Football Dominates the First Round

Jack Barker, Sports Editor

As a new month began, the Tiger’s season didn’t end.

On Nov. 1, the varsity football team took the field for a ninth straight playoff berth. They not only took the field, they took it over, putting up 37 points by halftime and only allowing 14.

“Playing in a playoff game is a blessing knowing that you were [one of the] top 32 teams in class 8A” senior defensive back Ethan Young said. “It’s an unreal feeling.”

Edwardsville’s four-star collegiate recruit, junior running back Justin Johnson Jr. showed up huge rushing for 123 yards and scoring a whopping four touchdowns, tying his career high. He scored three touchdowns in the first quarter alone, helping the Tigers jump to a quick 20 point lead.

“[Johnson] did everything he could do, and with that, he helped us get a win at home,” senior defensive lineman Eric Ragland said.

Johnson did something that we hadn’t seen him do yet: he got behind the center and ran in the wildcat formation. One time he even handed it off to teammate Mason Ahlers, who scored a touchdown on that same play.

“It was pretty exciting, something new and I was able to have a lot of success,” Johnson said.

While the offense carried the team, the defense didn’t relent, allowing only three points in the second half. This is a defense that Young likes referring to as “dogs.” Young himself had an interception in the game.

“All year long this defense has been tremendous, we have had a couple games where we haven’t been the best, but overall we have been phenomenal in my eyes,” Young said.

The defense has only allowed 40 or more points on two occasions this year, both times coming against stacked teams: CBC and East St. Louis.

“[The win] gives us a lot of confidence,” Young said. “If we just come out there and play our game just like we did last time, we should be good.”