A patchwork Belleville West offense made mostly from players borrowed from other positions sputtered, stopped and turned the ball over four times.
It also broke it big when it had to.
All but 56 of the Maroons’ 291 total yards came on four plays that helped West defeat Granite City 41-0 Friday night.
Many of West’s backfield weapons were on the bench with injuries. The one that was still healthy, senior TeAntez Anthony, scored touchdowns on a run from the backfield, a pass reception and a punt return.
“As thin as we are, we had to put guys into positions where they can make plays,” said West head coach Cameron Pettus. “TeAntez had a great game. I had certain expectations of him this week and he responded with a great week of practice that showed on the field tonight.”
The Maroons, 4-4, move forward to a Week 9 date at Alton, which is a must-win if they hope to reach the Class 7A playoffs. Granite City fell to 2-6.
West didn’t score until its third possession, but opened a 21-0 lead within a four-minute span. Logan Betz connected on a screen pass to stand-in running back Nick Foster, who broke free for a 76-yard score.
Granite City was forced to punt on its ensuing possession and Anthony returned in 84 yards for a score. It was the first of three big plays by the senior, who also caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Logan Betz in the third quarter, and broke an 87-yard touchdown run lined up from the backfield in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t get in the backfield too often,” Anthony said of the run. “The play was to the right and all I had to do was make it to the edge, which was wide open. I was looking to beat the corner(back), but my man made a heck of a block and there was nothing in front of me from that point. Coach talked all week about somebody being a leader and stepping up. I guess I did that.”
The West defense also participated in the scoring when linebacker DeMarlo Nesbit picked up a Granite City fumble and carried 30 yards for a touchdown.
Anthony finished with four catches for 52 yards to go along with the kick return and touchdown run. Foster finished with 75 yards on 11 carries and Betz was 6-of-10 passing for 144 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Granite City had 223 yards of offense despite running 10 plays for losses. Senior running back Ronald Allen finished with 72 yards on 18 carries and quarterback Gabe Jarman completed 9-of-21 pass attempts for 80 yards.
Wide receiver Eugene Wilba had two catches for 43 yards.
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“Our defense played great, which really helped us out when the offense shot itself in the foot. They were dialed in, tackled really well, and I was really pleased.”