'It was beautiful': West defeats Collinsville to clinch playoff berth

News-DemocratOctober 12, 2013 

— Despite not having quarterback Sherand Boyd, the Belleville West Maroons were able to produce big numbers on offense.

Antoine Davis ran for four touchdowns and substitute quarterback Brian Hill ran for two scores as the Maroons beat the Collinsville Kahoks 41-20 on Friday in a Southwestern Conference game.

"It was beautiful," Boyd said. "It was beautiful the fact that we can still find some pieces to make our offense."

Boyd suffered a knee injury in the third quarter of the Maroons' loss to Edwardsville last week.

Boyd watched the game from the sideline in street clothes. He said he's waiting for his doctor to give him the results of an MRI taken on his knee earlier this week, and he's hoping he'll be able to return this season.

"I'm praying, I'm praying," Boyd said.

Hill, a running back by trade, said he hadn't played quarterback since youth football before getting pressed into service under center last week after Boyd went down. He spent this week relearning how to play the position in practice.

"I had to do it for my team," Hill said. "We had to win. We knew this win would get us in the playoffs, and we did what we had to do."

The win, which came on Senior Night, improved the Maroons to 6-1 overall, 4-1 in the SWC and guarantees them of a playoff berth.

Hill scored the Maroons' first two touchdowns with runs of 36 and 15 yards. He also attempted a handful of passes, just enough to keep the Kahoks off balance.

"Everybody knows he can run the ball," West coach Cameron Pettus said. "We have to be able to throw it just a little bit to keep the defense honest, and he did a good job of that."

TeAntez Anthony also took a few snaps at quarterback for the Maroons, while Davis rushed for 211 yards on 19 carries.

"I told him, 'Hey, now that Brian has gone to quarterback, you really have to step up your game at running back,"' Pettus said of Davis. "I thought he responded well. I told him the team needed him. It was Senior Night , so we needed a good showing out of him, and we got that."

Davis had a 3-yard TD run in the first half and scoring runs of 1, 35 and 52 in the second half. He gained 184 of his yards in the second half.

"Beast mode," Hill said of Davis' second-half performance. "In the second half, almost every time he touched the ball, he went for 40 yards."

The Kahoks fell to 1-6 overall, 0-5 in the SWC.

Collinsville shot itself in the foot by fumbling on its first three possessions of the game. The first two fumbles came inside West territory.

"I probably jinxed myself that," Kahoks interim coach Mark Jiles said of predicting before the game that the key for his team was avoiding turnovers. "If we didn't make those turnovers and we score, it's a different game. They are on their heels and instead of them feeling like they are in the game."

Kahoks coach John Blaylock missed his second game for reasons that the Collinsville administration has refused to reveal. Blaylock is expected back on the sidelines for the Kahoks next week.

Collinsville quarterback Connor Zabala threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Afrinee Wilkinson to tie the score at 7-7 with 3:06 left in the first quarter.

The Kahoks trailed 20-7 at halftime, but closed the gap to 20-14 on a 10-yard touchdown run by Jordan Miller to cap a 58-yard drive at the start of the second half.

The Maroons answered with a 74-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard run by Davis to go back up 27-14.

Two more touchdown runs by Davis increased the Maroons' advantage to 41-14.

Jiles said the Kahoks were focusing on containing Hill, and that led to more opportunities for Davis.

"We were trying to get the ball out of Hill's hands," Jiles said. "He was their best athlete, so you try to (make) someone else (beat us)."

Zabala was on the receiving end of a 19-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Jordan Reichert with 1:13 left to close out the scoring.

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

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