EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's is facing a major challenge this week when traditional St. Louis area power CBC comes calling to Tiger Stadium for a 7 p.m. Friday kickoff.
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The 0-1 Tigers will take on the 1-1 Cadets in a clash of teams both coming off losses; CBC fell to Christian Brothers of Memphis, Tenn., last week 36-27 after defeating Miller Career Academy of St. Louis 69-28 in Missouri Week 1 while the Tigers were stunned by Naperville North after building leads of 42-0 and 49-14 only to see the Huskies come from behind to take a 53-49 win.
The Tigers lost both quarterback Kendall Abdur-Rahman and running back Dionte Rodgers in last week's game after building a 28-0 lead at quarter time; Abdur-Rahman had two long touchdown runs in the opening quarter of 49 and 80 yards to build that lead before he went out with what Tiger coach Matt Martin termed “full body cramps”; he had 158 yards rushing before coming out of the game, replaced by Nick Hemken. Rodgers ended up with 165 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns.
As Martin said after last week's loss to the Huskies, it's not so much that the Tigers lost – it's how the game is played. “We always say – and this is the thing – it's about how you play the game,” Martin said following the loss last week when asked what he would say to the team. “I know it sounds like coach-speak, but it's how you play the game, regardless of the score; we always talk to the kids whether you're down, whether you're up by a lot – we coach them hard; it's about playing the game with the right effort, with the right execution. We've gone into film on Saturdays and we've won by 35 points and we've been upset as a staff.”
The Cadets lost a key piece of their puzzle for the season during preseason workouts when Kamryn Babb, on of the St. Louis area's top players, suffered a torn anterior-cruciate ligament that put him out for the season; the Cadets still have weapons like Cameron Brown and Tyler Walton, who each have nine catches on the season, Brown for 155 yards and two touchdowns and Walton for 138 yards and a touchdown; CBC's leading rusher is Chance Lotts, who has 31 carries for 191 yards and two touchdowns; Bryan Bradford follows with 11 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Brett Gabbert is 27-for-42 passing for 379 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions for the Cadets in their first two games.
The Tigers' opening stretch continues next week with a trip to East St. Louis to open their Southwestern Conference campaign; kickoff at Clyde Jordan Stadium is 7 p.m. Sept. 8.
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