High School Football

Crusaders looking for improvement in Week 2

Althoff’s CJ Coldon trys to make it to the end zone.
Althoff’s CJ Coldon trys to make it to the end zone. For the News-Democrat

It took a 28-yard touchdown pass on its last play of the game for Althoff to dodge an upset at the hands of the much-improved Collinsville Kahoks.

Fourth-year Crusaders coach Ken Turner says he’ll take the win and rely on an ages-old football axiom to sustain his team in its game with Helias Catholic on Friday night in Jefferson City, Mo.

“They say the most dramatic improvement of the season happens between week one and week two,” Turner said. “That’s what we’re counting on.”

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Althoff, ranked No. 4 in Illinois’ Class 4A on the Associated Press high school football poll, almost tripped itself up on its way to a Week 1 win at home. The Crusaders committed three turnovers that Collinsville was able to convert into points, and amassed more than 130 yards in penalties.

“We look at it like we could easily have scored 21 or 28 more points than we did,” Turner said. “But I told the guys we’ll take the win and work to get some things cleaned up.”

Friday’s game: Althoff (1-0) at Jefferson City Helias Catholic (0-2)

Last meeting: Helias defeated Althoff 35-7 at Lindenwood-Belleville in week 2 of 2014.

It starts up front: Althoff second-year quarterback Jordan Augustine had his own struggles against Collinsville — at least by his standards —with a pair of costly interceptions. All said, he still completed 22 of his 37 pass attempts for 231 yards and three touchdowns.

His ability to rebound falls due to the protection he received from the line play, Turner said. The unit is anchored by senior guard Bryce Evans and junior right tackle James Townsend.

“I was real proud of our offensive line. That group really got it together and did what it needed to do,” Turner said. “Jordan Augustine knows how to run this offense and had a good game. As good as he played last week, he knows he can play even better, though, and I think we’ll see that Friday night.”

Scouting Helias: Helias has been outgunned in two losses (Missouri’s season started a week earlier than Illinois). A young defense led by mostly juniors has surrendered 80 points in its two losses.

Quarterback Weston Porter has been very efficient in relief of starter Alex Faddoul, who has been down with a high ankle sprain. The understudy has connected on 25 of 42 attempts for 353 yards and four touchdowns. That’s a QB rating of 98.6. He’s also the team’s top ball carrier with 102 yards on 34 carries. He may get to return to his normal slot back position Friday — Turner expects Faddoul to be back under center.

Wide Receiver Adam Bax, at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, is Porter’s favorite target and has four touchdown receptions.

Sports Editor Todd Eschman can be reached at teschman@bnd.com or 239-2540. Follow him on Twitter: @tceschman.

Friday, Sept. 4

Belleville East at Normal West, 7 p.m.

Belleville West at Normal, 7 p.m.

Althoff at Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias, 7 p.m.

O'Fallon at Benet Academy, 7:30 p.m.

Triad at Collinsville, 7 p.m.

Edwardsville at Rock Island, 7 p.m.

Columbia at Waterloo, 7 p.m.

Highland at Salem, 7 p.m.

Mascoutah at Effingham, 7 p.m.

Freeburg at Carlyle, 7 p.m.

Dupo at Central, 7 p.m.

Red Bud at Wesclin, 7 p.m.

Mater Dei at Williamsville, 7 p.m.

Alton at Quincy 7 p.m.

Nashville at Carmi, 7 p.m.

Civic Memorial at Mattoon, 7 p.m.

Centralia at Wood River, 7 p.m.

Marquette at Quincy Notre Dame, 7 p.m.

Jerseyville at Mt. Zion, 7 p.m.

Benton at Sparta, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 5

Montini at East St. Louis, 6 p.m.

Crystal Lake South at Cahokia, 3 p.m.

Granite Cite at Riverview Gardens (Mo.), 1 p.m.

Metro-East Lutheran at Barat Academy, 1 p.m.