Maroons looking to rebound from first loss

News-DemocratOctober 10, 2013 

— Belleville West coach Cameron Pettus is confident that his squad will bounce back from the disappointment of its first loss of the season.

"Disappointed as we were, we still are a very good football team," said Pettus, whose squad fell 45-14 to unbeaten Edwardsville last Friday. "We just have to get better and learn from our mistakes.''

The Maroons could be without quarterback Sherand Boyd, who suffered an injury to his left ankle in the third quarter last Friday, when they play the Collinsville Kahoks this Friday.

Boyd has thrown for 647 yards with eight touchdowns and only two interceptions this season. He's also rushed for 336 yards and five touchdowns.

"At the quarterback position, we'll have to wait and see," Pettus said. "We have some other options we looked at in practice. We'll be prepared no matter what happens.''

The Maroons used running back Brian Hill and sophomore Cal Kossina at quarterback after Boyd left the game. Another option is sophomore receiver TeAntez Anthony.

"He's such a great athlete that he can play any position," Pettus said of Hill. "When he gets his hands on the ball, it's pretty exciting.''

The Kahoks are coming off a 27-13 loss to O'Fallon in a game where they led 7-0 at half and were tied at 13-13 with 6:55 to go.

"One of the things we had going for us last week was homecoming, and you don't want to get embarrassed during homecoming," said Mark Jiles, a 20-year veteran of Collinsville's coaching staff who will be serving as interim head coach in place of John Blaylock, who won't be coaching for the second straight game for reasons that the Kahoks' administration has refused to specify.

"Nobody expected us to win, and the week before we were blown out by Edwardsville. We didn't want that to happen again on homecoming. I think our kids raised up and had a sense of pride. I think what happened late in the game was that we just wore down. It was a battle the whole game.''

Today's game: Collinsville (1-5, 0-4 SWC) at Belleville West (5-1, 3-1), 7 p.m.

Last meeting: West beat Collinsville 42-0 last year as Sherand Boyd threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.

Collinsville interim coach Mark Jiles on the key to the game: "Do what we did last week, have no turnovers. For us to come out on top, we have to get turnovers. We had very few penalties, too, but the No. 1 thing is no turnovers. The old story in football is that if you have the ball, they can't score, and you have a chance to score.''

West coach Cameron Pettus on the Kahoks: "They're tough, hard-nosed. They like to hit. They like to pound the ball on offense with the run game, and defensively they just like to fly around and make big plays. They run a lot of pressure. That's kind of their M.O. They created a couple of turnovers from O'Fallon (last week), and they were getting a lot of pressure on that quarterback.''

Key players: Collinsville -- QB Connor Zabala (15 of 55 passing for 244 yards with 1 TD and 6 Ints.); RB Jamal Wellmaker (79 carries for 572 yards and 4 TDs); FB Jordan Miller (70 carries for 381 yards and 2 touchdowns); LB Brandon Fisher (49 tackles, 1 sack); LB Cody Reynolds (36 tackles, 2 sacks). West -- RB Brian Hill (46 carries for 441 yards and 11 TDs); RB Antoine Davis (72 carries for 429 yards and 4 TDs); WR Brendan Saak (22 catches for 361 yards and 2 TDs); LBTori Millender (61 tackles, one interception); LB Nicholas Foster (43 tackles, two sacks, three Ints.).

Notes: The series has gone back and forth in recent years with the Maroons holding a 4-3 edge in the last seven games against the Kahoks. ... Both teams have standout kickers as Josh Calvin has booted five field goals for the Kahoks and Austin Seibert has booted seven field goals for the Maroons. ... Hill's 16 TDs rank second in the metro-east to Highland running back Gage Gieger's 17 TDs.

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

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