ALTON - The Riverbender-area football teams go into week five of the 2023 football season with Edwardsville looking to stay undefeated at Belleville West, Alton seeking to bounce back from a disappointing loss at Belleville East, Collinsville also looking to bounce back in a home game against Granite City and East St. Louis hosting O'Fallon in a key Southwestern Conference game Saturday afternoon.
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The Friday night schedule, with all games starting at 7 p.m., unless otherwise indicated, sees the Tigers at Belleville West and the Redbirds going to Belleville East in the SWC.
The Mississippi Valley Conference slate has Civic Memorial hosting Mascoutah, Waterloo going to Highland and Jersey is at Triad.
The Mississippi Division of the Cahokia Conference will have Breese Central at East Alton-Wood River, Columbia playing at Freeburg in a rivalry game and Roxana will be at Salem.
In the South Central Conference, it will be Carlinville playing host to Piasa Southwestern, Gillespie is at Staunton, Greenville plays at Pana, Litchfield plays hosts to Hillsboro and Virden North Mac is at Vandalia.
In the North division of the Western Illinois Valley, Beardstown is at Concord Triopia and Camp Point Central is home to Mt. Sterling Brown County. In the WIVC South division, Winchester West Central is at Pleasant Hill and Carrollton plays at White Hall North Greene. Marquette Catholic is at Belleville Althoff Catholic, while in the area's only eight-man game, Metro-East Lutheran is at Decatur Unity Christian.
The Saturday schedule will have O'Fallon at East St. Louis,, while in the WIVC North, Jacksonville Routt Catholic hosts Mendon Unity and in a key game in the South division, Hardin Calhoun is home to Greenfield Northwestern, with all of those games kicking off at 1 p.m.
The Tigers went to 4-0 with an impressive 47-14 win at O'Fallon. getting three touchdown passes from quarterback Jake Curry --- two to Joey DeMare --- and running for another touchdown. The special teams contributed another touchdown when Jaylon Cole took a blocked field goal back 96 yards for the game's first touchdown, and receiver Kellen Brnfre had a touchdown for the third week in a row, taking in a pass from Curry for the score.
Alton is coming off a disappointing 8-7 loss at home to Belleville West, where an offensive penalty in the end zone gave the Maroons a safety that proved to be the difference. Quarterback Riley Smith will lead the Redbirds against the Lancers, with running back Sam Elliott-Barnes and receiver Ka'Nye Lacey helping to provide offensive punch.
Collinsville will look to come back from a tough 33-24 loss at Mt. Vernon against the Warriors, who were forced to forfeit their game to Centralia in the wake of a game-ending brawl against Cahokia in week three. The Kahoks will have quarterback Darren Pennell at the controls, throwing for 123 yards and rushing for another 66 last week against the Rams, while running back Ryan McIntyre and receivers Amari Rodgers-Parrot and Chase Reynolds providing additional spark.
Granite is led by quarterback Kendrick Lyons, who has thrown four touchdown passes this season, and running back Carl Harris. Receivers Milton Dowell, Zaiden Kelly and Isaiah Ford will also be looked to by the Warriors for additional spark.
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