Finals Update: East St. Louis rolls past Crete-Monee into 6A football Final Four

East St. Louis closed out the scoring on Rico Bond’s 33-yard field goal with 7:15 left in the 4th quarter.

River Bender 2015

East St. Louis continued its pursuit of a 10th state football championship with a 45-0 win over Crete-Monee Warriors in a IHSA Class 6A quarterfinal game at Clyde Jordan Stadium Saturday.

The win marks the second time in as many seasons that the Flyers have bounced the Warriors from the postseason. Last year, East St. Louis defeated Crete-Monee in the 6A state semifinal round on its way to a second-place finish.

“At the end of the day I’m proud of all my kids. We played 48 minutes of football and today just was not our day,” Crete-Monee coach John Konecki said. “Sometimes the game gets away from you and East St. Louis is a very good football team.”

The Flyers will face No. 1 seed Lemont High School (11-0) in next week’s semifinal. Lemont defeated Chicago Kenwood in another quarterfinal Saturday.

The Warriors’ nine-game winning streak was snapped in their first shutout loss of the season.

Junior quarterback Robert Battle scored on 36-yard rushing touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to help East St. Louis set the tone early.

With 6:18 left in the 1st quarter, wide receiver Jesse Watson snagged a 19 yard touchdown reception from Battle to extend the lead.

Battle then scored his second score of the day on a 9-yard run to increase the lead to 21-0 with 10:29 left in the 2nd quarter. It became a four-score lead early in the third quarter when safety Sael Reyes took home a 52 yard interception.

Another turnover, a Crete-Monee fumble, set up an 11-yard scoring run by Taryan Martin less than two minutes later.

Martin and Battle combined for 115 yards on the ground.

With 3:53 left, Martin ran in a 5 yard touchdown to push the lead to 42-0.

“We need to just stay focused and I feel like we can get the job done this year,” Battle said.

East St. Louis closed out the scoring on Rico Bond’s 33-yard field goal with 7:15 left in the 4th quarter.

Cornerback Jalon Jackson cinched the win for the Flyers with his interception with less than two minutes left.

Battle was 9-of-14 with 115 yards passing. The biggest play of the day went to wide receiver Dejerrian Miller on 56 yard grab.

“We executed in all three parts of the game today,” East St. Louis coach Darren Sunkett said. “The fuel is there, all we have to do is show up and prepare these guys (for the next round).”

This story was originally published November 12, 2022 6:05 PM.


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