Boys Varsity Football
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Sep 20, 2019
- REDBIRDS: 14
EDWARDSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL: 42
Tigers Defeat the Redbirds at Home
EDWARDSVILLE – The ability to bounce back paid off for the Edwardsville football team on Friday night in the Southwestern Conference opener for both teams,
Tied with Alton after a long pass play by the Redbirds at the end of the first quarter, EHS outscored the Redbirds 28-0 over the final three quarters to beat the Redbirds 42-14 at the District 7 Sports Complex.
The host Tigers improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the SWC while Alton dropped to 2-2 and 1-0.
“Some of my fears came true,” Tigers coach Matt Martin said. “They threw some jump balls and made some plays on them.
“Their quarterback (Andrew Jones) is very athletic and a dual-threat guy who can make you miss in the open field. They’ve got good schemes and coach (Eric) Dickerson does a great job. But we weathered the storm and they didn’t score again after the first quarter. We bent a little bit, but we didn’t break.”
Alton, meanwhile, had its share of highlights along the way, but the Redbirds couldn’t match up with Edwardsville over four quarters.
“It was a battle tonight and I thought we played well,” Dickerson said. “We made a few mistakes out there that we need to fix, but we came out and played hard and I think we executed pretty well. That’s a good team over there and they played well tonight.”
A 50-yard pass from Jones to Tim Johnson set up Alton’s first touchdown, a 1-yard run by Bobby Smith with 6:44 to play in the first quarter.
Edwardsville tied the score at 7-7 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Hampton to Noah Goldsmith with 1:48 remaining in the quarter.
With 10.5 seconds left in the quarter, the Tigers took a 14-7 lead on a 17-yard run up the middle by Hampton. The score was set up by an interception by Edwardsville’s Trey Lowery at the Alton 30-yard line.
The Tigers’ lead didn’t even last until the end of the quarter.
With time running out, Jones connected with Xavier McNear for a 52-yard touchdown pass that tied the score at 14-14.
But what appeared to be a big momentum shift for the Redbirds didn’t last for long.
EHS bounced back with a big play of its own, taking a 21-14 on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Hampton to Goldsmith.
After a 31-yard field goal attempt by Alton’s Jake Lombardi went wide left, the Tigers struck again on a 6-yard touchdown run by Justin Johnson Jr. to take a 28-14 lead with 1:18 remaining in the second quarter. EHS was helped by back-to-back 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against Alton that moved the ball to the Redbirds’ 18-yard line.
“We watched the plays and we made some adjustments and we were able to stop their offense from scoring, and we were able to put some points on the board,” Johnson Jr. said. “We have a big variety of different plays on offense. You have to be versatile and that helped a lot tonight.”
The third quarter was scoreless, thanks to a big stop by Edwardsville’s defense.
With 6:15 remaining in the quarter, McNear was stopped at the Tigers’ 1-yard line by EHS Malachi Revis on a fourth down and goal.
Edwardsville put the game away in the fourth quarter.
With 6:49 to play, Johnson Jr. pushed the Tigers’ lead to 35-14 on a 15-yard touchdown run.
“You’re not going to arm-tackle Justin. You’re going to have to put a shoulder into him,” Martin said. “He did a good job tonight.”
EHS closed out the scoring with 1:05 to play on a 4-yard TD run by Torrence Johnson.
“We had one turnover and that was disappointing, but we finished drives and put points on the board,” Martin said. “They’re a good football team and I don’t see any reason why they can’t be a playoff team.”
Despite the loss, Alton’s Dickerson remained upbeat.
“When we look at the film, I think we’ll get a lot of good things out of tonight,” Dickerson said. “We threw the ball pretty well and ran well. The defense played pretty well, but we can’t give up the big plays.”