CREVE COEUR, Mo. - Kaylon Bursey scored twice, both on a free kick return and on a long pass play from quarterback Jake Curry, as Edwardsville scored twice in 11 seconds to turn the game around and take a 29-12 win over St. Louis power DeSmet Jesuit in a week nine game played Friday night at Spartans Field in Creve Coeur, Mo., in west St. Louis County.
The win made the Tigers' final regular season record 8-1 and perhaps solidified a top seed in the IHSA playoffs when the pairings are announced Saturday night. It also knocked the Spartans out of the undefeated ranks, going to 7-1 as DeSmet starts its Missouri district tournament next week.
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The Spartans struck first on the opening drive, taking a 7-0 lead after a Sakye Moore one-yard touchdown run 5:13 into the game. Edwardsville countered on its opening possession, scoring when Curry found Michael Hedge open for an 18-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-6 after the conversion was missed.
An 11-second sequence early in the second quarter turned the game in the Tigers' favor. DeSmet quarterback Dillon Duff was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, which is an automatic safety, giving Edwardsville an 8-7 lead. On the ensuing free kick from the 20, Bursey took the kick and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown that increased the Tigers' lead to 15-7.
Later in the second, Curry ran in from 27 yards to give Edwardsville a 22-7 halftime lead, but in the third quarter, Ethan Wehmueller kicked a 48-yard field goal to cut the Tiger lead to 22-10. Afterwards, Curry and Bursey connected for a 59-yard touchdown pass late in the third to make the score 29-10. DeSmet added a late safety to make the final 29-12.
Both teams now await their first playoff opponents, as the Tigers will learn their fate on the IHSA pairing show, livestreamed at 8 p.m. on the IHSA website and on the NFHS Network website, along with being televised on St. Louis station KNLC-TV, channel 24.5 for digital TVs and channel 252 for Spectrum cable TV subscribers. The Spartans are in first place of their Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 6 district and will host a game next week against an opponent to be determined.
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