GRANITE CITY - Junior running back Carl Harris ran for three touchdowns, sophomore quarterback Kendrick Lyons threw for another touchdown and sophomore Ian Poston ran a kickoff back for a touchdown as Granite City ended a 19-game losing streak with a 51-36 win over Madison Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium/Kevin Greene Field.

It was the first time the Warriors and Trojans had met in a football game since 1979, a 66-34 win for Granite at Madison, and the first win for the Warriors since a 54-49 win at Collinsville's Kahok Stadium in 2019. It was also the first win at home for Granite since 2018, defeating Breese Mater Dei Catholic. And to top it all off, it's the first win ever for the Warriors on their new turf field, which premiered last Friday in an 18-13 loss to Champaign Central.

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"I'm excited, I'm excited for the kids," said first-year Warriors head coach Kindle Lyons in a phone interview, "because a lot of these kids worked hard throughout the summer and it all started when we won the Lindenwood seven-on-seven tournament. Sometimes, I can be overbearing and I pushed them more than any team I've ever coached on."

Not only is the win a confidence booster for the Warriors, but one for the entire Granite City community as well.

"I think it's a big confidence booster for Granite City as a whole and for the community," Lyons said.

The Warriors put their size advantage to good use to help neutralize Madison's team speed and also took advantage of their opportunities when they came.

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"Up front, I knew (the Trojans) weren't going to be as good up front as the other teams we played so far," Lyons said. "We had to take advantage of our opportunities when they came, because we knew they were pretty fast, had good team speed. But we were bigger up front and I felt we could impose our will against them."

After giving up an opening touchdown on a 27-yard touchdown pass almost four minutes in, the Warriors scored 34 unanswered points, starting when Poston took the ensuing kickoff back 76 yards for a touchdown, Lyons hit Logan Webb for another touchdown and both Harris and Amari Rodger-Parrot both ran in for scores to make the halftime score 34-6 for the Warriors.

The Trojans rallied back in the third on a punt return touchdown by Curtis Wilson, Jr., then scored again two plays after Madison recovered a fumble on the kickoff. Quarterback Derrion Enlow then scored to make it 34-26 to put the Trojans back in it, but an Abby Knight field goal and two more touchdowns by Wilson sealed the game for the Warriors, who went wild with delight at the end of the game.

The Warriors are now 1-3 on the season and travel to Peoria Notre Dame Catholic next Friday in a 7 p.m. kickoff. Lyons is very proud of his players and excited for their success, especially winning their first game on their new turf field.

"That was the most exciting part for me was we had the opportunity to do it on our brand-new turf field," Lyons said. "I told the kids to enjoy tonight as we'll get right back at it in the morning. Yes, it is a great feeling to get that win and end the losing streak."

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