On football Friday, Tigers-Flyers are game of week, Alton shoots for first win at home
Today marks the end of September and we're almost two-thirds of the way through the 2016 area high school football season – and Week 6's matchups include what could arguably be the game of the year.
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That game takes place tonight at Tiger Stadium in Edwardsville as East St. Louis comes calling for a game that may well have implications for the Southwestern Conference championship and for the postseason. Kickoff for the Flyers-Tigers game, as well as other area games Friday is set for 7 p.m., with some games being played Saturday afternoon or Saturday night. (See related story for a look at the game.)
Watch the Edwardsville Tigers take on the East St. Louis Flyers live on EdGlenToday.com. (Broadcast courtesy of the EHS Broadcast Department)
That's not the only Week 6 matchup in the Southwestern Conference; Alton hosts Collinsville with both teams at 0-5 overall, 0-3 in the SWC. The Redbirds were defeated by O'Fallon on the road last week 56-28 after taking a 28-27 lead on the Panthers at one point; the Kahoks dropped a 34-18 decision to Granite City last week at Kahok Stadium.
Alton head coach Eric Dickerson sees his team making progress each week. He said tonight is definitely a time where the team has an opportunity to pick up its first win.
"It will be one of those Southwestern Conference battles with two 0-5 teams looking for their first victory," he said. "Collinsville is big up front and they will come at us and run the ball and see if we can stop them. We have been giving up big plays and that is something we have been working on. It is our homecoming game and hopefully we will be ready to play."
In last week's loss to O'Fallon, Dickerson said the Redbirds battled close through the third quarter.
"The players are starting to figure out it takes playing a full four quarters to beat anybody," he said. "We only have four seniors on the field and the rest are juniors and sophomores. I am very proud of the way they are hanging in there each week."
Watch the Alton Redbirds take on the Collinsville Kahoks live on RiverBender.com by clicking here.
In other action, the Warriors, who stand at 3-2 overall, 2-1 in the league, are at Memorial Stadium/Kevin Greene Field for just the second time this year as they host O'Fallon, with both teams coming off Week 5 wins. A Granite City win would set them up for a possible run for the playoffs, with Alton at home and visits to Belleville West and Edwardsville the final three weeks of the season. The week's schedule comes to an end as Belleville East visits Belleville West in West's Centennial Game; the game will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Belleville West/Belleville Township's football program, with recognition of members of the Maroons over the years to take place at halftime. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.
In the Prairie State Conference, co-leading Marquette Catholic, 33-28 winners over Pawnee on the road last week, hosts Bunker Hill, who dropped a 41-32 decision to Nokomis last week. The Explorers enter the contest at 3-2 overall, 3-0 in the PSC; Bunker Hill stands at 2-3 overall, 0-3 in the PSC, while Nokomis is tied with East Alton-Wood River, both a game behind co-leaders Marquette and South Fork. The Oilers, who defeated Metro East Lutheran-Madison 34-0 last week, head to Pawnee, who stand 3-2 overall, 1-2 in the league with the winner remaining in contention for the league title and automatic playoff spot. MEL-Madison, still seeking its first win of the year, hosts Mount Olive, with the Wildcats 1-4 overall, 1-2 in the league; the Knights are 0-5 overall, 0-3 in the PSC.
In the South Central Conference, Roxana finds themselves at 0-5 overall and in the league; with the playoffs no longer a possibility, the Shells hope to begin building some momentum towards the 2017 season as they take on Litchfield, themselves winless on the year, at Charlie Raich Field. The Shells fell to Greenville 47-14 last week, while the Purple Panthers dropped a 49-14 decision to Vandalia on the road. Piasa Southwestern is still in playoff contention at 2-3 overall and in the league, having dropped a 41-0 decision to Pana last week; the Piasa Birds travel to Staunton for a game against the Bulldogs, who lost 49-0 to Carlinville last week and stand at 1-4 overall and in the league.
In the Mississippi Valley Conference, league co-leaders Civic Memorial and Highland clash at Highland with sole possession of first place in the MVC on the line. Both teams go into the game at 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the league, the Eagles having defeated Mascoutah 44-7 on the road last week while the Bulldogs knocked off Waterloo 14-3 in Waterloo last week; CM finishes with Waterloo and Triad at home and goes to Apollo Conference side Taylorville in Week 9. Highland hosts Triad and goes to Jersey, then hosts Charleston of the Apollo Conference in Week 9. Jersey, 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the MVC, tries to shake off their 48-21 loss to Triad last week as the Panthers head to Waterloo (3-2 overall, 1-1 MVC); the Panthers finish at Mascoutah, host Highland and travels to Columbia to finish out the season.
In the Western Illinois Valley South, Hardin-Calhoun are in contention for a playoff spot at 4-1 overall, 3-0 in the league following last week's 44-8 win over Winchester West Central; the Warriors meet up with Greenfield in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff; Greenfield themselves are 4-1 overall, 3-0 in the league following a 48-6 win over North Greene last week. Carrollton, coming off a 52-12 win over Pleasant Hill last week, host conference and Greene County rival North Greene this week; the Hawks stand at 2-3 overall, 2-1 in the league. The Spartans dropped a 48-6 decision to Greenfield last week and are 1-4 overall, 1-2 in the league going in.
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Dan Brannan also contributed to this story
Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban