When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Records: Evangel 0-0; East St. Louis 1-0
Last week: East St. Louis 40, Providence Catholic 28
Rankings: Evangel, No. 2 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A; East St. Louis, No. 1 STLhighschoolsports.com large schools and No. 1 Illinois Associated Press Class 7A
On Evangel: Louisiana powerhouse based in Shreveport has 14 state titles to its credit, third-most in state history. Returns its entire starting defense, including four of the top-ranked defensive players in Louisiana according to 247sports.com. Defensive tackle Davin Cotton (6-1, 262), inside linebacker Micah Bakersfield (6-2, 215) and safety Ar'Darius Washington (5-8, 175) all have verbally committed to LSU. Defensive back Jarrick Barnard (6-1. 195) has committed to Oklahoma State. Defensive back Patrick Jones and linebacker Bobby Bell also are significant contributors to the Eagles defensive efforts. ... Offense leans on two returning starters on offensive line to help sophomore signal caller Blake Shapen. New-look offense got plenty of reps in spring ball and preseason scrimmage in preparation for Saturday's season opener.
On East St. Louis: Senior quarterback Christian Perez made his Flyers debut and impressed as he completed 20 of 26 passes for 332 yards and five touchdowns. ... Senior running back Jarrell Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury after one rushing attempt for 54 yards. Senior running back Kevin “Jigg” Brown rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown in Anderson's place. ... Defense racked up eight sacks from seven different players against Providence Catholic. Antonio Johnson had a team-high 11 tackles. DeMonta Witherspoon picked off a pair of passes.