Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

East St. Louis Gets Even by Smashing Belleville West

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

East St. Louis Gets Even by Smashing Belleville West

Article excerpt

EAST ST. LOUIS * This was 362 days in the making.

The last game the East St. Louis football team lost on the field was against Belleville West on Sept. 26, 2015. The Flyers' season was then sabotaged by the teacher's strike.

Almost a year later, the teachers have long been back to work and on Friday night the Pride of East Side had some payback in mind.

Consider it paid.

East St. Louis hammered Southwestern Conference rival Belleville West 52-0 on Friday at Clyde C. Jordan Stadium on the campus of East St. Louis High.

The win snaps a two-game losing streak to Belleville West and reclaims the Victory Bell that comes with it. It's the first time East St. Louis shut out Belleville West since 2005 when it handed the Maroons a 71-0 loss.

The No. 1 large school in the STLhighschoolsports.com rankings, East St. Louis (5-0 overall, 3-0 league) led 8-0 after the first quarter. After that it was all gas, no brakes. The Flyers pushed the lead to 38-0 at halftime.

Belleville West (2-3, 2-1) had no answers.

The touchdowns came from all over. Junior running back Perez Hall electrified the crowd with a pair of punt returns. His first went for 38 yards. He followed that up with 71-yard masterpiece. Hall faked his way to the right side of the field and then doubled back to the left, found a crease and left everyone in his wake.

"I just set the team up to the right, spin back to the left, touchdown," Hall said. "Easy."

He certainly made it look that way.

"This was Perez's coming out party. I thought he did a great job," East St. Louis coach Darren Sunkett said. "He really sparked his team and sparked the crowd. He got us into it with those two big touchdowns."

Senior standout receiver Jeff Thomas, fully recovered from a minor injury suffered two weeks ago, was dynamic. He caught four passes for 176 yards and scored touchdowns of 59 and 29 yards. …

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