Troy, Ill. – Saturday night, Collinsville entered the fourth quarter in a close game for the second straight week, and left the field on the wrong side of a lopsided score for the second straight week.
Triad (2-0) beat the Kahoks (0-2) 27-7 after entering the fourth quarter with a 14-7 advantage.
The Knights stretched the lead on the second play of the final quarter when Steven Evanoff scored the first of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The scoring drive, which put the nail in the Kahoks’ coffin, took just 2 minutes and 20 seconds and followed Collinsville’s only scoring drive of the game.
The Knights opened the scoring on their fifth offensive play of the game when Alex Crehan zigzagged through the Kahoks defense and went untouched on an 18-yard quarterback keeper. Triad’s first play from scrimmage was a 39-yard pass to Tyler Brooks, who did not have a Kahok defender within 20 yards when he caught the ball. The Knights completed two of four passes Saturday after throwing the ball only one time in their week one 54-30 victory over Mattoon.
Crehan scored again on Triad’s next possession, capping a 13-play, five-minute, eight-second drive with an eight-yard run with just more than seven minutes remaining the opening half. The senior quarterback had six carries for 20 yards on the drive and 16 for 72 for the game.
Triad led 14-0 at the half.
Collinsville removed the zero from the visitors’ side of the scoreboard with 1:46 remaining in the third quarter when quarterback Jordan Reichert looked left to find Trevore Sanders in the front of the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown on third and goal. The highlight of the drive was a 35-yard catch by Jamal Wellmaker.
Any hope for a momentum shift in the Kahoks’ favor was erased on the second play of the subsequent drive. After holding Triad to a total of two yards on two plays, a Kahok was whistled for a personal foul following the second play. Triad followed with a pass completion for 26 yards and a run around left end for 32 yards. Evanoff’s first touchdown came two plays later.
The final scoring drive came against what appeared to be an uninspired Collinsville defense. Evanoff capped the drive with an 11-yard burst up the middle with 1:37 remaining in the game. Kahok defenders provided little resistance for the junior running back.
Collinsville’s best play of the game was a 65-yard touchdown pass before the game was suspended due to lightening on Friday night. The play, however, was called back for a Kahok blocking in the back penalty.
Another missed opportunity for the Kahoks came with 5:03 remaining in the first half when a bad snap on a Triad punt attempt gave Collinsville the ball at the Knight 9-yard line. A holding call on the first play erased an eight-yard Reichert gain and moved the ball back to the 17. The drive ended after six plays and eight yards when Jamal Wellmaker was stopped at the 1-yard line on fourth and goal.
Collinsville’s double wing offense produced only 76 rushing yards on 24 carries. Reichert was 4-17 through the air for 75 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wellmaker carried the ball nine times for 34 yards to lead Collinsville.
The Kahoks suffered a major blow when senior fullback Jordan Miller was lost for the season in the opening series Friday. Collinsville Head Coach John Blaylock said the loss of a Miller will hurt.
“We went through three guys tonight trying to figure out who was going to step into his shoes,” Blaylock said. “The senior leadership that he brings to the table is not replaceable. His work ethic and character are second-to-none.”
Another contributing factor to the lackluster rushing attack was the Kahoks blocking effort, Blaylock said.
“Our biggest problem tonight was not staying on blocks. Running up and chest bumping a guy is not the same as moving him,” Blaylock said. “We have to move people.”
Defensively, Collinsville has to be more consistent.
“I have different expectations for our defense,” Blaylock said. “We have eight of 11 returning starters over there.”
Collinsville now enters Southwestern Conference play without a victory. Blaylock said he knows the most important thing his team needs to improve.
“We have a lot of things that we need to get corrected, but the biggest thing right now is that we need to find a little bit of heart,” Blaylock said.