The game of the week in week eight of the 2023 Riverbender.com football season has also been rated the ninth-best game of the week nationally by MaxPreps.com.
The popular high school sports website, MaxPreps.com rates the Southwestern Conference championship game between the Flyers and Tigers as number nine in their weekly top ten games of the week. The top game is between a pair of traditional Los Angeles powers Santa Ana Mater Dei Catholic against Bellflower St. John Bosco Catholic. And it's also this week's feature game on the week eight schedule as teams battle for a chance at the IHSA playoffs or are playing for a possible favorable seeding in the playoffs when the first-round pairings are announced two weeks from Saturday.
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The Tigers are coming off a big 49-45 win over Belleville East to remain undefeated on the year, with Edwardsville coming back from a 24-7 halftime deficit and a 31-14 deficit to score three times in the third quarter and matched the Lancers step for step with touchdown passes, with quarterback Jake Curry throwing a perfectly executed screen pass to Clayton Lakatos for a 50-yard touchdown with almost two minutes left to clinch the game.
Curry had three touchdown passes against East and ran for two more to help Edwardsville to its biggest win thus far in the season.
The Flyers are coming off a 59-0 win at Alton last week, with quarterback Robert "Pops" Battle and running backs Larevopis "Fresh" Woods and TaRyan "Smiley" Martin leading the way. Battle's passing attack includes star receivers such as Jesse Watson, Christopher Bennett, Jr. and Rico Bond. All will form a very formidable challenge to the Tigers Friday night.
This will also be East Side's final regular season game of the year. The Flyers have been awarded a 2-0 win over an unidentified opponent who pulled out of a scheduled week nine matchup, creating an open date in the schedule.
Other SWC Games Friday Night
In the other games in this week's fixtures, with all games starting at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted, in the Southwestern Conference, Alton hosts O'Fallon and the Battle of Belleville will be played when East goes to West.
Mississippi Valley Conference
In the Mississippi Valley Conference, Civic Memorial is at Triad, Jersey is at Highland and Waterloo is at Mascoutah. In the South Central Conference, Carlinville is at Hillsboro, Gillespie hosts Vandalia, Greenville goes to Piasa Southwestern in key matchup for the Piasa Birds' playoff chances, while Pana is at Litchfield and Staunton is at Virden North Mac.
South Seven Conference
The South Seven games are Cahokia at Collinsville, Marion is at Carbondale and Mt. Vernon is at Centralia and Granite City is at Belleville Althoff Catholic.
In the Mississippi Division of the Cahokia Conference, undefeated and conference champion Roxana hosts East Alton-Wood River in the annual backyard rivalry game. This is the featured live football game on Riverbender.com on Friday night, Oct. 13, 2023.
Also, Salem is at Freeburg and Breese Central is at Columbia.
Western Illinois Valley Conference
In the Western Illinois Valley Conference, Hardin Calhoun plays at Mt. Sterling Brown County, Pleasant Hill is at Mendon Unity, Jacksonville Routt Catholic will play at undefeated Greenfield Northwestern, Winchester West Central is at Concord Triopia and White Hall North Greene is at Beardstown. In Saturday's only game, Carrollton is home to Camp Point Central at 1 p.m.
In Friday's eight-man game, Metro-East Lutheran is at Rockford Christian Life.
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