KANKAKEE - Receiver Jesse Watson caught a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Robert "Pops" Battle. also recovering a fumble in the end zone for another score, while Battle and Larevious "Fresh" Woods ran for over 100 yards each as East St. Louis defeated Kankakee in a quarterfinal game of the IHSA Class 6A football playoffs Saturday afternoon at Kankakee's Kays Field.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Flyers jumped out to a 12-7 lead, then put the game way by outscoring the Kays 20-6 in the third quarter as East Side advanced once again to the semifinals.
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Battle scored the first touchdown on a 32-yard run with 4:41 left in the first half, then hit Watson from 33 yards out to give the Flyers a 12-0 lead, with the conversions both being missed. After Kankakee pulled to within 12-7 on a touchdown with seven seconds left in the half, Woods ran in from two yards out with 8:58 left in the third quarter to put East Side up 18-7.
The Kays pulled to within 18-13 on a 44-yard touchdown pass on the next possession, but the Flyers then went to work, scoring twice in 43 seconds. Christopher Bennett, Jr. ran in from two yards out with 1:50 left in the third, then after a Kankakee turnover, Battle and Watson connected from 54 yards with 1:07 left to increase the lead to 32-13, with Rico Bond catching a two-point pass after the first touchdown.
Watson ended his big day with his fumble recovery touchdown with 1:05 left in the game to make the final score 39-13 after Bond's conversion kick.
Woods led East Side in rushing with 134 yards on 19 carries, including his touchdown, while Battle ran for 103 yards and a touchdown, also going 11-for-20 passing for 198 yards and his two touchdowns to Watson. Watson had four catches for 101 yards and his scores, while Bond had five receptions for 72 yards.
Kankakee ends its season 11-1, while the Flyers are now 10-2 and advance to the semifinals, where they will play at Washington, who defeated Chatham Glenwood 59-16 in their quarterfinal game, next weekend. The date and kickoff time will be announced by the IHSA office on Monday.
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