Alton quarterback Graham McAfoos tries to fire a pass through a Cahokia defender. (Photos by Dan Brannan)ALTON - Alton High School has had a long successful history overall in football. Coach David Parker has hopes of returning to Redbirds to the kind of success they once had years ago and has created excitement within the program since his arrival.

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Public School Stadium was packed with fans on Friday night for the Redbirds' football game against Cahokia. Alton High lost the game to Cahokia 34-15, but there were several Redbird game highlights.

Cahokia had an explosive team on offense, but the play of the night occurred when Alton's Gardell Ballinger dashed 80 yards for a kickoff touchdown early in the game. The Redbirds' crowd stood and had plenty to cheer about on that successful run. Redbirds quarterback Graham McAfoos also had a 4-yard touchdown run.

Byron Stampley Jr. had 4 game receptions for 37 yards. Camello Taylor, Dalton Baumgartner, and Antonie Phillips were solid on defense, Coach Parker said.