HS Football - ESL Flyer's QB Robert Battle

East St. Louis Flyer's QB Robert Battle (9) moves through the CBC defense during Friday's Aug. 27, 2021 game at CBC. The Flyer's would win the first game of the season 48-44. 

Big crowds returned to high school football stadiums around the St. Louis metro area last weekend, and fans witnessed several tremendous games.

The highly anticipated showdown between East St. Louis and CBC more than lived up to its hype on Aug. 27 as the visiting Flyers outlasted host CBC 48-44.

Senior five-star standout Luther Burden III of East St. Louis delivered two show-stopping plays with an 85 punt return for a touchdown to open the scoring and a 55-yard catch-and-run to clinch the Flyers’ the victory.

CBC senior quarterback Patrick Heitert passed for 410 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore Robert “Pops” Battle of East St. Louis threw for 323 yards and a touchdown. Battle added a rushing touchdown as well.

Congratulations to Jeremy Maclin on getting his first victory as head coach at Kirkwood High School. Maclin’s Pioneers traveled to the Metro East and topped Belleville East 55-14. Maclin was a star at Kirkwood and the University of Missouri, before he played seven seasons in the National Football League.

The big comeback of the weekend was provided by Soldan, which scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes of the game to stun Vianney 42-20 on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers trailed 40-26 when quarterback Lavonte Clerk scored on a 35-yard run with one minute and 59 seconds left. A successful two-point conversion made it 40-34. Soldan got the ball back and scored the winning points when Clerk hit TyShawn Johnson with 42-yard TD pass with 16 seconds remaining. Clerk, who added the two-point conversion to give Soldan the improbable win, completed 16 of 23 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns.

A promising season for Vashon got off to a rousing start as the Wolverines defeated Webster Groves 27-0. Zach Smith Jr. scored three touchdowns for the Wolverines, including an 86-yard pass reception and an 85-yard kickoff return.

Week 1 Individual Standouts

Here are some of the top individual standout performers from the first week of high school football.

-Wide receiver Allen Middleton of Mascoutah had 10 receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-14 victory over Columbia.

-Junior William Lufiau of Chaminade rushed for 215 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns in the Red Devils’ 34-20 victory over Jefferson City.

-Senior Caleb Merritt of John Burroughs had three receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns in the Bombers’ victory over DuBourg.

-Junior Deion Brown of Kirkwood rushed for 171 yards on eight carries and scored three touchdowns in the Pioneers’ victory over Belleville West.

-Junior Steve Hall of MICDS rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ 42-28 victory over SLUH.

-Junior Christian Cotton of DeSmet passed for two touchdowns and scored on a 53-yard run in the Spartans’ victory over Edwardsville.

-Junior Ahrmad Branch of Festus had five receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers’ victory over Ste. Genevieve.

-Junior Steve Bonner of Soldan had three receptions for 147 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ victory over Vianney.

On Tap this Weekend

East St. Louis will again be part of the weekend’s main event when the Flyers host the DeSmet Spartans. A big crowd is expected as the respective powerhouse programs from the Southwestern Conference and the Metro Catholic Conference meet at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 3

Other Top Games:

CBC (0-1) at O’Fallon (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Fort Zumwalt North (0-1) at Francis Howell (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Eureka (1-0) at Marquette (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday

St. Mary’s (1-0) at Cincinnati Elder, 6 p.m. Friday

Lutheran St. Charles (0-1) at Chaminade (1-0), 1 p.m. Friday

Lift for Life (0-1) at Lutheran North (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday

Pattonville (1-0) at Hazelwood Central (1-0), 11 a.m. Saturday

McCluer (1-0) vs. Soldan (1-0) at Gateway STEM, noon Saturday

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