If the O’Fallon Panthers have any chance of reaching the postseason, their playoffs began in Week 5.
But since falling into an 0-4 hole against teams that have thus far combined for 19 wins, O’Fallon has kept slim hopes alive. The Panthers won their third game in a row Friday, a 22-7 victory over Collinsville.
“We just won our third playoff game in essence,” said O’Fallon head coach Brandon Joggerst. “Yeah, there’s still a chance (for the playoffs), but it’s all week to week at this point. We have to stay focused on the task at hand and take care of business. There is no looking ahead.”
The Collinsville defense held the Panthers to 257 yards of total offense, but O’Fallon senior running back Kentrail Moran had 191 yards rushing on his own.
The performance leaves him just seven yards shy of Duane Bennett for the school’s all-time rushing record.
“To start, I have a great offensive line. The run came is just really clicking and it starts with them,” said Moran, who committed to play next year at the University of Illinois. “Collinsville has some great linebackers. I had to think downhill and try to punish them a little bit.”
The game was still scoreless with 56 seconds left, when O’Fallon’s Logan McClellan blocked a Matt Cook punt, then picked up the loose ball himself for a touchdown.
O’Fallon scored twice more on 39- and 31-yard field goals by senior kicker Tucker McCann. The offense didn’t put the ball into the end zone until the fourth quarter when Moran scored on a seven-yard run.
Collinsville scored on the last play of the game, a 25-yard pass from Tyler Callahan to Max Lyons
Lyons led Collinsville with 38 yards on just seven carries. Senior quarterback Jordan Reichert completed 3-of-13 passes for 61 yards.
O’Fallon quarterback Christian Perez was 3-of-9 for 14 yards. He also carried seven times for 28 yards.
Collinsville coach Rick Reinhart
“The defense did a tremendous job. We didn’t give up a touchdown until late and the only other touchdown we gave up was because we didn’t protect the punter. The bottom line is the defense executed very well and played their tails off and offensively we were too sporadic. We have to be more consistent.”
O’Fallon (3-4) has games remaining against Belleville East next week and East St. Louis in Week 9. Collinsville (2-5), which could have advanced its playoff hopes with a win, is scheduled to play East Side next week and East in the final week of play.