The results of last weekend’s opening season games were not what both Trinity Catholic and East St. Louis had in mind.
Both teams went on the road and suffered defeats to a pair of powerhouse programs. East Side lost to Detroit King and Trinity was defeated by Colquitt County (Georgia).
However, come 8 p.m. on Saturday night, both programs will square off at Clyde C. Jordan Stadium in East St. Louis in what will be one of the most anticipated games in recent memory. East St. Louis will host Trinity in the featured game of the Third Annual Gateway Scholars Football Classic.
Not since that epic game during the inaugural classic when East Side faced CBC played in front of 10,000 people has there been so much hype been made for a game. It will pit the JFL boys from the “314” against the 89 Blocks of East St. Louis.
Both teams will be looking to bounce back after an opening-week loss. Trinity was held to 14 points in a loss to Colquitt County. The Flyers were dealt a 52-38 loss to Detroit King.
The most impressive player for the Flyers last week was sophomore quarterback Tyler Macon. In his first varsity start, Macon rushed for 112 yards and four touchdowns while completing 12 of 22 passes for 183 yards. Wide receiver/safety Antonio Johnson made some brilliant plays on both sides of the ball while linebacker Sydney Houston Jr. had an impressive debut with 11 tackles.
Trinity will bring a host of talented players to the East Side, led by quarterback Isaiah Williams (committed to Illinois), wide receiver Marcus Washington and junior standout Teriyon “Mookie” Cooper.
Saturday night’s game will be much more than just a non-conference contest. This game has been brewing since the Trinity program reached elite status and the pre-game woofing has been going strong.
Last week, my friend Demetrious Johnson phoned me with a crowd of Trinity fans clamoring to talk to me about how Trinity was going to come over to the “House of Pain” to put a whipping on the Flyers. The gentleman went on and on about how Trinity had all of these Division I players and what they were going to do to my Flyers on Saturday.
“Maurice, Terry Beckner Jr., Jeff Thomas – those boys are gone,” he told me. “We are coming over there and will be taking names later!”
I reminded him that Trinity wished they had the history of being the all-time winningest prep football program in the state of Illinois. And I had to remind him that the Flyers’ program wasn’t one of those JFL teams that Trinity fans are used to seeing in North County. Trinity wishes they had produced the sort of players, let alone the number of NFL players and a Hall of Famer like East St. Louis has.
Make no mistake. I’m proud of the program that Trinity has put together with most of those kids coming from North County. In fact, the fans of East St. Louis will welcome you with open arms on Saturday night. You will think that you are at a HBCU game with all of the tailgating and the big-time atmosphere that you will witness. Jordan Stadium is in a class by itself as a high school football atmosphere in this area.
So come on over Trinity fans and enjoy yourself because it will be a festive atmosphere. However, expect to go back to North County with an 0-2 record.
Prediction: Flyers 38 Trinity 20.
Scott’s Notes: The rest of the Gateway Scholars Classic lineup will feature Cardinal Ritter vs. Cahokia at 11:30 a.m.; defending Illinois Class 5A state champion Chicago Phillips vs. Chaminade at 2 p.m.; and Lutheran North vs. Homewood-Flossmoor at 5 p.m.