Collinsville’s mission won’t get easier Friday when it visits the Edwardsville Tigers in the Southwestern Conference opener for both teams.
Mistakes doomed the Kahoks in losses to Althoff (24-22) and Triad (21-20). But coach Rick Reinhart welcomes the challenge of facing the Tigers, one of the elite teams in the metro-east.
“It will be a great test for us,” Reinhart said. “They’re where we want to be. The first couple of games, we found out what we’ve got. Now we’re going to find out what we don’t have.
“We’re going to go in there and do what we do, and after that game is over, we’ll know how well we’re doing it and we’ll know what we have to work on to get better. We know it’s going to be tough, but I think our kids are up to the challenge. We’ll play anybody.”
Edwardsville has opened the season with victories over Quincy (34-9) and Rock Island (30-10). Seven turnovers haven’t hurt the Tigers, who had four against Rock Island.
“What I see on film (from the Kahoks) is they’re athletic, particularly their quarterback (senior Jordan Reichert). He’s a good runner and thrower,” Tigers coach Matt Martin said. “Their linebackers are physical and athletic, good tacklers. Their DBs and running backs are athletic. No. 7 for Collinsville (junior Trevore Sanders) might be the fastest kid on the field Friday.”
FRIDAY’S GAME: Collinsville (0-2) at Edwardsville (2-0), 7 p.m.
RANKINGS: Edwardsville is ranked first in the News-Democrat’s large-school poll and fifth in the Class 8A state poll. Collinsville is not ranked.
LAST MEETING: Edwardsville defeated Collinsville 48-0 on Sept. 26, 2014, in Collinsville.
KEY STAT: The Tigers have won 30 of the last 32 games against Collinsville, although the Kahoks’ 59-28 win in 2008 represents the most points Edwardsville has ever allowed.
SCOUTING THE KAHOKS
Reichert has a strong arm and also is capable of breaking off long runs if his receivers are covered. Sanders’ speed makes him a threat every time he touches the ball, while senior running back Zach Hammel-Brown and junior wideout Rhett Romanik are talented offensive players. Junior linebackers Max Lyons and LaRon Johnson are hard hitters.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Senior quarterback Riley Jones has thrown for 248 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 217 yards and two TDs. Senior running back Jackson Morrissey has rushed for 180 yards and three TDs. The Tigers’ defense features Division I talents A.J. Epenesa and Desmond Chapple at end, linebacker Cyress Ahart and safety Jourdyn Jones.
MORE FROM REINHART: “The thing you notice about this (Edwardsville) team is everybody knows what they’re supposed to do. There are no questions marks. They’re going to be in great shape and they’re fundamentally sound. If we execute and move the chains a little bit and keep our defense (fresh), we can come out of there with respect. But offensively, we have not been consistent, and that’s not a good thing.”
MORE FROM MARTIN: “What we’ve been focusing on is, ‘Let’s become a better us,’ particularly on (reducing) penalties and turnovers. We’ve got seven conference games and this one is as important as any other. Are we where we need to be? No. (Jones) has done a lot of good things. He is bright and when we get a little more ball security from Riley, I’ll be even happier. I want us to be a smart football team and play hard.”