BELLEVILLE - The Alton High football team played a tremendous defensive game, holding Belleville East's offense to only a first-quarter field goal, but the offense struggled, giving up an interception return for a touchdown as the Lancers won over the Redbirds 9-6 in a Southwestern Conference game Saturday afternoon at Charlie Woodford Field.

The Lancers scored all of their points in the first half to take a 9-0 lead before the Redbirds scored their only touchdown of the game in the second half as the East defense kept the Redbirds at bay,

"Our defense played lights out," said Alton head coach Eric Dickerson. "We played great defensively, we struggled moving the ball today. They got a lot of pressure up front on us, and we had a tough time executing and getting the ball rolling."

The Lancer kicked a first-quarter field goal to take a 3-0 lead, then returned an interception to take a 9-0 lead into the changing room at halftime. In the second half, quarterback Graham McAfoos connected with Julian Caffey for a big pass play that set up Gage DePew for a one-yard run for the Redbirds' only touchdown of the day. The conversion was missed, leaving the score 9-6. The East defense bottled up the Redbird offense the rest of the way to preserve the win.

"We're still trying to see what works," Dickerson said. "The kids are still working hard, and you can't fault that."

The Redbirds are now 1-4 on the year and travel to Edwardsville on Friday night in a 7 p.m. kickoff, while the Lancers are also 1-4 and are at O'Fallon next Saturday afternoon in a 1 p.m. start.

"We'll get to work in practice this week," Dickerson said, "get better and come to play on Friday night."

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