Indians and Crusaders looking to bounce back from losses

News-DemocratSeptember 12, 2013 

— It's a match-up of two teams who would like to get back on the winning track before heading into conference play.

The Mascoutah Indians (1-1) will play the Althoff Crusaders (1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Lindenwood Stadium.

The Indians are coming off a 28-7 loss to Mount Vernon, while the Crusaders are coming off a 52-30 loss to Belleville West.

"It's a big game for us for a lot of reasons," Mascoutah coach Scott Battas said. "We understand that it is not the end of the world Friday night, but certainly for momentum reasons a win could do a lot for our kids and our program."

Neither team wants to drop to 1-2 and have its playoff hopes backed into a corner going into league action.

"It's always a big game," Althoff coach Ken Turner said. "Even if you're 2-0, it's a big game. Your goal is to get six wins so you can qualify for the playoffs."

Friday's game: Mascoutah (1-1) at Althoff (1-1), 7 p.m.

Last meeting: Althoff beat Mascoutah 24-12 as quarterback Eric Mertens threw for 205 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.

Mascoutah coach Scott Battas: "They are certainly impressive with their aerial attack. They do a lot of things through the air and they have a lot of guys that can catch it and they have a guy who can throw in (Eric) Mertens. We have our hands full on defense. I think we are really improved on defense.

"We've have some athletes of our own, too. I think we'll be able to hang in there, but we certainly respect what they've done the first two weeks through the air."

Althoff coach Ken Turner: "We have a lot of young guys on defense. We have kind of an inexperienced defense, though we feel like they are in the right spots. They (Belleville West Maroons) actually had three good runners, they have a pretty good offense over there.

"Those three kids running the football have nice size and speed. We felt like we moved the ball against them, but we just couldn't cash in on a few drives that could have kept us on the high-scoring side of the game."

Mascoutah game plan: The Indians had only eight offensive possessions against Mount Vernon, so they'd like to sustain some drives of their own this week.

Althoff game plan: The Crusaders would like to finish drives better on offense and tackle better on defense. They'd also like to get their running game going as a complement to their potent passing attack.

Key players: Mascoutah -- QB Tim Parks (17 of 31 passing for 154 yards with two TDs and two interceptions), RB Misikei Thomsen (25 carries for 128 yards and two TDs), DB Manny Fontenot (20 tackles). Althoff -- QB Eric Mertens (54 of 92 passing for 661 yards with six TDs and three interceptions), RB Dennis Jackson (19 carries for 93 yards), WR KeenenYoung (15 catches for 232 yards and a TD), WR Luke Frazier (13 catches for 170 yards and a TD), LB Aaron Medina (18 tackles).

Notes: The Indians will be getting three starters -- RB-WR Trevahn Williams, WR-LB-P Austin Waugh and RB-LB Preston Ellington -- back who didn't play against Mount Vernon. ... The Crusaders have won the last four meetings against the Indians by a combined score of 126-38.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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