Iose EpenesaCREVE COUER, Mo. - Junior transfer quarterback Chris Cotton tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Gavin Bomstad in the second half, then ran for another touchdown that helped put the game away as DeSmet Jesuit defeated Edwardsville 44-17 in a season-opening blockbuster game Friday night at DeSmet's field.

The Tigers were ranked number four in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's large school preseason poll, while the Spartans were second-ranked, with the Tigers taking a 17-14 lead at halftime. DeSmet scored 30 unanswered points in the second half to win.

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The Spartans jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, scoring on its first possession when Keyshawn Ford scored from two yards out after being set up by a pair of Allen Mitchell runs, then Mitchell scored from one yard out on the next possession to take their 14-0 lead.

The Tigers bounced back, with sophomore quarterback Jake Curry going 41 yards on a keeper, then hitting Beau Brandt with a 12-yard pass on the first play of the second quarter to halve the lead to 14-7. Edwardsville then took advantage of a bad snap on a Spartan punt, with Curry hitting freshman receive Iose Epenesa with a 10-yard pass, then scored himself from a yard out to tie the game at 14-14.

Near the end of the first half, Edwardsville got the ball back after holding the Spartans on downs, and drove down the field, with Curry making good plays. The drive stalled out and Gavin Walls hit on a 24-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 17-14 lead at the half.

The third quarter started very promisingly for Edwardsville, but an interception by Christian Gray helped set up a Luke Rothermich 35-yard field goal to tie the game at 17-17. Cotton, a transfer from Trinity Catholic High School after the school closed this spring, then connected on his two touchdown passes to Bomstad, the first from 56 yards that gave DeSmet the lead 24-17 after the third quarter, and from 62 yards early in the fourth that gave the Spartans a 31-17 lead.

DeSmet wrapped it up on touchdown runs of 43 yards by Reed and 53 yards by Cotton to give the Spartans their 44-17 win. For the game, Cotton passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 87 yards and another touchdown. Ford ran for 77 yards and two scores, while Bomstad caught three passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

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Curry passed for 89 yards and a touchdown for Edwardsville, and also ran for another 74 yards.

The Spartans start the season 1-0 and will play at East St. Louis in the Flyers' home opener next Friday night, while the Tigers are 0-1 and travel to Highland for another big game next Friday. DeSmet and East Side kick off at 6 p.m., while the Tigers and Bulldogs get started at 7 p.m.

Read More:

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Oct 18, 2014 | Williams has game of his life in four-touchdown performance Oct 18, 2014

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Nov 7, 2015 | GAMBLE PAYS OFF: Carrollton slips by Pawnee after fake punt, pass, then touchdown Nov 7, 2015

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