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Kahok Football Takes Season-Opening Win Over Lancers

By Mark Jurgena

“Richardson zigzags up the middle, has a little bit of room…got the first down and more! He’s off to the races! Jerry Richardson… nobody’s going to be able to catch him and it’s going to be a touchdown Collinsville!”

That was the description from Todd Duke for the Kahok Sports Network on YouTube on August 27th. Richardson, junior running back, scored an 87-yard touchdown with 4:38 remaining in the game to give CHS a 13-0 lead at Belleville East. The Kahoks went on to beat the Lancers 13-6 in the season opener.

“I was trying to figure out what to do and I thought, ‘why not give it to our workhorse here,’” CHS coach Colton Rhoads said.

The Kahoks had gained possession deep in their own territory after great defensive pursuit and gang tackling forced a fumble with the Lancers looking to make it a 7-6 game. However, the fumble was recovered by Sam Kohler to prevent the score.

On the next play, Richardson began his TD run behind his pulling offensive linemen. Meanwhile East had sent an outside LB on a blitz behind Richardson meaning the fleet Kahok could cut back into the void left by the Lancer blitz. 

Richardson did just that. 

As the running back cut into the void he needed one block to escape into the open field. Enter CHS wideout, Jeremiah Moseby. 

It’s astonishing how often wide receivers are the difference between a 1st down and a touchdown and it was certainly true on this play.

Moseby was able to stalk the East cornerback, and as Richardson went by he resisted the temptation to hold the defender. Instead, he shoved the East defender backward, knocking him off balance and clearing the way for the touchdown.

“It was great vision and great patience from Jerry,” Rhoads said. “I’ve been preaching to him that he needs to be a little more patient. They started to defend it well and he had his eyes to the left and made a great cutback behind that blitzing linebacker. Then he found that hole between the safeties.

“He had a great block on the outside by Jeremiah Moseby on one of their DBs to free Jerry up and hit that hole right in the middle and just keep running.”

But the game was not over.

After the two sides traded possessions, East drove 66 yards and scored on a TD pass to get within one score. With :50.2 seconds remaining they went for two but were not able to convert. 

On the ensuing onside kick, Kohler once again came up big for CHS.

East elected to bang the ball directly into the ground on the onside kick, immediately forcing a high hop off the turf. After a second hop on the CHS side of the 50, Kohler came up with the ball in the middle of players from both sides to secure the victory for Collinsville.

The tense finish belied what many might considered to be a mundane opening half.

Neither school could break through for a score and went into the locker rooms tied 0-0.

“That first half was a great grind,” said Rhoads. “We executed for a while on offense, but there were a couple of times we just shot ourselves in the foot. We had the ball inside the East 15 and we just had a bad exchange on a handoff. Then we had a couple more good drives that were just getting called back for holding penalties or a false start here and there.”

Early in the 3rd quarter, CHS capitalized on a golden opportunity deep in East territory.

On 4th and 6 from the East 29 yard line, Kahok QB Kolbie Anderson found wide receiver Tray Swygeart open on a hitch route on the perimeter of the defense. Swygeart then broke two tackles and picked up a block from slot receiver Darren Pennell to break into the clear and score the opening TD of the game. After the Andrew Chi extra point, it was 7-0 Kahoks.

It was the second big contribution Pennell had made to the CHS cause.

On the opening play of the game, Pennell had intercepted an East pass to steal an early possession from the Lancers.

Rhoads wanted to give special mention to a couple of Kahoks that stood out in the game. 

“Kolbie Anderson was the quarterback, safety, and the punter,” he began. “He played both ways the whole game and just had a really great, gutsy effort.

“We had a couple of young guys really step up. Diontae Clark made some great plays on the defensive end to start the game. We also had a big interception by one of our defensive linemen, Aaron Phillips, on a screen.”

For the night CHS was the recipient of three East turnovers while the Kahoks committed only one. 

The win was career win number one for the first-year Kahok mentor. Additionally, Rhoads is a graduate of East.

“It was awesome!” said Rhoads. “Just to come out for my first varsity Friday night as a head coach and come away with a win. Especially at my alma mater. That was special to me.”

Kahok Notes: It had been eleven years to the day since CHS had won a season-opening football game. Their last win was August 27, 2010. That evening they scored a 37-20 home win over Belleville (Althoff). In fact, the Kahoks have beaten East three of the last four times the two have played since 2016.

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