East dismantles Collinsville, keeps playoff hopes alive
October 15, 2012By Chris Kusnerick of Collinsville High School
COLLINSVILLE— Belleville East threw everything but the kitchen sink in the Collinsville Kahoks' path Friday.
The Lancers got touchdowns from six different players in a 42-7 victory over the Kahoks in a Southwestern Conference game.
East (4-4 overall, 3-3 SWC) kept alive its hopes to qualify for the playoffs, but will need a win at O'Fallon (6-2, 4-2) next week.
"I'm proud of the kids," Lancers coach Tim Funk said. "We won the game and did what we needed to do. But they understand we want to strive for perfection. They understand we're not going to get there, but there are still some bumps in the road we have to correct.
"I still think we have the guys that can do it. We've just got to smooth out some of those bumps and get ready for a very good opponent next week. Hopefully, we can play well next week, because we're going to have to."
Senior quarterback Anthony Garza threw two touchdown passes and rushed for one. East also got rushing touchdowns from junior Brandon Mason, sophomore Demarius Ward and senior Kendall Ivy, normally a defensive lineman.
The Lancers finished with 401 yards rushing.
"I was just trying to move the chains, get downfield and get touchdowns to get our team on track," Garza said. "This game was a playoff game. It's all hands on deck. If we lose, we're done. We wanted to come together and win this game."
The Lancers were dealt a major blow when Mason left the game with 10:54 to play in the third quarter. After a 28-yard gain, Mason suffered what appeared to be a severe injury --a break or a sprain to his right ankle.
Mason, who had 18 carries for 127 yards, was carted away from the stadium and taken to the hospital. Funk said Mason will not be available against O'Fallon.
"He's done for sure," Funk said. "Obviously, that hurts us. We preach to our kids all the time that we're a football team and a football program. We're going to have to get the job done at that position without one of our better football players."
Collinsville (1-7, 1-5) trailed 21-0 at halftime, but found new life when junior Matt Hill took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7.
Kahoks' freshman Max Lyons then recovered a fumble at the Collinsville 25, but the Kahoks couldn't capitalize on the chance.
"We were anemic offensively all night," Collinsville coach Mike Liljegren said. "We just couldn't sustain anything. We didn't have the big plays. We got some people in space on a few occasions, but it turned into a 6-yard gain. East did a good job running the football and tackling, and we struggled up front against them."
East took a 7-0 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarter when Garza dumped a short pass to senior James Cotton, who turned it into a 67-yard touchdown along the right sidelines.
"We started running that this week," Garza said. "We put that in and it worked pretty nice. It's just a tight-end throwback. We draw the line to one side and just dump it over them. He was wide-open downfield."
Mason's 57-yard touchdown run made it 14-0 in the second quarter, and Garza hit junior Parker Hendricks with a 32-yard touchdown pass on a slant in the final minute of the first half to make it 21-0.
"They hit that pass down the middle at the end of the half to make it (21-0)," Liljegren said. "That was a real dagger to us. That was big."
"We got the kickoff at the start of the (second) half and we had a chance. But offensively, we had trouble sustaining anything all night."
After Collinsville got within 21-7, East put the game out of reach on Garza's 1-yard dive on a fourth-and-goal play late in the third quarter. Ward's 36-yard touchdown run made it 35-7 in the fourth quarter, and Ivy's 5-yard touchdown rumble made it 42-7.