In the eyes of Edwardsville football coach Matt Martin, there's no mystery about the key to shutting down the offense of the Soldan Tigers today at the City of Champions Foundation High School Football Classic.
The Edwardsville defense will focus on containing Soldan quarterback Ronald Clower, who threw for 122 yards and three scores and rushed for 85 yards in the Tigers' season-opening 28-6 win over Roosevelt last week.
"Soldan can run the ball a little bit and they've got some big kids up front. But it starts with the quarterback,'' Martin said. "He's a good athlete who can run it and who has a strong arm."
Ranked fifth in the Class 7A state poll, Edwardsville also looked good in its 2013 debut, blanking Hazelwood West 42-0 last week.
Saturday's game: Edwardsville (1-0) vs. (St. Louis) Soldan (1-0), noon.
Last meeting: Edwar- dsville defeated Soldan 44-12 a year ago.
Last week: Edwar- dsville defeated Hazel- wood West 42-0; Soldan defeated Roosevelt 28-6.
Edwardsville's Top Players: QB Dan Marinko (12-of-16, 106 yards, 1TD, 4 carries, 65 yards); RB-DB Craig James (8 carries, 52 yards, 3 tackles, 1 assist), WR Darius Crochrell (6 catches 47 yards); WR Tommy Maxwell (4 catches, 29 yards); LB Zac Rujawitz (4 tackles, 8 assists).
Soldan's top players: QB Ronald Clower (4-of-9, 122 yards, 3 TD's; 4 carries 85 yards); RB-DB Terry Graham (4 carries, 50 yards; 5 tackles); WR Corlten Brooks (2 catches, 96 yards); WR-KR Dwight Sacus (2 catches, 26 yards; 2 returns, 60 yards); LB Travon Wadlington (5 tackles, 1 fumble recovery).
Looking for more: Martin said he was, for the most part, pleased with how his team played against Hazelwood West last week. But Martin is looking for more this week. "We had some kids like Craig (James) and Zac (Rujawitz) step up and play well for us last week and some others who need to step up a little more this week,'' Martin said.
Notes: The Tigers open Southwestern Conference play next week by hosting East St. Louis. Edwardsville defeated East St. Louis in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs last year. Edwardsville is in the midst of a seven-game regular season winning streak.