EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville running back/defensive back Dionte Rodgers was definitely at his best in the Tigers’ 35-12 win Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
Rodgers had two touchdowns on a 46-yard run and a 60-yard pass reception from quarterback Luke Oglesby, and also had two interceptions, part of five Tiger takeaways, in the game.
Rodgers was very much fired up for the game.
“Everything fires me up,” Rodgers said in a postgame interview. “Playing both sides of the ball, I mean, it’s really a challenge, but I felt like I came out and played my game.”
The win snapped an Edwardsville three-game losing streak, and it was definitely an important win for the Tigers.
“It was a real big game for us,” Rodgers said. “Us coming off that three-game losing streak, we had to turn the train around. To get this win against a really good Alton team, this is a really good step In the right direction.”
Rodgers had been playing as a slot receiver, but had a chance to get in the backfield on Friday night. Rodgers is comfortable in either position.
“Playing slot receiver or in the backfield, they both are my comfort zone,” Rodgers said. “But I like the backfield too. So it was really good.”
Rodgers felt great scoring both of his touchdowns, and also gave credit to Oglesby, playing in place of the injured Kendall Abdur-Rahman.
“Yes, sir, it is,” Rodgers said. “Luke did a great job tonight. He stepped up for Kendall, and he did what he was supposed to do.”
Rodgers said the interceptions came as a result of playing the way he was coached.
“I mean, I was just doing what I was coached to do,” Rodgers said. “We preached getting to the ball, so I just made the right reads and made the right plays.”
And a quick start, where the defense pinned the Redbirds near their own end zone, and being able to score on their second play from scrimmage, was a big key in the Tigers’ win.
“Yes, sir, it did,” Rodgers said. “With us scoring early, it gave us the momentum and gave us the confidence to keep playing the whole game.”
The Tigers play at O’Fallon next week, and Rodgers thinks that Tigers are starting to turn things around.
“We turned the train around, so we’ve just gotta come out with a great load of practice, and get ready for an O’Fallon team we are pretty confident we can beat.”