A 57-17 loss at the hands of East St. Louis Friday ended the third consecutive one win season for the football Kahoks.
Super sophomore wide receiver Jeff Thomas stepped in to play quarterback Friday for East St. Louis (5-4, 5-2 Southwestern Conference) and the high scoring Flyers were glad he did. Already leading the team with 13 touchdowns, Thomas ran for four touchdowns and threw two more, all in just one half of play.
Starting quarterback Reyondus Estes did not play Friday, opening the door for Thomas’ dominating performance. Collinsville Head Coach John Blaylock said there is not much Thomas cannot do.
“We’ll all be hearing his name in the next several years,” Blaylock said.
Mizzou recruit Nathan Strong got the scoring started Friday with a 50-yard burst with 8:40 to play in the first quarter. Thomas followed five minutes later with his first touchdown run of the evening, a 19-yard scramble.
Just 2 minutes 32 seconds later, Thomas added a 27-yard rushing score to stretch the Flyer lead to 21-0. Jermaine Grissom was on the receiving end of a Thomas 32-yard scoring pass to open the second quarter and stretch the Flyer lead to 28-0.
Collinsville’s own sophomore star of the future got the Kahoks (1-8, 1-6 SWC) on the board with 9:09 remaining in the first quarter when he hauled in a Jordan Reichert pass and outraced everyone for a 70-yard score. The running back had some nice runs on the day and tacked on a 41-yard fourth quarter reception. Blaylock said the best is yet to come for Sanders, who will get better in the years to come as he also gets bigger.
“Trevore, he’s a very special football player,” Blaylock said.
Thomas ran for two touchdowns and threw another in the final 5:33 of the first half. Marvin Young added another score to run the halftime score to 57-7 in favor of East St. Louis.
Blaylock said the Kahok defense was “overwhelmed” in the first half.
“We couldn’t do much with the running game,” Blaylock said. “By the same token, offensively we couldn’t get the run going very well.”
The Flyers put in their second string in the second half and were overmatched by the Kahoks first string, which has been so decimated by injuries, it was essentially a second-string unit Blaylock said. Reichert ran for a third-quarter touchdown and two-point conversion to cut the Flyer lead to 57-15. A safety late in the quarter added two points to the Kahoks final tally in the 57-17 loss.
Terry Beckner Jr., the nation’s top recruit as ranked by ESPN, left the game in the first half after it appeared he took a helmet to the knee. He could be seen limping around the field, favoring his left leg, following the game.
The Kahoks were no stranger to injury this season, losing seven starters to season ending injury by the end of the second week. Blaylock said the injury problems made for a long nine weeks.
“It was a very difficult season, obviously from a fan’s perspective, but also from a player and the coaches’ perspective. Eight of the nine games we were walking in with one arm tied behind our back due to injury,” Blaylock said. “These guys committed themselves to getting better every week and I think it’s going to pay big dividends. But, it was certainly a big sacrifice to make this year in order to get those dividends.”