Louis a 41-14 lead.
Strong and Young then added a pair of short touchdown runs early in the third quarter to conclude the Flyers' scoring.
"We're just trying to continue to get better every week," Sunkett said. "But I'm very proud of these kids and the character they have shown this season.
"When we were 0-3 and battling injuries, it would have been easy for them to give up. But they came to practice every day and continued to work hard. We've still got a long way to go. But we've made strides the last two weeks.
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/09/27/3425442/flyers-prove-too-much-for-east.html?sp=/99/205/220/#storylink=cpy
Flyers Rebounded Big Over O fallon 55 to 10
O'FALLON — The battered, bruised and somewhat maligned East St. Louis defense took out their frustrations on Saturday at O'Fallon High School. And so did sophomore quarterback Rayondus Estes.
Led by senior All-state defensive end Terry Beckner Jr., a swarming East St. Louis defense allowed only three points while Estes threw four touchdown passes and the Flyers broke into the win column with a convincing 55-10 triumph over the Panthers in a Southwestern Conference game.
Shredded for 138 points by three top programs to start the season, East St. Louis bent, but didn't break on a hot late summer afternoon while forcing six turnovers --five of which came in the second half.
The Flyers (1-3, 1-1) led only 14-7 at halftime before erupting for 41 second half points to pull away from O'Fallon (2-2, 1-1).
The victory and more specifically, the defensive performance of the Flyers was exactly what coach Darren Sunkett wanted to se.
"We're playing a lot of young kids on the defensive side of the football and while I thought we gave up some yardage early we made the adjustments we needed too,'' Sunkett said. "This was exactly what we needed today. It's a long season but we really needed to put one in the win column for the morale of this football team.
"Winning, like losing, can be contagious. We're hoping this is just the beginning and we continue to play well from here on out."
Estes, making just the fourth start of his varsity career, finished the day 11 of 17 passing for 186 yards. Estes fired a pair of scoring passes to Jeff Thomas and Raekwon Griffin while running backs Marvin Young and Natereace Strong combined to rush for 206 yard and four scores.
O'Fallon, playing without starting quarterback Camden Bauer (shoulder injury) and with star running back Kentrail Moran less than full strength, got the first break of the game. K'Vonte Spearman picked up a fumble and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown just 2 minutes, 14 seconds into the game to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
O'Fallon would not score again until the fourth quarter when Tucker McCann booted a 55-yard field goal to cut the Flyers lead to 35-10.
The story of the game for O'Fallon was turnovers. Quarterback Klayton Gettis could never get going as Beckner (9 tackles, 1 sack and a fumble recovery) led the way for the East St. Louis defense.
"Klayton (Gettis) does a good job for us. It's just that today when we made mistakes we put our defense in tough situations. We gave them (East St. Louis) a lot of short fields and they took advantage,'' O'Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst said. "I thought we moved the ball well early, but put ourselves in a hole.
"Then, when we got behind we got away from our game plan and we could never put any sustained drives together because of the turnovers.''
Estes got the Flyers on the scoreboard with a 25-yard strike to Griffin late first quarter then put his team ahead to stay at 14-7 when he connected with Thomas on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 1:25 left in the half.
The talented Thomas, who caught eight passes for 138 yards, then caught a 44-yard strike with 9:09 left in the third quarter to make the score 21-7.
"He (Estes) has done a pretty good job for us all year,'' Sunkett said. "It's just that in the first three games we've either struggled with the running game or we've fallen behind and he's had to throw the football. "Today we had a nice mix of run and pass and you saw how we played.''
Young added scoring runs of one and 9 yards four minutes apart late in the third quarter to give East St. Louis a 35-7 lead.
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/09/20/3413027/east-st-louis-storms-by-ofallon.html?sp=/99/205/220/#storylink=cpy
Wounded Flyers get cruched by conference rival Edwardsville
EAST ST. LOUIS • Terry Beckner Jr. received his All-American jersey at halftime, but Dan Marinko was the most electrifying player on the field.
Edwardsville's senior quarterback threw for 441 yards and seven touchdowns Saturday as the Tigers dismantled Beckner and Southwestern Conference rival East St. Louis 57-32.
“The stats go in my category but without the receiving corps and the O-line none of that happens,” Marinko said. “That's a complete team effort right there.”
The No. 2 large school in the STLhighschoolsports.com rankings, Edwardsville (2-1 overall, 1-0 league) never punted and scored on eight of its first nine possessions. Markino connected with wide receiver Fontez Davis for a 52-yard touchdown pass three minutes into the game. It was a sign of things to come.
Davis finished with seven receptions for 247 yards and three touchdowns, one of which went 92 yards on a third-down play.
“When we see man coverage we have to take advantage of it,” Davis said.
No. 6 East St. Louis (0-3, 0-1) answered that first touchdown when quarterback Rayondus Estes hit wide receiver Jeff Thomas down the middle for a 67-yard strike on the third play of the Flyers' first drive.
But the Flyers couldn't keep up with the Edwardsville offensive machine. The Tigers scored 21 consecutive points as Marinko rushed for a short score and Jackson Morrissey and Davis both caught touchdown passes.
East St. Louis would cut the lead to 27-18 with more than four minutes to play in the first half as running backs Natereace Strong and Marvin Young both rushed for touchdowns. Edwarsdville's only turnover gave the Flyers a short field that Young converted, but that was as close as the Flyers would get.
Edwardsville wide receiver Isaiah Michl caught a 66-yard touchdown pass before halftime as the Tigers took a 34-18 lead into the locker room.
During the intermission, Under Armour presented Beckner, East St. Louis' nationally ranked defensive lineman, with a jersey to celebrate his selection as an All-American. If the Flyers had hopes of more highlights in the second half, they evaporated quickly.
Morrissey went 41 yards on a quick pass from Marinko for his second score of the game. On its next two possessions, Edwardsville poured it on as Davis scampered 92 yards and Tommy Maxwell caught a 35-yard touchdown pass for a 54-18 lead. The Tigers would have hung 60 on the Flyers but settled for a field goal early in the fourth quarter after getting stuffed inside the 10-yard line on three tries.
“It would have been nice to put up 60, but we got the win,” Marinko said.
East St. Louis scored twice more as Strong and Young each picked up touchdowns. Strong finished with 130 yards rushing and Young had 96.
Thomas, a sophomore and one of the area's elite receivers, was playing with an obvious limp and with his left ankle heavily wrapped. He had 164 yards receiving including a spectacular one-handed grab on a pass thrown behind him.
“Jeff Thomas, is he not amazing? He's better on one leg than most guys are on two,” Edwardsville coach Matt Martin said.
After a heartbreaking loss last week at Illinois Class 8A No. 1-ranked Loyola, Edwardsville turned right back around and crushed the program with the most victories in Illinois history and gave itself the inside track to defend its Southwestern Conference crown.
“I think we improved some of the things we do (this week),” Martin said. “We were able to take some of those mistakes and have a good day.”
East St. Louis coach Darren Sunkett was not available for comment
Wounded Flyers get pumped up for conference opener against Edwardsville
EAST ST. LOUIS — The East St. Louis Flyers head into their Southwestern Conference opener on Saturday a wounded football team.
Consecutive losses to perennial national powers (Cincinnati) St. Xavier and (Lombard) Montini have taken their toll physically on the Flyers who have a number of players banged up and bruised as they prepare to host Class 7A state power Edwardsville at 1 p.m. at Clyde Jordan Stadium.
But attitude wise, the Flyers are still upbeat, according to coach Darren Sunkett.
"This is a good group of kids. They are all still up and positive. The big thing right now is that we've got to get healthy," Sunkett said. "We lost our defensive back Adrian Smith for the season with a broke ankle last week against Montini and that's a big loss, but we expect to have else back.
"But the kids aren't down at all. We lost to extremely good football teams the last two weeks. We've been here before. In 2009 we lost our first two games and ran off 10 straight wins to get to the state semifinals. That's what it all about. Preparing for the postseason."
Among the players battling injuries are sophomore wide receiver Jeff Thomas and sophomore quarterback Rayondus Estes. Thomas tweaked his tender right ankle for the second straight week against Montini but still caught three passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Estes took a hard hit in the second half a week ago, leaving him groggy. Both are expected to play against Edwardsville.
Sunkett said he was very pleased with the progress of Estes who in just his second varsity start completed 11 of 17 passes for 21 yards an two touchdowns.
"For a sophomore quarterback playing in his second varsity game and against one of the top programs in the state to have the kind of day that Estes had. I thought he played very well," Sunkett said. "He made some great reads and did a good job of making smart decisions with the football."
The Flyers got a monster game from senior running back Natereace Strong. The Missouri recruit rushed for 290 yards and two touchdowns as he enjoyed his finest day in an injury-prone four-year varsity career.
"Nate was Nate. We always knew he had great ability and speed but has been unlucky with the injuries for much of his career," Sunkett said. "We were hoping he would have that break out game and on Saturday he did.
"If he continues to play like that, it will allow us to open up our offense even more."
Sunkett know the Flyers will face another major challenge this week in Edwardsville. The Tigers are 1-1 after losing to (Lincolnshire) Stevenson last week's opponent
"It's another tough opponent for us. But we've had tough opponents the last two weeks. We just need to be ready to play good, hard football for 48 minutes or longer if need be," Sunkett said. "I'm not big on moral victories. A loss is a loss and as a competitor, that's not acceptable.
"But in terms of the effort and our performance from week one to week two, I was pleased at how we played against Montini. We had 500 yards of offense. We just need to get healthy
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/09/10/3394785_wounded-flyers-get-pumped-up-for.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
East St. Louis ,Edwardsville to meet this week after strong showings in Chicago
Having top-ranked Loyola Academy on the ropes Saturday proved far easier than putting the Ramblers away on their home field.
Third-ranked Edwardsville led Loyola 21-0 and despite accounting for seven interceptions, one of which was returned 55 yards for a touchdown by sophomore A.J. Epenesa, the Tigers lost a 29-28 heartbreaker in overtime.
"Hopefully it shows them that we're good enough to compete with anybody," Edwardsville coach Matt Martin said. "They're preseason No. 1 ranked, we'll see what it all comes out to be. They are a good team with a great tradition and they're one of the best teams in the state year-in and year out.
"There's a lot of positives on our part."
Most of those came in the first half as the opportunistic Tiger defense hounded Loyola quarterback D.J. Melsheimer into five interceptions and cashed in several of those for points.
"We played pretty smart football and did all the little things right in the first half," Martin said. "That changed in the second half, we were turning the ball over and losing field position. We missed some assignments on defense that gave them big plays."
Loyola's fortunes changed after backup Emmett Clifford replaced Melsheimer early in the third quarter.
He led the Ramblers to touchdowns on two of his first three drives, also scoring on a 5-yard run to tie it 21-21 with 2:35 remaining. He completed 8-of-14 passes for 118 yards.
Edwardsville still seemed poised for a win when quarterback Dan Marinko hit Isaiah Michl on a 5-yard TD pass on the first possession in overtime. The extra-point by Trentan Daley left the Tigers with a 28-21 lead.
Loyola took over and was facing fourth-and-goal at the 5 when Clifford threw a TD pass to Owen Buscaglia.
Instead of going for the tie while lined up to kick the extra point, Loyola ran a fake and holder Aidan Walsh, the third-string quarterback, was able to get the ball off in time to find an open Brian O'Brien in the end zone for the game-winning 2-point conversion.
The Tigers anticipated a possible fake.
"We talked about it on the sidelines," Martin said. "It takes time to get off your knee, turn around and find who's open. I was hoping we could get pressure to them before they could get the throw off.
"He was getting tackled (by Edwardsville's Kyler Davis) as he was throwing the ball."
Marinko was 17-for-29 for 238 yards and one TD, also running for a pair of touchdowns. He was intercepted twice in the second half.
Jourdy Jones had two of Edwardsville's seven interceptions.
Two nailbiters in Chicago for the SWC
While Edwardsville nearly pulled off the win, Southwestern Conference rival East St. Louis also had top-ranked Montini on the ropes Saturday before dropping a 46-32 decision in Lombard.
East Side (0-2) and Edwardsville (1-1), both state-ranked teams, face each other at 1 p.m. Saturday at Clyde C. Jordan Stadium in East St. Louis in what figures to be one of the top games this season.
The Flyers (0-2) got 290 yards rushing and two TDs from Missouri recruit Nate Strong and pushed the home team hard, leading 20-10 before fading in the second half.
"Their offensive line is big and physical and they have a good fullback," Martin said of the Flyers. "Strong's a big, strong, fast kid with a lot of experience. If you don't try to contain their running game, bad things are going to happen."
Injuries also were a big factor in the loss as Flyers' star sophomore receiver Jeff Thomas was dealing with an ankle injury suffered in the opener.
The Flyers also had 495 yards of total offense but were severely limited by injuries, including a late one to quarterback Rayondus Estes
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/09/08/3391085_edwardville-east-st-louis-to-meet.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Montini's Thornton, Norgle have big days in win over East St. Louis
Montini took a knockout blow and delivered one of its own during the first two weeks of the season
After allowing 21 points in the last three minutes in a one-point loss to Maine South in Week 1, No. 15 Montini rebounded from a rough start Saturday with four straight touchdown drives in a 46-32 victory against East St. Louis.
The Broncos (1-1) fell behind 13-0 four minutes in when Natereace Strong scored on an 80-yard touchdown run and Raekwon Griffin added a 81-yard score on a punt return.
The Indiana-bound Thornton caught 12 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns and had several long returns on punts and kickoffs. Norgle struggled early against a fierce pass rush, but managed to throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a pair of 1-yard runs.
"It was a huge win, especially after the collapse we had last week," Montini coach Chris Andriano said. "I knew that it was going to be a test. Our kids passed, especially after falling behind early and after we had to come back the way we did."
The Broncos had trouble stopping the Missouri-bound Strong, who rushed for 270 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns, and allowed six first-half sacks.
East St. Louis senior defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr., the No. 3 overall recruit in the country according to 247Sports.com, overpowered Montini's offensive line early as the Flyers took a 20-10 lead.
"They came out and really punched us in the mouth pretty good, but I'm so proud of our team that we were able to come back and hold them in the second half," Asta said.
The Broncos didn't allow a sack and made a critical goal-line stand in the second half. Thornton caught two third-quarter touchdown passes and Norgle added an insurance touchdown with 6 minutes, 42 seconds left in regulat
Player of the game: Leon Thornton III, Montini, 12 catches, 181 yards, 3 TDs.
Key performers: East St. Louis — Natereace Strong, 28 carries, 270 yards, 2 TDs; Antuan Quinlin, 3 sacks. Montini — Chuck Norgle, 24-for-35, 300 yards, 2 TDs; 2 TDs rushing; Samuel Asta, 2 fumble recoveries, including 9-yard TD return.
Simms anchors East St. Louis's line
East St. Louis lineman Tre'Vour Simms takes part in a drill at practice on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at
East St. Louis High School. Paul Kopsky,
Tre'vour Simms toted the rock once or twice.
That was plenty.
“I ran the ball a couple of times. It's very tiresome,” Simms said. “I don't know if I can sprint on a breakaway for 100 yards.”
A junior offensive linemen for the East St. Louis football team, the 6-foot-5 and 300-pound Simms prefers pancaking opponents over running past them. One of two returning starters to the Flyers offensive line, Simms will be leaned on heavily to provide leadership and experience.
The Flyers have a tough early-season schedule. They host Southwestern Conference rival Edwardsville in their home opener on Sept. 13. Edwardsville had a ferocious defense last season and will do its best to test the Flyers line.
Not that any of this is news to Simms. A lineman since he started playing as a kid, the 16-year-old understands that the biggest players on the field are often the most overlooked. There are only rare occasions spectators notice the offensive line and it's usually when something goes bad.
“You're the heart of the team,” Simms said. “You can pretty much tell how the game is going by the offensive line. If the offensive line dominates the game we'll win.”
When not playing football you can find Simms playing – football, online. Simms spends his free time playing video games, mostly NBA 2K14, Madden and College Football. He said his favorite college team to play with is Ohio State.
“I'm a game-head,” he said. “I've been playing all my life.”
The No. 3 recruit in his class in Illinois by 247sports.com, Simms should have plenty of options when it comes to picking a college to call home after his senior year.
But, for the moment, he remains focused on this season.
“I still have a lot to prove this season, I'm just trying to stay hungry,” Simms said. “I'm not worried about (recruiting). I'm worried about attacking my junior season and helping my seniors get a state championship before they leave.”
Flyers grounded by St. Xavier
CINCINNATI — The East St. Louis football team found itself behind the eight ball Saturday afternoon and could never recover.
Playing in Ohio for the first time since 2009, the Flyers lost to host Cincinnati St. Xavier 35-20 on Saturday.
Flyers coach Darren Sunkett said first-game jitters and a 21-0 deficit at the 9:21 mark of the second quarter did East St. Louis no favors on Saturday.
The game was part of the 17th annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown in Ohio. Sunkett said it was the fourth time the Flyers have played an Ohio team.
Punting woes and miscues on offense didn"t help the Flyers, who didn"t score until the 3:58 mark of the second quarter.
The Flyers also played most the game without top wide receiver Jeff Thomas, who injured his ankle at the 2:53 mark of the first quarter after a 16-yard reception.
"We had a lot of things that went wrong early in the first quarter," Sunkett said.
Despite five fumbles, the Bombers took advantage of early good field position and punting woes by the Flyers (0-1) in the first half.
"That's a real good football team we played," Sunkett said. "We need to execute and we just didn't do that today."
East St. Louis (0-1) reached the Illinois 6A state semifinals a year ago. East St. Louis is ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Illinois State High School Preseason Football 6A poll.
Senior running back Natereace Strong, who had verbally committed to Missouri, had 56 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The Flyers closed the gap to 28-20 when sophomore wide receiver Jermaine Grissom caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Rayondus Estes with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter.
However, the Bombers added a rushing touchdown on a drive more than a minute later to seal the game.
The Bombers fumbled their opening drive of the second half. East St. Louis junior linebacker Jerod Robinson forced the fumble and recovered it on the run play.
Three plays later, the Flyers scored when Strong scored on a 1-yard touchdown run up the middle at the 10:20 mark of the third. That made it St. X 21-14.
St. X then fumbled on the ensuing kickoff return and East St. Louis took over but couldn"t convert on fourth down.
St. X (1-0), ranked No. 3 in the Cincinnati Enquirer large school area coaches" poll, had 267 yards of total offense to the Flyers" 175 yards.
St. X senior running back Ben Glines (Boston College commit) rushed for 126 yards and three touchdowns for the Bombers.
East St. Louis offensive lineman/defensive lineman Terry Beckner - the state's top recruit in the 2015 class - was named the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown team MVP for the Flyers.
Senior defensive back Kendall Poe (seven tackles), junior defensive back Markeith McGary (six tackles) and Robinson (5.5 tackles) were among other standouts for the Flyers.
East St. Louis plays at Montini Catholic at 3 p.m. Sept. 6.
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/08/30/3375835/flyers-grounded-by-st-xavier.html?sp=/99/205/220/#storylink=cpy
Winning tradition makes East St. Louis a special program
MaxPreps 2014 Illinois preseason football Fab 5
Any path to a potential Southwestern Conference football championship typically runs through East St. Louis.
The Edwardsville Tigers ran through an unbeaten regular-season last season on the way to a spot in the Class 7A semifinals and 12-1 record, but only beat the Flyers 29-28.
In fact, East St. Louis went through a rare two-game conference losing streak when it dropped another game the following week to O'Fallon.
However, the Flyers won their next eight games before a 7-6 loss to Oak Lawn Richards in the Class 6A semifinals ended their dream of an eighth state football title.
"Darren Sunkett's done a great job," O'Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst said of the Flyers' coach. "They're perennially deeper in the playoffs than most (area teams) and you know they're going to put a formidable product on the field every year. They don't have down years, so you know when you play them you've got to bring it."
Entering the 2014 season, which begins Friday, East St. Louis has more wins than any Illinois high school football program. Research released over the summer showed the Flyers with a record of 737-188-36 since 1925 for an incredible winning percentage of .786.
The Flyers' seven state titles are easily the most of any metro-east team. Althoff is second with three.
"In non-conference, traditionally they're playing the best teams they can find and it's no different this year," Joggerst said of the Flyers. "They find out right away what they need to work on and they improve. You know when you play them it's going to be a very physical, fast-paced game and you're up against a good team."
The Flyers' first four games this season are brutal.
They are on the road against St. Xavier from Cincinnati, Ohio, then travel to Chicago to face Montini. Montini's run of four straight 5A state titles ended last season with a second-place finish.
After that, it's back-to-back SWC games against Edwardsville and O'Fallon.
"It's a dogfight each and every week in our conference," Joggerst said. "Everybody's improved, even the teams that haven't fared well. Everybody's asking this time of the year how you're going to be. I feel very good with where we're at, but the problem is the league is a step better than it's been the last few years."
Usually when two teams play each other twice in one season, the second meeting is in the state playoffs.
That's not the case for Cahokia Conference rivals Carlyle and Wesclin, which will meet once in am Oct. 3 conference game and then play each other again Oct. 24 in a nonconference game.
"I've heard of other schools doing it, but this is the first time we've done it," Carlyle Athletic Director Darin Smith said. "We both had issues getting someone our size and without traveling four or five hours. We just ust decided to try it and see how it goes.
"From a travel standpoint you can't beat it, a 20-mile round trip."
While Belleville West senior kicker Austin Seibert has already made a verbal commitment to Oklahoma, don't overlook O'Fallon junior kicker Tucker McCann.
"Seibert's very special and hopefully (McCann) can be in a somewhat similar fashion in the junior class," Joggerst said.
During O'Fallon's scrimmage Friday, McCann booted a 60-yard field goal and may have the leg to go a little further.
"It was a controlled field goal in a scrimmage, but he's been kicking the ball really well," Joggerst said. "He started at about the 40 and worked his way back. It was nice, we had a really good-sized crowd there and he had the spotlight there for a few minutes."
McCann had eight field goals and 28 extra-points last season as a sophomore.
Looking for a conference
Mater Dei coach Jim Stiebel said in an ideal world, the Knights would compete in the Mississippi Valley Conference or even the South Seven.
Instead, they remain one of seven football independents in Illinois and have a rugged 2014 schedule because of it.
"That's not on purpose," said Stiebel, whose team has faced Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Jacksonville in recent years and will take on Althoff and Quincy Notre Dame this season. "We tried with all our might to get into the Mississippi Valley Conference; they met and had a vote and we didn't get in there, but maybe they'll consider it for next year."
Why is it so tough for independents in football? Stiebel thinks qualifying for the state playoffs is the main issue.
"Teams want to make sure they get to six (wins to qualify) and I don't blame them," he said. "We need to get in a conference that would be competitive, but one where we don't have to face every team we play being a playoff team."
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/08/23/3364025/winning-tradition-makes-east-st.html?sp=/99/205/220/#storylink=cpy
Head coach: John Ivlow
2013 Finish: 10-1
A bevy of returning starters fill Bolingbrook's 2014 roster, making it the easy call for preseason No. 1 in Illinois. The defense allowed a mere 88 points in 11 games last year, and could improve on that mark.
See the Top 20 most dominant Illinois football teams in the MaxPreps era
2. East St. Louis
Head coach: Darren Sunkett
2013 Finish: 9-4
Most larger schools in Illinois are located in the Chicago area, so East St. Louis often flies under the radar until playoff time. Natereace Strong and Jeff Thomas provide plenty of offensive weaponry. Terry Beckner is back off a nine-sack season.
See the MaxPreps Illinois football photo galleries
3. Mount Carmel (Chicago)
Head coach: Frank Lenti
2013 Finish: 13-1; Class 7A state champion
If not for an October loss to Loyola Academy, Mt. Carmel would have finished undefeated last year. Matt Domer, Enoch Smith, and the rest of last year's senior class is gone. Those losses will hurt, but no Frank Lenti-coached squad will slip too far.
See the MaxPreps Illinois football playoff brackets
4. Loyola Academy (Wilmette)
Head coach: John Holecek
2013 Finish: 12-2
D.J. Melsheimer should have a big year behind center for the suburban Chicago power. However, the defense should carry the Ramblers early on, as it projects to be more experienced than the offense to begin the season.
See the MaxPreps Illinois football computer rankings
5. Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)
Head coach: Ken Leonard
2013 Finish: 14-0; Class 5A state champion
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