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LEMONT - Sophomore quarterback Robert "Pops" Battle was 15-of-24 passing for 344 yards and four touchdowns, while wide receiver Luther Burden III caught three of Battle's touchdown passes as East St. Louis defeated Lemont 42-21 in the IHSA Class 6A football playoff quarterfinals Saturday afternoon at Lemont High School.

The Flyers were ahead of Lemont 8-7 after the first quarter, but East Side exploded for 26 unanswered points in the middle two quarters to take a 34-7 lead to advance to next week's semifinals.

East Side took the lead almost halfway through the first quarter on an 85-yard touchdown pass from Battle to Jesse Watson after the Flyers were pinned deep in their own territory after a brilliant punt by Lemont. TaRyan Martin added the two-point convert to make it 8-0 with 6:15 left in the opening period. Late in the quarter, a 34-yard touchdown pass cut the lead to 8-7, marking the first touchdown allowed this season against an Illinois school by the Flyers.

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Undaunted, East Side took a 14-7 lead with seven minutes left in the second quarter on a 29-yard pass from Battle to Burden, with the two-point convert missed. The Flyers extended the lead just before halftime on Martin's two-yard touchdown run 47 seconds from the interval, making the score 20-7 after another two-point play was stopped.

Marquise Palmer scored from one yard out early in the third to make the score 28-7 after a Battle pass to Kuron Parchman was good for a two-point convert, and Burden caught his second touchdown pass of the game from 39 yards out to make the score 34-7 with 1:44 left in the third. Burden then took in a 59-yard toss from Battle with 7:57 left in the game for the final touchdown as Lemont sandwiched in two more scores around it to make the final 42-21.

The 21 points allowed by the Flyers are the most scored against them by an Illinois team this season. The only other score was a safety by O'Fallon in the regular season.

The Flyers are now 10-2 and will play against Crete-Monee, a 53-24 winner at Washington, in next weekend's semifinals, with the site, date and kickoff time to be announced by the IHSA at about 3 p.m. on Monday. The East Side-Crete-Monee winner will play the winner of the other semifinal between Cary-Grove, who won over Crystal Lake Central 42-21, and Lake Forest, a 22-21 winner over Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge, in the Class 6A final Saturday, Nov. 27 at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, with the kickoff coming at 1 p.m.

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