Edwardsville at O'Fallon: SWC title is on the line

News-DemocratOctober 10, 2013 

Getting two opposing football coaches to agree on anything is difficult.

But Edwardsville coach Matt Martin and Brandon Joggerst of O'Fallon are aware of what's at stake Friday when the two Southwestern Conference powers collide at O'Fallon High School.

For Edwardsville, a win would all but wrap up the conference title. An O'Fallon win would leave the SWC race in a dead heat with two weeks left in the regular season.

"It's a chance to control our own destiny," Joggerst said.

Beating an Edwardsville team that is coming off a 45-14 win over previously undefeated Belleville West will be a tall order for O'Fallon. The Panthers struggled at times in a 27-13 win over Collinsville last week.

But Martin expects O'Fallon to be a tough opponent.

"O'Fallon is a very good football team in all phases of the game and we'll have to play a solid four quarters," Martin said. "We've played very well this season. We've accomplished some of our goals but we've still got more. A win here would move us another step closer to one of those goals." Today's game: Edwardsville (6-0, 4-0 in the SWC) at O'Fallon (4-2, 3-1), 7 p.m.

State-ranked foes: O'Fallon is ranked ninth in the Class 8A Associated Press state poll this week. Edwardsville is ranked third in Class 7A.

Last meeting: Edwardsville defeated O'Fallon 44-34 a year ago. The Tigers got a 99-yard kickoff return from Craig James and jumped out to a 34-14 halftime lead before a Panthers' rally fell short.

Edwardsville players to watch: QB Dan Marinko (93 of 131 for 1,418 yards, 18 TDs and 3 Ints.; 271 yards rushing, 6 TDs); WR Isaiah Michl (23 receptions for 492 yards, 5 TDs); WR Darius Crochrell (29 receptions for 391 yards, 8 TDs); LB Zac Rujawitz (45 tackles, 23 solos, 2 fumble recoveries).

O'Fallon players to watch: QB Camden Bauer (97 of 174 yards for 12 TDs and 9 Ints.); RB Kentrail Moran (136 attempts for 722 yards and 2 TDs); WR Tea'Mon Franklin (25 receptions for 516 yards and 7 TDs); WR Klayton Gettis (33 receptions for 340 yards and 4 TDs); DE Dewayne Hendrix (37 tackles, 22 solos, 6 sacks).

Battle of the QBs? Maybe. While Marinko figures to give the Panthers' coaching staff and secondary plenty to think about, O'Fallon's starting quarterback was still up in the air as of Wednesday. Injured late in the first half of the Panthers 27-13 win at Collinsville last week, Bauer's availability is still a question mark.

"He took a hard shot late in the second quarter and got the wind knocked out of hIm," Joggerst said. "It will probably be a game-time decision whether we go with Camden or Klayton Gettis. They are different style quarterbacks with different strengths.

Martin on preparing for two quaterbacks: "It's a little unsettling because you aren't sure who you are preparing for. O'Fallon has a very diversified offense. They'll give a lot of looks with different formations. They can run it, they can throw it, their defense is good and their kicker (Tucker McCann) is one of the best around. Obviously, it's a very good football team.

Quote of the week: "Those are video game numbers," Joggerst said about Marinko's 70 percent completion rate and 18 TD passes.

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