The DeSmet Spartans have won a total of four games in the past three seasons, but things appear to be on the upswing on Ballas Road.
Coach Robert Steeples has put together a very talented group, a combination of hungry veterans and gifted young players looking to turn things around. DeSmet got off to a good start with a 37-2 victory over Hazelwood Central to open the season.
Senior quarterback Nate Martens led the offense with 258 yards passing and four touchdowns. Standout junior wide receiver Jordan Johnson had four receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns. He is one of the best prospects in the state in the Class of 2020.
The Spartans defense was active and stingy in holding the Hawks’ offense scoreless. Sophomore defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo and Carter Edwards recorded two quarterback sacks each.
With their first big victory under their belts early, the Spartans will now embark on a challenging stretch of games, which starts with a trip to Columbia to take on Rock Bridge on Friday night. They will then face Metro Catholic Conference foes SLUH, CBC, Chaminade and Vianney in succession.
The kids are all right
Several talented freshmen from around the area made immediate impacts on their respective teams with impressive debut performances as varsity players.
*Ja’Marion Wayne of Parkway West caught three passes for 119 yards and a touchdown; had eight tackles, three interceptions and returned one for another TD in the Longhorns’ 35-0 victory at Parkway South. That was one of the most dominating freshman debut performances that we’ve seen in this area in quite some time.
*Kevin Coleman of St. Mary’s provided some big-play electricity in his debut performance against Westminster last Saturday night. Coleman scored on an 80-yard pass reception on the first play from scrimmage, then added a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown later in the game.
*Running back Arlen Harris, Jr. of Lutheran St. Charles amassed 205 total yards in a 35-12 victory over Lift for Life. Harris rushed for 112 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, caught five passes for 93 yards and another score and racked up seven tackles on defense.
*Quarterback Aaron Coffey of Lutheran St. Charles also had a big debut game against Lift for Life, completing 14 of 24 passes for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Earl’s Friday Pick Game of the Week
Edwardsville at CBC, 7 p.m. – Much of the attention for Week 2 will be centered on Saturday’s Gateway Scholars Classic quadruple-header at East St. Louis with the host Flyers taking on Trinity in the featured game of the event. The Edwardsville-CBC showdown on Friday night will provide a great lead-in to Saturday’s big classic.
Both teams made deep runs in their respective state tournaments last season with CBC winning the Missouri Class 6 state championship and Edwardsville advancing to the semifinals of the Illinois Class 8 state playoffs. Both are loaded once again.
CBC and Edwardsville are coming off impressive opening season victories. CBC defeated O’Fallon 58-6 as quarterback Brett Gabbert threw three touchdown passes and Bryan Bradford had two rushing TDs. Edwardsville defeated McCluer North 63-0 as quarterback Kendall Abdur-Rahman accounted for five TDs to lead the Tigers. CBC won last year’s meeting at Edwardsville 40-19 as Bradford rushed for 177 yards and three TDs while Gabbert threw two TD passes.
On Tap this weekend
Francis Howell at Kirkwood, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Timberland at Eureka, Friday, 7 p.m.
Hazelwood East at Lafayette, Friday, 7 p.m.
John Burroughs at Brentwood, Saturday, 1 p.m.