Belleville East has a chance to lock up a state football playoff berth while O’Fallon must win just to have a shot at qualifying.
That’s the main theme running through what should be an entertaining Southwestern Conference football game Friday that showcases the prolific passing attack of Belleville East vs. the run-dominant Panthers.
“It’s going to be a big one,” said Belleville East coach Kris Stephens, whose team is 5-2. “We’re expecting them to come out guns blazing and our kids are going to do the same. We know that nothing’s guaranteed with five wins and we want to get that sixth one and get a lock.”
O’Fallon is in a tougher situation at 3-4 and needing to win its final two games against Belleville East and East St. Louis just to have a chance.
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“It’s been the mantra the last few weeks,” O’Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst said. “The kids know what’s at stake, but you’ve go to remain focused on the current game.”
I don’t know if it’s possible to shut him down. They’re going to feed him a lot of opportunities.
East coach Kris Stephens on O’Fallon running back Kentrail Moran
FRIDAY’S GAME: O’Fallon (3-4 overall, 3-2 in the conference) at Belleville East (5-2, 4-1), 7 p.m.
RANKINGS: Belleville East is second in the BND Large-School Rankings and 16th in the Class 8A state rankings; O’Fallon is sixth in the BND Large-School Rankings.
LAST MEETING: Belleville East edged the Panthers 16-13 in 2014. The teams have split the last six games, one of which was a 29-13 playoff win by East in 2010.
LAST WEEK: O’Fallon defeated Collinsville 22-6 while Belleville East gained a forfeit win over East St. Louis because of the teacher strike.
KICKERS DELUXE: O’Fallon has senior Missouri recruit Tucker McCann, who owns the state record with a 60-yard field goal and became the school’s all-time leader with two more field goals last week. That gave him 26 career field goals, passing former O’Fallon kicker and current assistant coach Kevin Kinsall and putting McCann fourth all-time in state history.
East senior Matt Sotiropoulos is also drawing recruiting interest thanks to eight field goals and 25 extra-points. He booted four field goals in his last game, a 25-21 victory over Belleville West.
He very well could be the best quarterback we’ve seen.
O’Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst on East quarterback Drew Millas
SCOUTING O’FALLON: Illinois recruit and senior running back Kentrail Moran has piled up 605 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in his last three games. That includes a 294-yard, four-TD explosion against Alton that helped him reach 940 yards and nine TDs thus far.
“I don’t know if it’s possible to shut him down,” Stephens said. “They’re going to feed him a lot of opportunities. West held him in check most of hte game and then the other kid (Mason Hewitt) pops one late in the game and gets a big touchdown.”
Sophomore Quarterback Christian Perez (36-of-99, 352 yards, five TDs, eight interceptions) has made progress according to Joggerst.
26. The number of career field goals for O’Fallon kicker and Missouri recruit Tucker McCann, which ranks fourth in state history
“He’s been real effective of late,” Joggerst said. “We’re trying to make sure we don’t make it too complicated for him.”
Hewitt adds 214 yards rushing and two TDs while the top receivers have been Deion Norfleet (five catches, 111 yards, one TD) and Darryl Cobb Jr. (seven catches, 102 yards, one TD).
Defensively, O’Fallon relies on linebacker A.J. Paul-Torres (53 tackles, one interception) while Sam Kaburek and Richard Cosey have four sacks each.
SCOUTING BELLEVILLE EAST: East quarterback and Missouri State baseball catching recruit Drew Millas is putting together some impressive numbers. Millas has completed 115-of-212 passes for 1,383 yards and 18 TDs against only four picks. Millas also has run for 270 yards and three TDs.
“Obviously a lot goes through him and he makes a lot of good decisions,” Joggerst said. “He very well could be the best quarterback we’ve seen.”
Millas’ top target is speedy wideout Isaiah King (39 catches, 619 yards, 11 TDs), though Quantavius Alexander (31 catches, 344 yards, one TD) and Anthony Dean (18 catches, 170 yards, four TDs) are also dangerous.
The top running threat is Moses Holman (97 carries, 458 yards, four TDs; 14 receptions, 103 yards, one TD).
A physical, aggressive defense includes defensive backs Shemar Welch (56 tackles, one interception) and Jewell Smith (three interceptions).