The Roosevelt Roughriders experienced a great turnaround last season in winning the Public High League championship after spending the previous years in the basement.
The follow-up season for the Roughriders has been just as impressive as they have rolled to a 5-1 record. Their only blemish is a one-point loss at Troy on opening night when the Roughriders were stopped on the goal-line at the end of the game.
Roosevelt took one step towards repeating as PHL champions last weekend when it defeated Gateway Tech 52-20 in a battle of teams that were undefeated in league play. The Roughriders now have sole possession of first place in the PHL with three games left to play.
Sophomore quarterback Alonzo Smith had a big game with more than 300 yards passing and three touchdowns. Running back Dajavion Mitchell scored three rushing touchdowns and receiver Deablo McGee scored a couple of touchdowns. McGee also made several acrobatic catches during the day. Senior Darrius Jackson also caught a 44-yard TD pass from Smith.
Fort Zumwalt North continues to roll
Fort Zumwalt North has been a consistent winner and contender in Class 5 in recent years and the Panthers are at it again in 2019.
The Panthers improved their record to 6-0 after a 56-12 victory over Washington last Friday night in a battle of undefeated teams. Zumwalt North also holds an opening-season victory over a good Francis Howell team as well.
The Panthers have one of the area’s top duos in seniors Cairo Payne and Izaiah Hartrup. Payne has moved to quarterback as a senior and has produced 757 yards rushing, 482 yards passing and a combined 17 touchdowns. Hartrup, a Southern Illinois commit, has scored 10 touchdowns on offense with three interceptions on defense. The leaders on defense are linebacker Parker Monning, who has an impressive 17 sacks, and senior linebacker Max Martin.
RIP Derrick Mitchell, Jr.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of former Vashon football standout Derrick Mitchell, Jr., who was killed in a car accident this week in St. Louis. Mitchell played collegiate football at the University of Iowa and Texas Tech University. He was in his first year as an assistant coach at Miller Career Academy. Derrick was a tremendous athlete at Vashon and a great young man. He was just 24 years old.
Earl’s Pick Game of the Week
Kirkwood (4-2) at Eureka (5-1), Friday, 7 p.m. – These two excellent programs have some excellent games in recent years and Friday’s matchup should be another one. They split a pair of meetings last season with Kirkwood eliminating Eureka from the district playoffs.
Both teams have excellent junior quarterbacks with Eureka featuring Carter Davis and Kirkwood being led by Kannon Nesslage. Davis has passed for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns while Nesslage has thrown for 1,658 yards and 20 touchdowns, including an incredible nine TDs at Jefferson City to open the season.
Kirkwood’s Nesslage has a strong group of receivers to throw to in Jackson Fortner, William Lee and Jaylen Phipps, who have combined for 14 touchdowns. As a bonus, the Pioneers have regained the services of Mizzou commit Jairus Maclin at receiver. Maclin missed the first part of the season due to an injury.
Eureka has a strong tandem at wide receiver in Jhalon Asher-Sanders and Zach Valentine, who have combined for 13 touchdown receptions. Running back Jaquari Davis has rushed for 577 yards and four touchdowns. The defense has been led by Jack McCollum and Daley Thompson, who have both recorded six sacks each.
A few individual standouts from last weekend
Trinity’s James Frenchie had a receiving touchdown, rushing touchdown and a kickoff return for a TD in the Titans’ 34-14 victory over Lutheran-St. Charles.
Quarterback Brian Brown of Lutheran North passed for 246 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 145 yards and one touchdown in the Crusaders’ 61-14 victory over MICDS.
Chaminade’s L.J. Fortune had nine receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns in the Red Devils 32-31 loss to DeSmet.
Francis Howell’s Gideon Niboh rushed for 210 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 31-10 victory at Fort Zumwalt West.
On tap this Weekend
O’Fallon Christian (4-2) at Duchesne (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
Fort Zumwalt West (4-2) at Holt (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Borgia (4-2) at Cardinal Ritter (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Chaminade (4-2) at SLUH (3-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
Highland (3-3) at Triad (6-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Hazelwood West (5-1) at Northwest-Cedar Hill (4-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
Lindbergh (3-3) at Webster Groves (3-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
East St. Louis (6-0) at O’Fallon (3-3), Saturday, 2 p.m.