BELLEVILLE — Sherand Boyd and the Belleville West Maroons hit Belleville East fast and hard Saturday afternoon.
Boyd, a junior quarterback, rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two more in the first half to power West to a 42-14 victory over the visiting Lancers in a Southwestern Conference game at West High School.
"We just stuck to the game plan and it opened up," Boyd said. "I give credit to my O-line, my running backs and my wideouts. Everyone played a real good game today. We work a lot in practice on timing, and the timing paid off today --big-time."
The Maroons, ranked eighth in the Class 7A poll, improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SWC. East fell to 2-2 and 1-1 and has been outscored 80-20 in its last two games against West.
"Things didn't go our way today at all," Lancers coach Tim Funk said. "You've got to give credit to them. They came out right off the bat and took it to us, and we were on our heels. Then it's one of those deals when things are going bad, they keep going bad."
Boyd's touchdowns came on runs of 56 yards and 31 yards, and they gave the Maroons a 14-0 lead with 6:32 left in the first quarter.
Junior Dominic Davis' interception led to a 10-yard TD pass from Boyd to senior Brian Hill that made it 21-0 late in the first quarter.
East got within 21-7 on senior Jaecob Cotton's 1-yard run early in the second quarter, but a 37-yard TD pass from Boyd to sophomore TeAntez Anthony made it 28-7 with 4:11 left in the first half.
"We got on top of them early and the defense played extremely well," said coach Cameron Pettus, whose team forced three turnovers. "Any time you can beat a good, quality program like Belleville East, it's a huge win. I'm proud of the effort we had today from our young men in all three phases of the game. It was outstanding."
A circus catch off a tipped pass from Boyd landed in the arms of senior Brendan Saak and set up the Maroons' next TD --a 1-yard run by Hill that made it 35-7 with 10:34 left in the third quarter.
East senior Parker Hendricks recovered a fumble by West junior Carter Vantezz on a punt-return catch, and the Lancers capitalized on a short field to cut it to 35-14 on senior quarterback Ryan McDonald's 9-yard TD pass to senior Josiah Bergt at the 6:26 mark.
East senior Aaron Douglas then intercepted a pass by Boyd, but McDonald's pass on the Lancers' next play was dropped by Cotton and landed in the arms of West sophomore Nicholas Foster.
The Maroons put the game out of reach when Hill scooped up a fumble by junior DeMarius Ward and dived into the corner of the end zone from 5 yards out to give West a 42-14 lead with 7:25 to play in the game.
Hill, a linebacker and running back, scored three touchdowns but was mostly pleased about the Maroons' defense.
"After we went up 14-0, our defense got excited," said Hill, who was being watched by Indiana State assistant coaches. "We played lights-out today. We all swarmed to the ball and had helmets all around the ball-carrier. We forced a couple of turnovers, too."
Hill said he was "kind of scared" on his fumble recovery that officials would disallow the apparent touchdown.
"I stuck the ball out (toward the end zone) and (East) knocked it out," he said. "I was waiting for the ref to put his hands up, and when he did, I just ran across the field."
For Pettus, the victory was another step toward what he believes can lead to a conference championship. The Maroons will play at O'Fallon (3-1, 2-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
"We tell our guys we want to compete every week, and then, of course, we want to compete for the conference championship," Pettus said. "Our conference is tough and next week it's O'Fallon. We like our chances against anybody in this conference."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at email@example.com or 239-2665.