One team had a good week of practice, the other didn’t.
The result, therefore, wasn’t surprising Friday when the O’Fallon Panthers romped past Collinsville 42-0 in a Southwestern Conference game.
Junior quarterback Christian Perez threw a pair of touchdown passes to senior Jarvus Smith and Perez also rushed for a score to lead the Panthers (4-3 overall, 3-2 SWC), who have amassed 142 points in their three-game winning streak.
“Our coaches really just wanted (us) to step on the throttle and go our hardest, not let them up,” Perez said. “I feel like our line did really well. Everybody did well.”
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It was a disappointing outcome for Collinsville coach Rick Reinhart, whose Kahoks (1-6, 1-4) were coming off a 33-30 victory over Alton.
“We got dominated up front more than we’ve been dominated all year long. Hats off to them, whether it was the scheme or the preparation,” Reinhart said. “We didn’t get off the ball, we were out of sync and they beat us up.
“We had a horrible week of practice, and it carried over. You could see it coming. I thought after a big win, a come-from-behind (win), our practices would be very spirited. You practice like you play, and we just did not practice very well. It showed today. This was a huge step back. This was devastating.”
The Panthers scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Senior Mason Hewitt, who rushed 22 times for 192 yards, opened the scoring with a 42-yard touchdown run. Perez hit Smith with touchdown passes of 10 yards and 12 yards on O’Fallon’s next two possessions. Perez’s 44-yard touchdown, which came after an outstanding fake handoff to junior Richard Cosey, made it 28-0 in the second quarter.
“I think it’s important on the road to get ahead and build a little momentum,” said O’Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst, who on Thursday credited the Panthers for their solid week of practice. “We were able to do that the first few drives and punch it in. Our defense held them throughout the game, so to get up three touchdowns pretty quick helps matters.”
Senior Darryl Cobb Jr. had a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 35-0 in the third quarter, and Cosey’s 18-yard touchdown run made it 42-0 and began a continuous running clock.
O’Fallon rushed for 356 yards and forced four turnovers, including interceptions by seniors Montrail Clay and Robert Gonzalez and junior Tyriq Mitchell. Sophomore placekicker Brooks Hackney was 6-for-6 on PATs.
Perez was 11-for-21 for 102 yards and also rushed four times for 76 yards.
“He made pretty good decisions for the most part,” Joggerst said. “He’s got the ability to scramble if things break down. The offensive line did a pretty good job, too. We were able to run the ball. If they key on the run, we have the ability to throw it.”
Reinhart said Hewitt is what makes O’Fallon’s offense fire.
“The running back makes everything go,” Reinhart said. “The quarterback is a great athlete, but he’s a runner. That running back is the real deal.”
Collinsville was limited to seven first downs and 84 total yards.