High School Football

Macon, East St. Louis fly past Belleville West in conference opener

The East St. Louis Flyers unleashed their offensive firepower in an efficient and lethal manner against Belleville West at Clyde Jordan Stadium Saturday.

Junior quarterback Tyler Macon tossed three touchdown passes on the first nine offensive plays and the Flyers celebrated homecoming with a 53-0 win over the Maroons.

Pushed to the limit in a 50-48 win over Naperville Neuqua Valley a week ago, the Flyers (4-0, 1-0) came out firing against a suspect Maroons defensive unit.

“That’s what we wanted to do. We came out with good intensity and we were able to score early,’’ Flyers coach Darren Sunkett said. “We thought we saw some weaknesses on their corner pass coverage that we could take advantage of and Tyler (Macon) made some good decisions with the football. He utilized all of his offensive weapons very well.”

Macon connected with junior wide receiver Keantez Lewis on scoring plays of 45 and 20 yards and added a 53-yard strike to former Maroon Dominic Lovett as East St. Louis grabbed a 20-0 lead against the Maroons, who fell for the third straight week after an impressive opening game victory at Riverview Gardens..

Macon added touchdown runs of 20 and 4 yards while senior running back DaMonta Witherspoon added touchdowns of 24 and 1 yard in the second quarter.

Ranked first in the Class 5A state poll, East St. Louis scored on seven of their eight first half possessions and led 46-0 at halftime. The final two quarters were played with a running clock.

East St. Louis DaMonta Witherspoon makes the catch for the touchdown during Saturday afternoon game. Jimmy Jay Simmons

Macon, the No. 18 ranked junior in the state according to 247 Sports, competed 15 of 24 attempts for 334 yards in the first half. He also had 62 yards rushing in the first two quarters.

“We just followed the game plan that the coaches laid out for us to start the week. We didn’t make any mistakes and when we take care of the football, we’re going to be tough to stop. “ Macon said. “We came out and attacked early. That’s the way we play.’’

Macon opened the second half with a 36-yards scoring run as the Flyers’ lead grew to 53-0.

“That’s a very, very good football team over there,’’ Maroons coach Bryan Edgar said. “They aren’t ranked No. 1 in the state for nothing. We did hurt ourselves with some penalties though.’

“You don’t sweep any game under the rug and forget about it. We feel like we have a great schedule for these kids and playing teams like this in games like this only makes you better. We’ll learn from our mistakes today and come out next week and be ready to play again.’’

While Macon and the Flyers’ offense continued to shine, the East St. Louis defense also was impressive as it wracked up its second shutout in four games.

With linebacker Darius Walker leading the way, the Flyers held West to just three first-half first downs. Senior quarterback Jack McCloskey was sacked four times and senior running back Jordan Bruce carried the ball eight times for a minus 3 yards.

“Our defense came back and played better this week. I thought we responded well from giving up 48 points to Neuqua Valley,’’ Sunkett said. “Like I said we didn’t make many mistakes.’’