Maroons start fast, rout Granite City, 48-7

For the News-DemocratSeptember 14, 2013 

— Belleville West's one-two punch of Antoine Davis and Brian Hill proved too much for Granite City on Friday night.

Davis, a junior, rushed 11 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns while senior teammate Hill had seven carries for 115 yards and two TDs as West coasted to a 48-7 Southwestern Conference win at Granite City.

"Those guys are kind of like thunder and lightning for us in the backfield," said West coach Cameron Pettus after his team improved to 3-0 and 1-0 in SWC play. "But it also takes the offensive line doing a great job and our quarterback (Sherand Boyd) getting these guys the ball on the right reads.

"Our receivers do a great job making sure they don't load up on the run."

"We've got to get better to play with a team like that," said Warriors coach Carl Luehmann, whose team is 1-2 and 0-1 in league play. "We would get a play or two going and then we'd have a setback."

A 46-yard kickoff return by La'Vante Smith set up West's opening drive, which was capped by a 40-yard field goal by Austin Seibert with 10 minutes and 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The Maroons quickly added to their lead, as Davis ran 17 yards off left tackle for a touchdown with 7:12 left in the quarter. The PAT by Seibert it 10-0.

"We have that brother mentality and we just get on the field and come together," Davis said. "A game like this is a big confidence boost because we dominated on both sides of the ball."

West's next possession started at the Granite City 30 after a 15-yard punt, and the Maroons converted the opportunity into a 37-yard field goal by Seibert with 3:14 to play in the quarter.

"We have excellent special teams," Pettus said. "Austin is a great kicker, one of the best I've ever seen. You combine that with great defense and great offense and it's a really good combination."

A fumble by Smith gave West the ball at the Warriors' 27. On the next play, Hill went 27 yards up the middle for a touchdown with 2:53 remaining in the quarter.

"A lot of our success has to do with the offensive scheme," Hill said. "A lot of our big plays come off the defense chasing the wrong person and someone else gets wide open."

Another short drive by West started at the Granite City 26, thanks to an interception by Smith on the opening play of the second quarter. Two plays later, Davis broke loose up the middle for a 25-yard TD.

A 32-yard touchdown on a screen pass from Boyd to TeAntez Anthony capped a seven-play, 57-yard drive as the Maroons boosted their lead to 34-0 with 6:04 left in the second quarter.

West's final scoring drive of the first half showed just how frustrating the game had become for Granite City. After dropping Ramon Stacker for a 14-yard loss, the Warriors had the Maroons facing a second down and 29 from their own 46.

On the next play, with 1:49 remaining in the half, Hill answered with a 54-yard scoring run, and Seibert's extra point made it 41-0 at halftime.

The entire second half was played with a running clock. Midway through the third quarter, Granite City had a chance to get on the scoreboard, driving to West's 1-yard line after a pass interference call against the Maroons.

But a 4-yard loss on a sack, followed by an interception by Nicholas Foster, kept the shutout intact.

"We've got some stuff to clean up, but I'm very proud of the defensive effort," Pettus said. "Overall, I can't be disappointed with where we're at, but we've got a long way to go."

Granite City finally scored on a 6-yard run by Raheem Beckwith with 4:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.

A key play in the drive was a 26-yard pass from Gabe Jarman to Beckwith.

A 79-yard kickoff return by Dominic Davis set up West's final touchdown, an 11-yard run by Stacker with 3:11 left in the fourth quarter.

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