Maurice Scott Jr.

If last Saturday night’s football display by East St. Louis against Illinois Class 7A No. 2 Batavia is any indication of what’s in store for football fans against Trinity Catholic this weekend, the new artificial turf at Clyde C. Jordan Memorial Stadium just might need repairs after the game. 

Darren Sunkett’s offense burned the Bulldogs for 571 yards of total offense in taking a 31-17 victory. In addition, the defense held Batavia to 121 yards of total offense in the first half and cruised to a victory in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. 

The Flyers had three scores called back due to officials – I meant penalties – to keep the game respectable. But week number two is here, and Trinity Catholic comes to the “House of Pain.” Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. It will be the fourth and final game of the day in the Fourth Annual Gateway Scholars Football Classic. 

The opening game will pit former NFL first round draft choice John Clay’s Cahokia Comanches against the Chaminade Red Devils. 

Cahokia pitched a shutout against Collinsville last week 26-0, while Chaminade thumped Belleville East 50-6 as Amar Johnson rushed for 210 yards on 18-carries. Quarterback Brady Cook passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns. 

Game No. 2 will feature Chicago Public League power Chicago Phillips (1-0) against the Dragons of St. Mary’s (1-0). St. Mary’s defeated Westminster last week 26-15 as big time quarterback Cam’Ron McCoy passed for 262 yards and three touchdowns. The Dragons feature one of the area’s top sophomores in Kevin Coleman, who is a big-play performer. 

Game No. 3 will probably be one of the biggest match-ups in the area this season as Lutheran North will play Cardinal Ritter with bragging rights on the line and a upper hand in district ramifications latter in the season. 

Lutheran North beat Trinity Catholic 25-6 as running back Ali Wells rushed for 158 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns on runs of 66 and 67 yards. The Crusaders’ defense also limited Trinity to 207 yards of total offense and had three interceptions. They also blocked two punts and a field goal on special teams. 

Meanwhile, Cardinal Ritter had one of the most impressive wins in the history of the school last Saturday as the Lions went North and beat one of the Cadillac teams in the state of Illinois in Nazareth Academy. 

Nazareth is the defending Illinois class 7-A state champions, and Cardinal Ritter’s offense and defense put on a show in the Chicago suburbs. 

The Lions defense intercepted Nazareth highly touted quarterback J. J. Mc Carthy four times. The University of Michigan recruit was outplayed by Ritter’s sensational quarterback Mekhi Hagens, who was 23 of 33 for 335 yards and four touchdowns.  

The feature game of the day will feature Trinity Catholic against the Flyers. It’s a rematch of last year’s triple overtime thriller when the Flyers defeated Trinity 32-26. East St. Louis has at least nine Division 1 prospects on this year’s roster, led by defensive-back/wide receiver Antonio Johnson (undecided), who is the top-rated senior in the state of Illinois is worth the price of admission. 

Also, Flyers running back DeMonta Witherspoon had 238 yards rushing and a touchdown against Batavia, and dual threat quarterback Tyler Macon put on a show as well, throwing for 277 yards and three touchdowns. 

Lawaun Powell Jr., who narrowed his college choices to Illinois, Purdue and Nebraska –

was his amazing self, as well. However, junior wide-receiver Cameron Lovett had five receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He could have easily had four touchdowns including a 90-yard pitch and catch for a score from Macon which was called back. In addition, junior wide-out Keontez Lewis had five catches for 90 yards against Batavia. 

The Flyers’ offensive line was outstanding last Saturday night, led by Tennessee recruit Javontez Spraggins, Tyres Williams and Brian Bonnett. On defense the Flyers were stellar as well. Senior Kevon Billingsley had seven tackles and safety Jamariante Burgess had 10 tackles and a huge interception in his first varsity start. 

Trinity Catholic lost to Lutheran North last week. In addition, they lost one of the best players in the country in Mookie Cooper who withdrew from Trinity and reports have said that he enrolled at Pattonville. Cooper is an Ohio State recruit. 

Tickets are $10 for the entire day for the Gateway Scholars Football Classic.  

Last season 10,000 fans attended the family friendly Classic. 

Scott’s Notes: 

* I got my pen and eye watching some coaches that coach for University City Youth Football. They have an excellent program, but I see some shady stuff going on with a particular coach that’s not cool. 

• Belleville Althoff got shellacked by IC Catholic 52-7 last week. And I guess the money is starting to dry up by some Althoff Boosters. I just might name a few later.

• One of the bright spots for the Crusaders is senior defensive back Anneus Riggs. Riggs is being recruited by Eastern Illinois, Culver Stockton, Marian University in Indianapolis, Milliken University, Alabama A&M, among others. 

• I’m going to take it easy this year on my North County Trinity Catholic fans. Trinity REALLY got my respect last year. So since Mookie is not playing for Trinity this year, I’m going to be nice. 

 East St. Louis 55, Trinity 13.

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