High School Football

East St. Louis rolls to first-round Class 7A triumph over Hoffman Estates

East St. Louis defeats Hoffman Estates

The East St. Louis Flyers dominated Hoffman Estates in the first round of the IHSA Class 7A football playoffs.
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The East St. Louis Flyers dominated Hoffman Estates in the first round of the IHSA Class 7A football playoffs.

In preparing his team to play its class 7A first-round playoff game earlier this week, Hoffman Estates football coach Tim Heyse gave his Hawks a history lesson on the East St. Louis Flyers football program and its eight state titles.

On Saturday, the Flyers provided Hoffman Estates with a visual aid.

Antonio Johnson and DeMonta Witherspoon both scored twice during a 41-point second quarter as East St Louis rolled past the shell-shocked Hawks 62-14 at Clyde Jordan Stadium.

Seeded 15th, the Southwestern Conference champion Flyers scored on all seven of its first-half possessions and got a 38-yard interception return by Johnson and a 43-yard fumble return by Witherspoon. The return by Witherspoon came with 26 seconds remaining before the half and gave East Side (8-2) a 62-14 lead.

With the 40-point running clock rule in effect, East St. Louis coach Darren Sunkett turned to his depth.

The Flyers move on to a second-round game at No. 2 Glenbard East next Saturday at 2 p.m.

“The key for us that we were able to move the football and we got some plays early in the game,” Sunkett said. “On defense, we knew (Hoffman Estates) liked the fast pace and that they liked to throw the football. Our defense was flying around all day. We never let their quarterback set up.’’

Hoffman Estates quarterback Kyle Krogstad threw touchdown passes of 31 and 10 yards to Jordan Lane to account for both Hawks touchdowns. But touchdown runs of 8 and 13 yards by East Side’s sophomore quarterback Tyler Macon, both coming in the first six minutes of the game, set the early tone for the Flyers.

East St. Louis Antonio Johnson (2) knocks down the pass intended for Hoffman Estates Daivon Mclin during Saturday’s game at East St. Louis High School. Jimmy J Simmons

“We like the fast pace as well, but they came out and score twice as fast on us. We were down 14-0 real quick,’’ Heyse said. “We just couldn’t match their speed. Plus they are so big and athletic up front. Their defense was all over over Kyle (Krogstad) all day. He was throwing off his back foot all day. That’s tough to do.’’

Macon, who ran for three touchdowns and added a pair of touchdown passes, gave the Flyers a 7-0 lead with an 8-yard run to cap their first drive. It was the play before his second score which summed up the day for both teams,.

On fourth down inside his own 30-yard line, East St. Louis punter Lawaun Powell ran 57-yards to the Hawks 13-yard line. Macon scored on the next play to put his team up 14-0.

“We came up with big plays. We’ve done that all year,’’ said Johnson. “There hasn’t really been anybody we’ve played who has been able to slow us down on offense. The key is the defense. We played well today.’’