ALTON - The conference season begins in earnest this week, as the Southwestern, Mississippi Valley and Cahokia Conference seasons begin, but two teams will be forced to forfeit this week's games after an all-in, bench clearing brawl marred the end of their game between them as week four in the high school football season commences.
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Riverbender.com will be live-streaming Alton’s home game against the Belleville West Maroons. The link for that can be found here. Last season the Redbirds beat Belleville West by a score of 28-7.
In the Friday night games, all of which will begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise indicated, Edwardsville plays a key SWC game at O'Fallon, while Alton, fresh off their last-minute upset win over Triad, hosts Belleville West, Collinsville is at Mt. Vernon, Civic Memorial is at Jersey, Triad is at Waterloo, Madison is at Breese Mater Dei Catholic, Litchfield is at Greenville, St. Dominic Catholic of O'Fallon, Mo. plays at Belleville Althoff Catholic, Gillespie is at Hillsboro, East Alton-Wood River plays at Salem, Highland is at Mascoutah, Dupo plays at Trenton Wesclin, Carlyle is at Red Bud, Pana is at Virden North Mac, Roxana hosts Columbia, Marquette Catholic, fresh off their win over EAWR, is at Harrisburg, Staunton is at Carlinville, PIasa Southwestern hosts Vandalia, Jacksonville Routt Catholic is at Beardstown, Mt. Sterling Brown County is at Concord Triopia, White Hall North Greene plays at Greenfield Northwestern, and Hardin Calhoun travels to Winchester West Central. In an eight-man contest, Metro-East Lutheran is at Bushnell-Prairie City.
The Saturday games will be East St. Louis hosting Belleville East at 1 p.m., while Carrollton is at Pleasant Hill in a 2 p.m. kickoff and Camp Point Central plays at Mendon Unity at 6 p.m.
The Tigers and Panthers will be playing for the first time since their epic 43-36 game in the first round of the IHSA Class 8A playoffs on Oct. 29 at OTHS Panther Stadium, where this week's game will be played. Edwardsville defeated St. Louis Soldan 47-6 to go to 3-0, while O'Fallon lost to New Lenox Lincoln-Way Central 27-10 last Saturday at Illinois State University's Hancock Stadium. Kellen Brnfre scored twice for the Tigers, one on a 71-yard pass reception from quarterback Jake Curry, and also ran a punt back 35 yards for another score, his second punt return touchdown in as many weeks.
The Redbirds pulled out the win over Triad at home on a touchdown pass from quarterback Riley Smith to running back Sam Elliott-Barnes from 27 yards with 43 seconds left to give Alton the win, snapping a nine-game losing skid. Smith passed for four touchdowns on the night.
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