Here are the weekly Belleville News-Democrat Game Balls given to area football players for some top performances in Week 8:
- Friday was another huge night for O’Fallon senior running back Mason Hewitt, who broke the school record with 346 rushing yards and six touchdowns in a 70-28 Southwestern Conference win over Belleville East. Hewitt had five rushing TDs and his sixth TD came on an 82-yard kickoff return with five seconds remaining in the first half. It was Hewitt’s fourth game with at least 219 yards rushing and he has 1,603 yards in eight games along with nine TDs.
- Highland junior quarterback Garrett Marti threw for 297yards and five touchdowns and also ran for 120 yards and another TD in the Bulldogs’ 49-46 Mississippi Valley Conference win over Jerseyville. Highland won the game on a 39-yard field goal by Elliott Prott with five seconds remaining.
- Columbia junior running back Colton Byrd contributed a season-high 249 yards rushing and ran for three TDs to help the Eagles stretch their Cahokia Conference win streak to 30 games with a 55-14 victory over Red Bud. Eagles senior quarterback Greg Long threw three TD passes, ran for another and kicked two field goals, including a 43-yarder.
- Belleville West running back Paris Johnson ran for 213 yards and three touchdowns in the Maroons’ 37-13 Southwestern Conference win over Granite City.
- Edwardsville sophomore running back Dionte Rodgers rolled up 211 yards and three TDs on only 17 carries in the Tigers’ 44-6 SWC victory over Alton. The three TDs gave Rodgers 19 this season, breaking the single-season TD record held previously by Sam Mulford, who had 18 in 2012.
- Althoff senior running back Jaylon Bester had 204 yards and two TDs on 14 carries in the Crusaders’ 54-28 South Seven Conference win over Cahokia. Receiver Edwyn Brown hauled in three touchdown passes from quarterback Trey Mosley in the win, which included two sacks each by Christian Wills and Devyn Nash.
- The twin tandem of Collin Thomas and Ben Rakers racked up big yardage in Central’s 60-30 Cahokia Conference win over Wesclin. Thomas had 173 yards and four TDs on 17 carries and Rakers had 139 yards and three TDs on 12 carries, including a 54-yard TD run in the second quarter. Thomas has 1,265 yards and 24 TDs while Rakers has 926 yards and 15 TDs.
- O’Fallon receiver Darryl Cobb Jr., caught six passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers’ 70-28 win over Belleville East. O’Fallon quarterback Christian Perez was 12-of-18 for 222 yards and three TDs.
- Pass receptions played a huge role in the win over Jerseyville as sophomore Sam LaPorta caught seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore running back Brady Feldman caught five passes for 111 yards and two TDs.
- Mater Dei senior quarterback Colin Schuetz completed 26-of-47 passes for 340 yards and three TDs in the Knights’ loss to St. Charles West. Jake Timmermann (eight catches, 126 yards, two TDs) and Jared Niemeyer (eight catches, 106 yards) both went over 100 yards in receiving for Mater Dei.
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BND Prep Football Rankings
Rankings for metro-east teams; voting by area coaches and News-Democrat staff. First-place votes are in parentheses.
Large school rankings (Class 5A-8A)
East St. Louis (7)
Also receiving votes: Granite City (4-4), Cahokia (4-4), Triad (6-2), Waterloo (5-3)
Small school rankings (Class 1A-4A)
Also receiving votes: Red Bud (6-2), Nashville (5-3), Wood River (5-3), Carlyle (3-5)