Even on a wet and slick surface Friday, the Edwardsville Tigers showed their versatility.
Senior quarterback Brenden Dickmann threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score as the Tigers blanked O’Fallon 19-0 in a Southwestern Conference game.
The game was played in a steady downpour that became heavier in the second half. Lightning, however, never occurred, allowing the game to continue despite poor conditions.
“We had a rough week in practice, but we stuck to the game plan and we executed like we did last week (against Collinsville),” said Edwardsville sophomore tailback Dionte Rogers, a 5-foot-6, 150-pound bundle of energy who caught a 20-yard pass from Dickmann to put the Tigers ahead 7-0 with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter.
“I had a hard time in the rain, but we got the work done.”
Rogers, who rushed for 149 yards, also had two touchdown called back by penalties.
“That’s part of the game,” he said. “But I know my team has my back. We just tried to feed off each other’s energy and that’s what we did.”
The Tigers improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SWC. O’Fallon fell to 1-3 and 0-2.
Edwardsville coach Matt Martin was pleased with his team’s play and complimented Rodgers for his performance.
“He’s a stud,” Martin said. “He’s a mature kid, he’a a fun kid, he’s a team kid. It’s not about him, it’s about the team having success. (Don’t get me wrong; he’s a competitor and he wants to do well. He’s everything you want in a player. He’s a tough kid and he wants the ball. Not everybody wants the ball against a physical defense like that.”
Still trailing 7-0 after forcing an Edwardsville punt, O’Fallon took over at its 42-yard liine with 4:04 left in the first half.
Senior Mason Hewitt helped the Panthers drive to the Edwardsville 8, and a personal foul on the Tigers gave O’Fallon the ball a first down on the 2.
But Hewitt was dropped for losses on back-to-back plays, and junior quarterback Christian Perez’s pass for senior Darryl Cobb Jr. was incomplete.
Edwardsville senior Tate Rujawitz then blocked a 27-yard field-goal attempt by O’Fallon sophomore Brooks Hackney, and the Tigers gained possession and ran out the clock.
“The first half, we had it (three) times inside the 25 and had zero to show for it,” O’Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst said. “Against a very good team like Edwardsville, you’ve got to produce. You’ve got go get points on them. You’ve got to fnd ways to finish drives to beat good teams.
“You have to get touchdowns against Edwardsville because you know they’re going to score a few. And they did. Our defense was great tonight, but it was on the field a ton. Then in the second half, we couldn’t generate much of anything.”
Both teams hurt themselves with three turnovers apiece.
The Tigers pulled away in the second half as Dickmann hit senior tight end Nathan Kolesa with a 16-yard touchdown pass with 5:30 to play in the third quarter that made it 13-0. The 35-yard drive was set up by a 27-yard punt return by senior Daval Torres.
Edwardsville recovered a fumble by Perez and turned it into a 15-yard touchdown run by Dickmann that boosted the lead to 19-0 with 4:37 left in the game.
Rodgers then ran out the clock on the Tigers’ final possession deep in O’Fallon territory.
“He’s very elusive,” Joggerst said. “They do enough to keep you off-balanced to where you can’t key on him too much. Their quarterback ran the ball well at times and they completed some big passes when they had to, too.”
Weather forces changes
For the third time in four weeks, bad weather is wreaking havoc with the metro-east high school football schedule.
The Southwestern Conference game scheduled at Belleville West with the Maroons against Collinsville was postponed Friday and moved to 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Mississippi Valley Conference rivals Highland and Mascoutah also were postponed Friday, with the game moved to 1 p.m. Saturday in Highland. Columbia’s Cahokia Conference game at Wesclin was postponed Friday and rescheduled for noon Saturday.
Althoff at Mt. Vernon has been postponed and rescheduled for 2 p.m.
Central at Carlyle have to moved to 2 p.m.
Vandalia at Roxana has been moved to 6 p.m.
Waterloo at Triad has been postponed and rescheduled for 7 p.m.
Dupo at Red Bud has been postponed and reschedule for 7 p.m.