O’FALLON While there is little doubt that the O’Fallon Panthers offense revolves around running back Kentrail Moran, the evolution of a quarterback also continued Friday at O’Fallon High School.
Sophomore quarterback Christian Perez threw touchdown passes to Deion Norfleet and Aaron Smith late in the second and early in the third quarters to break open a close game as O’Fallon went on for a 42-12 win over Granite City in a Southwestern Conference game.
“He (Perez) is making progress,” O’Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst said. “I thought he made very good decisions in throwing the football tonight and we made just a couple of outstanding touchdown catches.”
Granite City (0-4, 2-4 SWC), getting touchdown runs of 11 yards from Ronald Allen and 4 yards from quarterback Gabe Jarman led 12-7 early in the second quarter, but when O;Fallon junior Mason Hewitt scored on a 30-yard run with just over four minutes left in the first half, the Panthers (2-2, 2-4) had the lead for good.
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THE TURNING POINT
Following Hewitt’s go-ahead score, the Warriors failed to move the football and O’Fallon, taking over possession near midfield, went on the attack. Perez found an open Norfleet on a 46-yard scoring strike with 25.9 seconds remaining in the first half and O’Fallon took a 21-12 lead into intermission.
It didn’t take the Panthers long to strike again. With 10:14 left in the third quarter,Perez fired a strike to Smith who made a one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone for a 28-12 O’Fallon lead.
Moran, who finished the night with 151 yards on 25 carries, then put the finishing touch on the Panthers’ second straight win with a 7-yard scoring run late in the third period. Moran also scored on a 39-yard run in the first half.
O’FALLON COACH BRANDON JOGGERST
“I thought we played well in every area tonight,” Joggerst said. “This is really the second straight week we’ve had our starting lineup in place because of injuries and it makes a difference. We’re coming along. It’s just too bad we had to wait four weeks to have everybody together. But we can’t do anything about the first four weeks, we’re looking ahead to these next three weeks now.”
GRANITE CITY COACH CARL LUEHMANN
“I was very pleased at how we played in the first half ... all except for the last 25 seconds. That touchdown right before the half was a backbreaker, because we played well in the first half and should have gone to the locker room down 14-12. I expect more from our defensive backs.”
Granite City will play at Alton; Collinsville will play at O’Fallon