Edwardsville fell behind early Friday, then used its running game to restore order.
Senior Jackson Morrissey scored two touchdowns and seniors Riley Jones and Kendell Davis had one apiece as the Tigers reeled off a 33-7 victory over Collinsville in the Southwestern Conference opener for both teams. Quarterback Jones also threw a TD pass to junior Nathan Kolesa.
“We definitely started off a little slow,” the 5-foot-10, 186-pound Morrissey said of the Tigers falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter. “Coach (Matt Martin) talked to us during halftime and we really came out and exploded in the second half. We had a hat on a hat and were able to drive the ball.”
The Tigers, who improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the SWC, have won 31 of the last 33 games against the Kahoks (0-3, 0-1), who committed four turnovers. Collinsville’s lone touchdown was by junior Max Lyons in the first quarter, a 1-yard run that highlighted an 80-yard drive.
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“The second half, we came out and kind of shot ourselves in the foot. We let things down,” said Collinsville coach Rick Reinhart, whose team trailed just 13-7 at halftime. “Plus, we had some guys who couldn’t go. Not having Trevore (Sanders) in there was huge for us. We had to change our game plan and play young guys, and they weren’t ready.”
Sanders, perhaps the fastest player on the field, left with a leg injury in the second quarter.
KEY MOMENT: With Collinsville defending the Tigers’ running game, Jones hit Kolesa with a 25-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone with 7:14 left in the third quarter. It put the Kahoks down by two scores at 19-7, and they never were able to recover.
KEY PERFORMERS: Morrissey finished with 19 carries for 131 yards, with his scoring runs coming from 1 yard and 15 yards. Jones had 22 carries for 126 yards. Davis became a bigger factor in the second half and finished with 11 rushes for 62 yards.
MORE FROM REINHART: “Here’s the thing: It’s our fault,” he said of the turnovers. “We’re having miscues by great kids that we just have to teach better. We’ve got to keep getting better.”
EDWARDSVILLE COACH MATT MARTIN: “We were able to get the ground game going in the second half. Sometimes it was only for 3 yards at a time, sometimes it was a big play. It made a big difference for us.”
SCORING: C-Max Lyons 1 run (Matt Cook PAT); E-Riley Jones 1 run (Riley Patterson PAT); E-Jackson Morrissey 1 run (PAT failed); E-Nathan Kolesa 25 pass from Jones (conversion run failed); E-Morrissey 15 run (Patterson kick); Kendell Davis 15 run (Patterson kick).
UP NEXT: Collinsville will play host to Belleville West at 7 p.m. Friday. Edwardsville will play at O’Fallon at 7 p.m. Friday.
Belleville East 44, Granite City 7
Edwardsville 33, Collinsville 7
Belleville West 13, O’Fallon 12
East St. Louis 56, Alton 0
Althoff 68, Mater Dei 46
Columbia 48, Dupo 8
Waterloo 41, Carbondale 14
Nashville 24, Wesclin 13
Triad 14, Mount Vernon 12
Highland 45, Mattoon 6
Central 16, Freeburg 10
Mount Zion 44, Mascoutah 14
Carlyle 45, Red Bud 12