COLLINSVILLE - Collinsville's football team took a 26-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and from there, took a 54-0 win over Granite City in an IHSA week five game Friday night at Kahok Stadium.
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Although the Kahoks were dominant from start to finish, the Warriors never gave up and kept playing hard throughout the game, having some good moments, but in the end, were unable to keep up with Collinsville.
"Actually, surprisingly, I feel well," said interim Granite head coach Darrell Davis, who ran the team in the stead of head coach Kindle Lyons on Friday night.
"I feel good about this, in a sense that we have something we can build on tonight. Everything we had been facing this year, but also, this particular week, to see these young men come out and perform the way, which they did and fought, I'm actually feeling positive, I'm actually feeling good about tonight, despite the score."
The hard work and perseverance that are staples of Granite City High sports teams was most certainly on display on Friday night, and it's something Davis is very proud of.
"Tonight, we saw a better effort when it comes to supporting each other," Davis said. "We saw a better effort, even from the fans' standpoint, from parents coming out and supporting us. Tonight was actually, despite the score, like I said, was actually a good night, and it was great energy throughout the whole night. And which I am dang sure proud of our young men tonight."
The Warriors are now 0-5, which includes a forfeit loss last week to Centralia, but the players keep striving and working hard, which will be a benefit in the long run.
"Oh, always," Davis said. "To see young men face adversity and face it head on. And to continue to show up. like I just told the young men, they continue to show up, despite everything that's going on, despite the adversity they have continued to see. That gives us hope for the future. So, man, it's all props to these young men for showing up tonight."
There are four weeks left in the season, and both Davis and his players are very hopeful of getting a win during the latter part of the campaign.
"Oh, yeah," an enthusiastic Davis said. "This game is nothing but joy for me, but I know it's for these young men that's out here. So we're looking forward to these four games, despite the season not going the way in which we wanted to. But we get another opportunity to play another four weeks, so we're excited, and we're excited for next week. So we're looking forward to it.”
The Kahoks took the opening kickoff and took just under 90 seconds to score when quarterback Darren Pennell ran in from 11 yards out to give Collinsville a 7-0 lead. Granite's first possession ended with a three-and-out, and on the punt, a bad snap sailed into the end zone, where Chase Reynolds fell on the ball for a Kahok touchdown that put Collinsville up 13-0 after a two-point play missed.
It quickly became 20-0 when Pennell intercepted a pass and went eight yards for the touchdown. Then on the next Granite possession, Devin Habermehl stole the ball from a Warrior running back and went 49 yards for another touchdown to make it 26-0 for the Kahoks.
In the second quarter, Pennell hit running back K.J. Thorps-Watt for a 61-yard touchdown that made it 33-0, then later on, Amari Rodgers-Parrot went around the right side for two yards on the first play following an interception to make the score 40-0 for Collinsville. Pennell and Thorps-Watt connected again from 25 yards out late in the second to make the halftime score 47-0 and trigger the second-half running clock rule.
“The first half was pretty fun for us,” Collinsville head coach Colton Rhodes said.
“The offense did a good job of scoring quickly on the first drive and we just kept rolling. We got to love it when we score 40-plus in the first half.”
In the second half, quarterback Jack Brooks was very effective, hitting Isaiah Ford for good gains, while running back Ryan Brokaw ran very well, picking up vital yardage for the Warriors. But the last score came in the third quarter when Reynolds went 28 yards into the end zone for the touchdown that made the final 54-0.
The big win is one that Rhodes can rejuvenate his team after a tough 33-24 loss at Mt. Vernon last week.
“We kind of needed something like that after last week where we lost a tough one and just didn’t play that well,” Rhodes said. “To come out and have a dominating first half where you’re kind of doing everything right really helps us and gives us some confidence heading into next week.”
This week-five win also keeps the Kahoks' playoff hopes alive.
“We’ve got four more games and we need to win at least two of them,” Rhodes said. “I know we’ve got some formidable opponents coming up, but hopefully we can handle it, and I think we can. This game definitely helps us stay on that track.”
The Kahoks are now 3-2 on the year and will play a tough Althoff Catholic team next week.
The Crusaders (4-1) are coming off a big shutout win themselves, after a dominant 42-0 performance over Marquette Catholic.
“Althoff’s looked real good so far, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Rhodes said.
“Our kids have been playing well for the most part this season, with one pretty bad game there in week four, but Althoff and us next week, homecoming, it’s going to be a big game. Hopefully, our kids are ready and excited for it.”
On the other side, the Warriors drop to 0-5 and host Carbondale in their annual Senior Night game next Friday at Memorial Stadium/Kevin Greene Field, with the kickoff coming at 7 p.m.
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