Losing the first three games of the season by a combined 25 points may have been frustrating for the Collinsville football team, but in each instance, the Kahoks at least had a chance to pull out a victory in the fourth quarter.
That wasn’t the case when Collinsville played host to Belleville West on Friday night. The Maroons (3-1 overall, 1-1 in the Southwestern Conference) led 29-0 at halftime and rolled to a 42-0 win over the Kahoks, who dropped to 0-4 and 0-2.
“West got us pretty good,” Collinsville coach Mike Liljegren said. “We had a drive at the end of the first half and I think we could have gotten some momentum if we had stuck it in the end zone, but other than that, they dominated.”
West took a 15-0 lead in the first quarter on a 58-yard from Sherand Boyd to Mech Spraggins, a safety and a 7-yard run by Brian Hill. The Maroons added two more touchdowns in the second quarter on a 85-yard from Boyd to Nick Simmonds and a 7-yard run by Boyd.
A 45-yard run by Hill boosted West’s lead to 35-0 after three quarters and the Maroons closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard run by Antoine Davis.
“West has three shutouts and the 10 points O’Fallon got against them (in a 10-7 Panthers win on Sept. 8) came on a field goal and an interception, so they haven’t given up a defensive touchdown all year,” Liljegren said. “They’re real stout on the inside - their front seven is as good as I’ve seen - and they cover really well. We hit a couple passes on their end of the field, but we couldn’t punch one in.
“West has a very good team. As freshman, this year’s seniors ran through everyone in the conference. They’ve been waiting for this group to come through.”
“Offensively, it was difficult for us to handle them up front. We were able to get the ball on the perimeter to Kennedy Mayweather, but not enough to do any damage. Their outside linebackers are really good. Defensively, we just didn’t tackle, and that’s an area where we’ve got to get better.”
Connor Zabala spent most of the time at quarterback for Collinsville, completing 16 of 36 passes for 156 yards. Falando Wilkinson completed 1 of 5 passes for 10 yards while making seven catches for 86 yards.
“Falando played four or five series at quarterback, but with him and (Karnealus) Walker on the perimeter, we felt that was an area where we could hurt them,” Liljegren said. “Walker tweaked his ankle and didn’t play the second half, but he should be alright for our next game. Falando had a good game and Zabala threw well, but we feel that Falando can make plays with his speed (as a receiver) as well as with his arm.”
Collinsville returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday at East St. Louis (2-2, 2-0). The Flyers are coming off a 21-7 win at East St. Louis in which Gregory Taylor scored three touchdowns - two on passes of 22 and 43 yards from Demmus Jones and one on a 21-yard run.
“East St. Louis is very good defensively and as solid up the middle as they’ve been in a while,” Liljegren said. “But they’re also younger than usual and that’s something we hope to take advantage of.
“Offensively, they’re good up front and their skill players are good, but they’re also inexperienced, They’ve made a lot of mistakes and that’s something else we hope to take advantage of.
“As a team, it was tough to take it on the chin the way we did against Belleville West and we know we can play better. We’re working on things to get the ship corrected.”