The Collinsville Kahoks football team will most likely see a very heavy dose of the Wildcat offense for a second consecutive week when they face Belleville West Friday.
O’Fallon lost their starting quarterback to injury before halftime last week and turned to the Wildcat coming out of the half. Collinsville had no answer for the Panthers modified attack, which scored on four of five possessions en route to a 27-13 victory.
Belleville West (3-1 Southwestern Conference, 5-1 overall) also lost their starting quarterback, junior Sherand Boyd, last week with what is reported to be a left knee injury. Boyd suffered the injury in the third quarter of his team’s first loss of the season. West took it on the chin 45-17 against undefeated and third ranked Edwardsville.
With Boyd not expected to play, Head Coach Cameron Pettus has said he would turn to either senior running back Brian Hill or sophomore wide receiver TeAntez Anthony to take the snaps for the Maroons. Hill’s only pass attempt this season was an incompletion. Anthony, West’s second-leading receiver, has not thrown a pass in a game this season.
Hill figures to feature prominently in the Maroon’s offensive plans even if he is not playing quarterback. His 441 yards rushing, to go with 11 touchdowns, lead the team, although he ranks only third in number of carries. Hill’s 16 total touchdowns are by far the most in conference this season. East St. Louis senior wide receiver Gregory Taylor is second, with nine.
The Kahoks (0-4 SWC, 1-5 overall) have prepared defensively for a Maroon’s offense with or without Boyd. Head Coach John Blaylock said a West offense without Boyd would probably lack a potent passing threat.
“I can’t imagine that the timing is going to be there, that the reads are going to be good,” Blaylock said of the potential West passing game without Boyd.
Collinsville has been decidedly shy about throwing the ball themselves, attempting less than eight passes per game, so it should come as no surprise that Blaylock expects a smash-mouth game. He also anticipates a defensive struggle.
“It’s going to be hard for us to score points and, if things work the way they’re supposed to, it’s going to be hard for them to score points,” Blaylock said.
Defensive battles often turn on mistakes or turnovers. Blaylock anticipates Friday’s game will follow suit.
“The team that wins probably is going to be the one that wins the turnover battle, the team that can punch it in when they get a short field on a turnover or make a good special teams play,” Blaylock said.
Offensively, the Kahoks will continue to try to find ways to get junior running back Jamal Wellmaker the ball. Wellmaker’s 572 rushing yards are good for second in the conference and his 79 carries rank third.
Defensive coordinators are keying on Wellmaker, which has opened up opportunities for junior fullback Jordan Miller, Blaylock said. Miller rushed for 74 yards in the loss to O’Fallon last week and ranks ninth in the conference with 381 yards through six games.
Kick off is 7 p.m. Friday at Belleville West High School. The game will be streamed live at kahoksports.com