Belleville West used two quarterbacks, juniors Donald Wilson and Matt Schmidt, in its 35-21 loss to Timber Creek (N.J.) on Saturday in the Gateway Scholars Classic in East St. Louis.
That’s how coach Cameron Pettus plans to proceed as the Maroons (1-1) open Southwestern Conference play Friday at O’Fallon.
“We went into the season, and both those guys have kind of been neck and neck,” Pettus said. “They’ve been battling, both of them, for the job. After a couple of series, Donald was struggling a little bit, so we got Matthew in there, and Matthew did a great job for the rest of the game. I thought he did some really nice things.
“They both have strengths and weaknesses. They’re both great kids because when one’s not in, (the other) is not a negative influence on the team or anybody else. They’re very, very positive kids. They want to compete and be in there, but also, they want to win.”
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Pettus believes the game against Timber Creek prepared the Maroons for SWC play.
“That’s the big thing I’m telling our guys,” Pettus said. “We’re not going to play a better quarterback than that guy (North Carolina State recruit Devin Leary), and they had some pretty doggone good skill kids around him. Defensively, they were loading up that box and we did some really nice things.”
Senior running back Kriston Davis had 36 carries for 222 yards and three touchdowns for the Maroons. Many of his carries produced tough yards up the middle against the Chargers’ huge defensive front.
“I tell everybody I know, he’s one of the toughest running backs we’ve had,” Pettus said. “We’ve got a good tradition of running backs coming through here, but he did a great job. He understands sometimes you’re not going to break through and get that 60-, 70-yarder. Sometimes a 3-yard gain is a great gain because with our offense, we will pound it, pound it, pound it until we pop it. That’s our philosophy.
“(Davis) is a hard-nosed kid. He worked hard in the weight room, making sure his body was prepared and ready for that. He’s really tough.”
Versatile Siever has Carlyle on the warpath
A wide receiver by trade, Carlyle senior Tyler Siever continues to light up the scoreboard in every way possible.
One week after returning a pair of interceptions for touchdowns and catching a pair of scoring passes from Alex Huels in an upset win over Nashville, Siever was at it again against Freeburg as the Indians got a 48-27 win.
Siever once again caught a pair of touchdown passes from Huels and added a 73-yard kickoff return for a score to lead the Indians’ attack.
“Tyler is a showing that he can almost anything on the football field. He’s a very versatile football player who helps this team in many ways,” Indians coach Chris Birkner said. “We knew he was a good football player when he cane in two years ago as a sophomore and had 16 catches for over 500 yards and nine touchdowns. Then last year he had another season where he had 500 yards receiving yards.
“But its been a great team effort the first two weeks of the season. These kids made a huge commitment in the weight room over the summer, and it’s really paid off.”
Siever, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior, has already drawn interest from Davidson (N.C.) College, Augustana College and McKendree University.
Wesclin ‘runs’ over Red Bud
Seniors RJ Kattenbraker and Gavin Bilbruck combined for more than 300 yards rushing as the Warriors scored their second impressive win in as many weeks Friday with a 49-14 triumph over Red Bud in a Cahokia Conference game.
Bilbruck ran for 149 yards and a touchdown while Kattenbraker had 126 yards on the ground and two scores. The Warriors finished with 473 yards on the ground.
“I’m pleased, but we have another tough game next week (Friday) with Nashville,” coach Ric Johns said. “We have good group of juniors and a good group of seniors who put in the time in the summer with conditioning and in the weight room. This is a big win for these kids to beat a very good Red Bud team. It’s always nice to start the season 2-0.”
Senior quarterback Josh DeMage also threw a touchdown pass to aid the Warriors offense.
Huge win for Eagles
Columbia picked up a big win Friday over host Waterloo as sophomore twins Nic Horner — making his first start at quarterback — and Sam Horner — a wide receiver — teamed up on key plays.
Nic Horner was playing for the injured Shane Wilhelm, and he completed 10 of 18 passes for 193 yards and two scores for the Warriors. Sam Horner had four catches for 119 yards and one touchdown, and also kicked a 43-yard field goal in the third quarter.
And once again, senior Colton Byrd was a handful on the ground. Byrd had 25 carries for 96 yards and scored the game-winning TD on a 7-yard run with 1:25 to play. Byrd has 313 yards and seven TDs in the Eagles’ first two games.
“We had to establish a little bit of a running game, and we were able to move the ball running the ball (in the second half),” Columbia coach Scott Horner said.
“But we can’t forget about the others. The little (Jared) Germain kid caught a couple of bubble routes out there for us — 8, 9, 10 yards on first down. That’s huge. He’s a little guy (5-6, 130), but he’s quick and fast. We’ve got to be able to spread the ball around. It’s not just about Nic Horner and Sam Horner. It’s about Jared Germain, it’s about Jordan Holmes, it’s about the offensive line, it’s about Colton Byrd. It’s about all those guys.”
Wilhelm, who suffered a shoulder injury in the Eagles’ season-opening 40-37 overtime loss to Morton, won’t be available until later in September.
“They’re telling us two to four weeks,” Scott Horner said. “He’s got a small AC separation. It’s minor. We’ll see where we go from here. Certainly, if Nic’s playing well and the team’s rolling, we’ll have to make a decision at that point.”
BND football polls
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 (5)
Also receiving votes: Triad (2-0), Mascoutah (1-1), Alton (1-1), Jerseyville (1-1)
Small school rankings (Class 1A-4A)
Also receiving votes: Carlyle (2-0), Marquette (2-0), Red Bud (1-1), Nashville (1-0),Freeburg (1-1), Wood River (1-1)