EAST ST. LOUIS — Kenneth Cotton left only vapor trails behind him as he took the opening kickoff 71 yards to the house.
The East St. Louis junior receiver set the tone with the kickoff return touchdown and the rout was on.
"We were overdue," East St. Louis coach Darren Sunkett said. "That kid has been waiting for that opportunity. He stepped up and really sparked us today."
East St. Louis waltzed past Oak Lawn Richards 60-0 in a Class 6A quarterfinal game on Saturday afternoon at East St. Louis High.
"Just an outstanding job in all aspects of the game," Sunkett said. "Offense, defense, special teams."
East St. Louis (12-0) will host Chatham Glenwood (12-0) on Saturday in a Class 6A semifinal after the Titans defeated Providence Catholic 40-16 in another Class 6A quarterfinal game.
The Flyers return to the semifinal round for the first time since winning the Class 7A championship in 2016.
Cotton fielded the opening kickoff and cut once before seeing green turf all the way to the end zone.
"When I first got it, I knew I had to make a play," Cotton said. "Everywhere I went, there was blocking."
After Cotton's spark, the offense took control. The Flyers amassed 459 total yards with junior quarterback Tyler Macon going 19-for-21 for 301 yards and four scores in just three quarters of play.
"That's the best team I've ever seen," Oak Lawn Richards coach Tony Sheehan said. "I don't know how you stop them. We were outmatched in every phase and they took control right from the start."
Macon completed passes to five different receivers with junior Dominic Lovett leading the way with six receptions for 119 yards.
"If they're doubling one receiver, which they can't, because we've got so many of them (it leaves them) with one-on-one on the fields," Macon said. "I trust my guys to make those plays so I just had to get them the ball."
The Flyers defense was equally impressive.
"We challenged them all week to be the first team to shut this team out," Sunkett said. "Our defense stepped up and gave everything we wanted.
The Flyers were the first team to shut out Oak Lawn Richards (10-2) since 2011.
"We were working on rallying to the ball and we did well today," East St. Louis senior defensive lineman Kevon Billingsley said.
While the Flyers cruised, they were flagged for 18 penalties.
"We're trying to cut down on them, but we bounce back," Sunkett said. "If we get a flag, we'll try and execute the next play."