For much of the first half, it looked as though Belleville West’s Kriston Davis was running full speed into a brick wall.
Once the Maroons’ offensive line finally broke through, though, the senior running back was off to the races.
Davis carried the ball 20 times for 133 yards and two scores, and the Maroons racked up 220 total rushing yards in a 27-6 victory over the O’Fallon Panthers on Friday night at the O’Fallon Sports Complex.
Davis’ stats were somewhat improbable considering he gained just nine yards on his first nine touches, stretching halfway through the second quarter.
He finally broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown with 5:54 remaining in the first half and ended with 124 yards on his final 11 carries.
“Their five technique was beating across our face, so we brought our pro back, Sherond Boyd, in to chip him, and that helped us a lot,” Davis said.
Boyd gained 46 yards on three carries, and quarterback Matthew Schmidt added 39 rushing yards to go with 87 passing yards and two touchdowns. Will Lanxon and Brandon Burkes each caught a scoring pass.
The Maroons (2-1, 1-0 Southwestern Conference) didn’t need more than one thanks to a defense that surrendered its only touchdown with 11 seconds left in the game.
O’Fallon (0-3, 0-1) drove into the red zone three times and past the 10-yard line twice without scoring, as the Maroons forced two turnovers on downs and one missed field goal.
“Anytime you hold a talented team like O’Fallon down like we did, I’m proud of that effort,” West coach Cameron Pettus said. “They definitely moved the ball on us, but we got tough down there in the red zone.”
O’Fallon was in danger of getting blanked, but quarterback Christian Curtis led a 10-play, 78-yard scoring drive to end the game, capping it with an 11-yard scoring strike to Ronald Anthony. Curtis finished 17 of 29 with 158 yards, and three different receivers caught five or more passes.
West senior Jeffrey Reed opened the game with a 69-yard kickoff return that set up Davis’ first touchdown, a one-yard plunge on a drive that began at the O’Fallon 26. He ended the game by returning O’Fallon’s only other kickoff 52 yards as time expired.
The Maroons are at home against Alton at 7 p.m. Friday. O’Fallon hits the road to face Collinsville at 7 p.m. Friday.