High School Sports

Rivalries restored in Week 5, including tense battle between Althoff and Centralia

Central Cougars’ Garrett Richter (13) breaks away from Mater Dei Lucas Theising (34) during the Milk Bowl game at Mater Dei High School last year. The Breese rivarly will be renewed Friday at Central.
Central Cougars’ Garrett Richter (13) breaks away from Mater Dei Lucas Theising (34) during the Milk Bowl game at Mater Dei High School last year. The Breese rivarly will be renewed Friday at Central.

Crusaders v. Orphans

Fresh off an impressive 41-0 win over Mt.Vernon a week ago, the Althoff Crusaders will try for a second straight South Seven Conference victory when they invade winless Centralia to take on the Orphans on Friday.

Tackling a brutally difficult three game stretch in which it was outscored 159-31 in losses to Elmhurst (Immaculate Conception), Vianney, (Mo.) and Mater Dei, coach Ken Turner’s young team played its best game of the season a week ago in blanking the Rams. The Crusaders are taking on a Centralia team which is 0-4 and fell to undefeated Carbondale (33-26) a week ago.

There’s plenty of emotion fueling both teams’ desire for a victory in what has become a tense South Seven Conference rivalry.

Last October, after several chippy games both on the football field and basketball court, the Centralia High School board and its superintendent moved to have the Crusaders tossed from the South Seven, citing unsportsmanlike conduct and safety concerns. Other league members voted against Centralia’s motion.

Centralia defeated Althoff 21-14 last season, spoiling the opening of the brand-new Martz Field. Althoff had won the previous four meetings between the two longtime rivals.

The Milk Bowl

It’s the game of the year in Breese.

Bragging rights and possession for the next year of the cherished “Milk Bowl” will be on the line Friday when undefeated Mater Dei travels to Central to take on the Cougars in a nonconference game..

The Knights, ranked 10th in the Associated Press Class 4A state poll this week, enter the rivalry game with a 4-0 record after finishing 2-7 a year ago under veteran coach Jim Stiebel. Led by quarterback Travis Jasper, Mater Dei idefeated Freeburg 56-28 a week ago.

The Midgets handed Central (3-1) its only loss of the season (28-0) two weeks ago. The Cougars bounced back last week with an impressive 43-22 win at Carlyle.

Mater Dei has won three of the last five Milk Bowl contests , including a 40-12 win last year. Central’s last win came in 2016 (46-35).

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Central High School.

Milk Bowl

Cahokia faces major challenge against Carbondale

Looking to move another step closer to its first playoff bid since 2009, the Cahokia Comanches will face a major challenge on Friday when they host Carbondale in another key South Seven Conference contest.

The Comanches (3-1), led by quarterback Malik Shaw and a stout defensive effort, posted a key 24-14 win at Marion last week. Shaw has thrown for 446 yards and rushed for 373 while running back Vincent Perry is among the St. Louis area leaders with 538 yards on the ground

Currently 1-0 in league play, Cahokia will take on a Terriers team which is off to one of its best starts in recent memory. Carbondale is currently 4-0 and ranked 10th in the Class 5A state poll.

The game will also feature the top two defensive units in the conference. Cahokia has allowed only 58 points in four games, while Carbondale has given up 88. points.

Highland-Triad to renew rivalry

Seperated by less than 10 miles, Mississippi Conference rivals Highland and Triad will meet on Friday at Highland High School.

Featuring a veteran team with several players from last year’s Class 4A state semifinalists, Highland has been dominating in its first four games of the season. Led by quarterback Jack Etter (970 yards, 15 TD passes), running back Brady Feldmann (368 yards, 6 TDs) and all-state wide receiver Sam LaPorta (27 receptions, 570 yards, 9 TDs), the Bulldogs have outscored their four opponents 173-42 in racing off to a 4-0 start.

The Bulldogs are ranked third in the Class 5A poll this week.

Triad is 1-3 after opening league play with a 29-7 win at Civic Memorial a week ago. The Knights feature a ball-control offense led by running back Devin Towns. (3357 yards, 5 TDs). Coach Paul Basler’s team must be able to control the clock if it hopes to keep it close.

Highland’s overlooked defense has allowed just 42 points during the first four weeks of the year.

Highland’s Sam LaPorta makes the first of three touchdown catches in a win at Belleville East in Week 2. Jody Becker Photography

Watch Devin run

Leading the St. Louis are in yards rushing, Mascoutah junior running back Devin Wills will lead the Indians (3-1) against Jersey Community at Mascoutah High School.

The 5-10, 185-pound Wills has been one of the big stories during the first four weeks of the 2018 season. Limited to just two games a year ago because of injuries, the 5-10, 185-pound Wills has rushed for 889 yards and 11 touchdownson just 83 carries. Wills is averaging 10.7 yards per rushing attempt.

Wills, who had a breakout game two weeks ago when he ran for 324 yards and three scores in a 21-20 win over Mahomet-Seymour, came back with a 162-yard effort on just 14 carries in a 47-7 win over Waterloo.

Mascoutah (3-1) will take on a Jersey squad which has struggled a bit in the new offensive system of first year head coach Ric Johns. The Panthers are 1-3 for the season.