After watching a quick and athletic Collinsville defense contain his team for much of the first half, Triad football coach Paul Bassler switched things up at halftime on Friday. But only a little bit.
Senior quarterback Tommy Bauer scored three touchdowns and running back Tom Kraudel rushed for a game high 137 yards and scored twice as the Knights (2-0) broke away in the second half for a 34-7 win before a large crowd at Triad High School
Ranked 10th in the Class 5A state poll, Triad amassed more than 250 yards on the ground for the second straight week. But for much of the first half both Bauer and Kraudel were held in check by the Collinsville defense, despite building a 14-0 lead.
“We were too loose in our formations in the first half and when we tried, we couldn’t get around them on the outside because they had too much speed,” Bassler said. “We actually saved it for the second half because we thought they would have trouble defending it. We went tighter in the second half hoping that our backs could hit the holes quicker.
“Tommy Kraudel hit the holes well. I’m just glad he’s on our team and we get to coach him for at least seven more weeks.”
Bauer, who scored on runs of four and six yards in the second half, finished with 92 yards rushing. Kraudel gave Triad a 28-7 lead midway in the second half with a 37-yard scoring run.
After being held off the scoreboard in the first quarter, Bauer gave the Knights their first touchdown of the year at home when he put the finishing touch on an eight-play 58-yard drive with 10:17 left in the first half. Bauer went the final 12 yards, breaking two tackles and falling into the end zone.
Collinsville then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Triad got the ball right back on its 35-yard line. Less than three minutes later, Kraudel scored on a 7-yard run at the 7:35 mark to give Triad a 14-0 cushion.
The Kahoks, looking like a much better team than the one who lost to Althoff last week, marched deep into Triad territory late in the first half. A 25-yard pass completion from quarterback Tyler Callahan to Laron Johnson moved the ball inside the Knights’ 30-yard line.
But a poor snap from center alluded Callahan on fourth down and the drive stalled.
“That was a big play,” Collinsville coach Rick Reinhart said. “I thought we played much better this week then we did last week. We moved the football well, especially in the second half. Triad does a great job of running that offense. But if you stay disciplined and unselfish, it can be contained. There were times when we were selfish and it cost us.”
Collinsville finally for on the scoreboard with 3:36 left in the third quarter when Callahan connected with Johnson on a 6-yar scoring play to make the score 21-7.
But three minutes later, Kraudel’s 37-yard scoring run gave Triad back its three-touchdown lead.
Collinsville will host Edwardsville next Friday while Triad will host Mount Vernon.