EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's football team went into their homecoming matchup against Belleville West minus a few key players, most notably senior wideout Fontez Davis.
Not to worry.
The Tigers got three touchdowns on the ground from junior Jackson Morrisey and two TD catches from Tommy Maxwell as the Tigers overcame a slow first half to down Belleville West 32-14 at the Edwardsville Sports Complex Friday night.
“We had some new faces in the lineup tonight,” Tiger coach Matt Martin said. “We did have some adversity early on; it's going to happen, and we knew going in Belleville West was going to play us hard.
“We handled it all right, but we do need to play a bit smarter and better. We need to execute better than we have been.”
“I'm proud of our effort,” Maroon coach Cameron Pettis said. “ We were so close on a few plays; a mistake here, a mistake there, and it hurt us, but that's how it goes.
“We still have three big games the last part of the season, so going to get back out there and keep working.” Big plays were going to be a part of the game, and the Maroons got one early when West quarterback Sherand Boyd floated a screen pass to Darlan Pollian, who then found and opening and raced 82 yards for a touchdown just 52 seconds into the contest. Edwardsville countered a bit more than five minutes later when Morrisey took a handoff from Dan Marinko, found a seam and took off for a 52-yard touchdown run, but still trailed 7-6 when the convert attempt failed.
The Tigers shook off the missed PAT and started a drive that ended with a 6-yard TD run by Morrisey – who ended up with 164 yards on 19 carries – to stake EHS to a 13-7 lead with 10:35 left in the first half.
The score remained that way until there was 8:11 left in the third term, when TeAntez Anthony caught a 25-yard TD pass from Boyd, set up by a Jack Lanxon interception, to put the Maroons back on top 14-13. But Marinko hooked up twice in successive drives with Maxwell for scored of 38 and 15 yards to put the Tigers up 26-14 at three-quarter time. Morrisey then finished off the scoring with a 2-yard run with 3:17 left.
Edwardsville went to 4-0 in the Southwestern Conference with the win, 5-1 overall. They take on O'Fallon next week on the road, then finish at Granite City and home against Belleville East.