Quincy head football coach Rick Little was eager to get his Blue Devils back on the field following their disappointing loss to Alton last week.
With severe weather in the Southern Illinois forecast — courtesy of Tropical Storm Gordon — Quincy didn’t have to wait as long.
With one day less to prepare, Iowa State commit Jirehl Brock rushed for 236 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Blue Devils to a 42-23 win at Belleville East Thursday. The game was rescheduled a day earlier to accommodate the weather.
“It feels like a Friday night. I told the guys on Wednesday ‘look we’re playing tomorrow’ and the guys were ready to go,” Little said. “Whenever we suffer defeat, like we did last week, it’s one of those deals where you want to get that taste out of your mouth right away.
“We were anxious to play the game tonight.”
Quincy senior quarterback Donovan Prost passed the football just four times during the game, leaving it his stout offensive line and a three-back attack to carry to Blue Devils. Brock, Garrett Drew and Adonte’ Crider averaged more than 11.5 yards per carry in building a 28-3 Quincy lead by the half.
Crider had 84 of those yards on just three carriers, including a 35-yard scoring run less than three minutes into the game. He was pulled early, however, with a “tweeked knee,” Little said. The junior back should return in time for next week’s game against Alleman in Rock Island.
Drew, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound fullback, rumbled for 118 yards of his own. Quincy finished with 463 yards on the ground.
“(Brock) is a grown man out there playing. He’s a division I back and they have an offense that makes it incredibly difficult to find him and stop him,” said Belleville East coach Kris Stephens. “But with that offense, once you figure out who’s got the ball, he’s already three or four yards down field.”
It was Brock’s 55-yard run in the third quarter that added cushion to the Quincy lead, just as the Lancers picked up some momentum behind sophomore quarterback Lucas Maue. Brock found a hole between the tackles then broke to the outside to put the Blue Devils on top 35-10.
“The blocks to the right were great but I could tell in the back that they were flowing to the right and I just cut it back to the left and caught the (defensive backs) off guard,” said Brock, who also had scoring runs of 25 and 10 yards and caught 43-yard touchdown pass from Prost.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Lancers, who were held to seven points against Highland last week. Maue, starting for injured senior quarterback Kienen Waller, completed 17 of 29 pass attempts for 291 yards and a pair of touchdowns to classmate Jaylen Ford, the game’s top receiver with 89 yards.
“We were looking to our young kids to give us a spark,” Stephens said. “The third quarter has been a real problem for us, but we came out in the second half and had great movement, great tempo and did some good things ... They came back with everything they had.”
Trailing by three touchdowns, Alex Maxim put Belleville East on the board with a 29-yard field goal at the 7:51 mark of the second quarter. Nick Cole carried from three yards out to narrow the Quincy lead to 28-10.
After Brock’s 55-yard back breaker, Maue and Ford connected on scoring passes of 25 and 30 yards. With the early game this week and a Saturday game next, the 0-3 Lancers get two extra days of preparation for week 4. They’ll needed it against East St. Louis, which is ranked third in Illinois class 7A.