DEKALB – Junior running back Justin Johnson, Jr., ran for 179 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns – two in the first half – while senior wide receiver Kenyon Johnson also scored twice in the first half – one on a 97-yard kickoff return – as Edwardsville defeated DeKalb 44-21 on Friday night in DeKalb.

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It was the first home loss for the Barbs since October 21, 2016, as the Tigers gained 306 yards on the ground and 429 yards total.

“I thought the kids played four quarters of pretty good football,” Edwardsville coach Matt Martin said. “Malachi (Revis) and Justin ran the ball well, Kenyon had some big plays, Mason (Ahlers) had a big catch, Ryan (Hampton) ran the offense really well, and Eric Epenesa did a great job kicking all night. If we’re going to beat some of these teams we play on our schedule, we have to play four quarters of football.”

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Justin Johnson scored the Tigers’ first two touchdowns of the game, on runs of 39 and five yards in the opening quarter to give Edwardsville a 14-0 lead. After the Barbs cut the lead in half in the second, Kenyon Johnson took the ensuing kickoff back 97 yards for the touchdown to give the Tigers a 20-7 lead early in the quarter.

In all, Hampton was six-of-14 passing for 136 yards and a touchdown, a 57-yard strike to Kenyon Johnson in the second quarter, and a 57-yard pass play to Ahlers, while rushing for 42 yards on five carries. Revis ran for 57 yards on the night and scored the final touchdown on a one-yard run late to account for the final 44-27 score.

The defense had a very good game as well, getting interceptions from Evan Ramirez and Joshua Klein.

The Tigers are now 2-1 on the season, and open Southwestern Conference plays against Alton next Friday night at Tiger Stadium, with a 7 p.m. kickoff. Martin feels that his players are being rewarded for all of their hard work they’ve put in in preparation for the game.

“Anytime you win, it’s a good thing,” Martin said. “The kids really put in the time, and rewarded themselves with the win.”

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