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5 things to watch in high school football week 2

Defensive end Keith Randolph bears down on a Riverview Gardens running back during the Maroons’ 41-16 win. Randolph, a key part of West’s state basketball championship, has drawn attention of college recruiters after just two seasons on the football field.
Defensive end Keith Randolph bears down on a Riverview Gardens running back during the Maroons’ 41-16 win. Randolph, a key part of West’s state basketball championship, has drawn attention of college recruiters after just two seasons on the football field. teschman@bnd.com

Gateway Classic

The East St. Louis Flyers look to get on track Saturday when they take on the St. Louis Trinity High School Lions in the marquee game at the Gateway Scholars Football Classic Saturday at Clyde Jordan Stadium in East St. Louis.

Ranked fifth in the Class 7A state poll and coming off a season-opening 52-38 loss at Detroit King on Saturday, the Flyers will take on a Trinity Christian squad loaded with NCAA Division I talent which finished 9-1 a year ago. The East St. Louis-Trinity game is set for 8 p.m. and is the fourth and final game of the day.

The event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. when Cahokia (1-0) takes on St. Louis Cardinal Ritter and will be followed at 2 p.m, when defending Class 5A state champion Chicago Phillips takes on St. Louis Chaminade. Phillips is currently top-ranked in the Class 6A state poll.

That game will be followed at 5 p.m. when Homewood-Flossmoor , ranked fifth in Class 8A, battles St. Louis power Lutheran North.

Tickets are priced at $10 and are good for all four games. Tickets will be available at the gate.

Monroe County bragging rights

Two schools separated by less than 10 miles will renew their Monroe County rivalry on Friday when Waterloo visits Columbia for a non-conference contest beginning at 7 p.m.

Ranked sixth in the Class 4A state poll this week, Columbia has won three straight against Waterloo and is 4-1 in its last five meetings with the Mississippi Valley Conference school.

Columbia, which opened its season a week ago with a 36-35 win at Mascoutah, defeated the Bulldogs 31-25 a year ago when Colton Byrd scored on a seven-yard run with less than two minutes remaining.

Waterloo’s last win in the series came in 2014 when the Bulldogs posted a 27-24 victory at Columbia.

Tigers’ gauntlet

The top-ranked large school team in the metro east and ranked fourth in the Class 8A state football poll, the Edwardsville Tigers will find out just how good they are during the next three weeks.

Coached by Matt Martin, Edwardsville begins a rough stretch of games on Friday when it travels to St. Louis to take on Christian Brothers College Prep beginning at 7 p.m.

Edwardsville, which reached the Class 8A state semi-finals a year ago, returns home on Sept. 7 when it hosts rival East St. Louis in a game which could decide the Southwestern Conference championship. East St. Louis is ranked sixth in the Class 7A state poll this week.

The Tigers will then host Aurora Waubonsie Valley on Sept. 14.

Conference play begins

While many local teams have at least another week before beginning their conference seasons, a few schools open league play this week.

In the Southwestern Conference, O’Fallon will be out for its first win of the season when they travel to Belleville West for an early season match up. The Maroons began their season a week ago with an impressive win over Riverview Gardens, Mo.

Three Cahokia Conference games are on tap as Central (1-0) travels to Salem (1-0), Carlyle (0-1) travels to Freeburg (1-0) and Red Bud (0-1) hosts defensing champion Wesclin (1-0).

Woodford remembered

The Belleville East Lancers most loyal fan for over 50 years, Charlie Woodford, will be remembered and honored at Belleville East on Friday when the Lancers host Highland in a non-conference game.

Woodford, who was instrumental in the formation of the Lancers Booster Club, died on Sunday. He was 96.

A World War II veteran who earned two purple hearts, Woodford was a tail-gunner on a B-17 Bomber. Known as the Lancers most loyal fan who missed only three football games, Woodford received the honor of having the Lancers football field, renamed Charlie Woodford Field last year.

Belleville East athletic director Mark Larsen said earlier this week that members of the Lancers football team will be wearing a decal depicting a Purple Heart with CW. There will also be a reading and a moment of silence prior to the game.

Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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