EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville High football tight end/defensive end Mason Ahlers had a tremendous game in the Tigers' 52-21 loss to East St. Louis on Friday night at Tiger Stadium, getting big tackles on defense along with making key catches on passes to help keep drives alive, and in the third quarter, collected a shovel pass from running back Justin Johnson, Jr. for a 39-yard gain to help keep a drive going.

Ahlers felt that he played well throughout the evening.

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"I thought I had a pretty good game," Ahlers said in a postgame interview. "I wish the outcome could have been different but I'm happy with how I played."

Despite the score, Edwardsville kept battling and hung in there throughout the entire 48 minutes, one of the team's trademarks, and one Ahlers and his teammates takes much pride in.

"I think for the most part, we had a good game," Ahlers said. "We missed on a couple of opportunities, and a couple of key guys got hurt, and that really hurt us. But other than that, I'm proud of how we played, and I'm proud of how no one left their head hanging. We stood in there and fought until the end, I thought."

Ahlers felt that the Tigers' effort on the night against a Flyers team that is one of the best teams in the state of Illinois will set a positive tone for the second half of the season.

"I hope it sets a tone in a good way," Ahlers said. "I think it will, at least, because I think we played with all of our hearts, and we all gave everything we could. I think that's the best team we'll play all season, so there's nowhere we can go but up from here."

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Of course, Ahlers and his teammates are very grateful and blessed to be playing the season this spring after all the uncertainty and doubts that were caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Yeah, everyone's really happy that we got a season," Ahlers said. "I mean, I remember whenever it was summer, and I honestly didn't think we'd even have one, so I'm happy we're here playing."

The Tigers, now 2-1 on the shortened spring season, play at Belleville West next Friday night, and Ahlers feels that the Tigers will be ready to go against the Maroons.

"I think we have a very, very, very good chance of beating them," Ahlers said. "I think we should beat them pretty good, I think. I hope."

The Tigers will take a look at the film of the game against the Flyers and prepare for the Maroons in their practice sessions this week. The team takes pride in its hard work during the practices, and Ahlers knows that everyone will work hard to in its preparations for West.

"We'll to the same exact thing we do every week," Ahlers said. "Practice just as hard, watch the same amount of film. Same thing every week."

As for the second half of the season, Ahlers has some simple goals in mind for him and his teammates.

"I hope to just have fun and finish my senior season as good as I can," Ahlers said.

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