East Side Captures SWC Football Crown: Martin Scores Flyers' First Three TDs, Edwardsville Keeps It Close
EAST ST. LOUIS - East St. Louis junior running back TaRyan Martin scored his team's first three touchdowns, two in the third quarter, as the Flyers took advantage of opportunities to defeat the Tigers 26-7 in a Southwestern Conference football game Friday night at Clyde C. Jordan Memorial Stadium.
Edwardsville and East St. Louis battled and the Flyers were only up by one score 6-0 at the half, so both defenses were outstanding in the first two quarters.
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The win clinched East Side's seventh straight conference championship and officially clinched a playoff berth for the Flyers.
The Flyers' only two losses came to teams from out-of-state early in the season.
The first quarter was played even-up as it ended 0-0.
The Flyers were driving near the end of the period, and on the first play of the second quarter, East Side went ahead on a Martin six-yard run, with the conversion missed to give the Flyers a 6-0 lead at halftime.
The Flyers doubled the lead with 8:31 left in the third quarter when Martin scored from eight yards out to push the East Side lead to 12-0 after a two-point run failed.
Edwardsville cut the lead down to 12-7 on the next possession when Joey DeMare caught a pass over the middle from Jake Curry and went in from 40 yards out to make the score 12-7 after Tyler Dacus' conversion kick.
East St. Louis answered the Tiger score with one of its own right away, as Martin climaxed the ensuing drive with his third touchdown run, this from five yards away, to make the score 18-7 after a two-point pass fell incomplete.
The Flyers iced the game in the fourth when Rico Bond caught a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Robert "Pops" Battle, then Battle ran in for a two-point conversion, with 3:52 left in the game to give East Side its 26-7 win.
The Flyers ran for 295 yards, with Larevious "Fresh" Woods running for 120 yards and Battle was 13-of-20 passing for 110 yards and the touchdown to Bond.
Christopher Bennett, Jr. was East Side's leading receiver with seven catches for 67 yards.
Both teams are now 6-2, with the Tigers finishing their regular season next Friday at CBC in a 7 p.m. kickoff.
East Side concludes the regular season on Oct. 21 at DeSmet Jesuit in a 6 p.m. kickoff.
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