A.J. Epenesa (No. 99) on the tackle.

EDWARDSVILLE - Two keys to Edwardsville’s football success this season will be new starting quarterback Riley Jones and defensive/offensive standout A.J. Epenesa.

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Both players have the right size for football. Riley is 6-3, 215 pounds; Epenesa is 6-5, 245 pounds. Epenesa is one of the top Division I football recruits in the country and being pursued by several colleges in America.

Coach Matt Martin said he expects both players to do big things this season on the gridiron.

“If Riley keeps working at it he will good at quarterback,” Martin said. “He is a guy who throws with accuracy and can run. He makes good decisions.

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 “A.J. always works hard. He had a few bad angles or he would have had more tackles last week. He is a solid player on offense. He runs the ball well and is a solid blocker.”

 Jones was elusive as a running quarterback last Friday, rushing for more than 70 yards.

 “I used to be a running back,” Jones said. “I like to use my size to get the extra yards; I am not the kind of guy to slide. Being a bigger quarterback, it makes it hard for others to get me down.”

 Epenesa was ecstatic about his eye-opening sack late in the game of the Quincy quarterback and hopes for many more of those this season. He is Quarterback Riley Jones on the run.known for his hustle and on any defensive play he is normally in the thick of things.

Both players are respectful and thoughtful of their other team members. Jones gave a shout out to his offensive line for their help with all his runs and passing attempts and Epenesa praised the rest of the defense and said he thought the defense did a good job for its first game last week.

“We have a lot to fix but we want to keep working on it,” Jones said. “I also want to give a shout out to my backs and receivers for good catches against Quincy.”

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