BY COLTEN STEELE WEEKLY REPORTER
COLLINSVILLE – The Panthers scored 21 points in the first quarter, eventually shutting out the Collinsville Kahoks 42-0, increasing their win streak to three.
“We were very pleased with the effort and execution with the win on Friday night. I thought we executed very efficiently in all facets of the game,” said Head Coach Brandon Joggerst.
Senior running back Mason Hewitt got the Panthers on the scoreboard first with a 42-yard touchdown run, breaking away from several defenders. Hewitt finished with 192 yards on the ground for the game.
Quarterback Christian Perez racked up 102 yards through the air and had three total touchdowns on the evening. Early in the first quarter, Perez went five for six on an 83-yard drive capping it off with a strike to Jarvus Smith for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Jarvus Smith tallied up two touchdowns on the night as Perez found him in the endzone again for a 12-yard touchdown pass as the Panthers took a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
“Jarvus really stepped up. He had been racking up on yards all year and he told me he wanted to get in the endzone. They were keying on our outside receivers and that left him open all night,” said QB Perez.
An interception by senior Montrail Clay would set up the Panthers for another score to increase their lead.
Perez would continue his dominance into the second quarter as he ran for a 43-yard touchdown to extend their lead 28-0 midway through the final quarter before intermission.
O’Fallon went into the half shutting out Collinsville 28-0 and continued to showcase their dominance on defense in the second half. When asked about how big of a victory it was, Joggerst said, “Anytime you get a conference victory on the road it’s a good feeling. To shutout an opponent is even more gratifying.”
Senior Mason Hewitt ran all over the Kahoks defense in order to set up senior Darryl Cobb Jr. for a seven-yard touchdown run up the middle to make it 35-0 after the point after attempt was executed by sophomore kicker Brooks Hackney. Hackney was a perfect 100 percent on the night going six for six on PATs.
It was late in the third when the Panthers would put on the running clock against Collinsville after a score from junior Richard Cosey on an 18-yard touchdown run to make it 42-0 O’Fallon.
“This win was very big because it helps our record for the playoffs,” said Perez.
The O’Fallon defense showed up big for the Panthers on Friday night, allowing the Kahoks to just 84 total yards, and forcing four turnovers. The Panthers turnovers consisted of three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Seniors Montrail Clay and Robert Gonzalez each had an interception and junior Tyriq Mitchell added one as well.
“I thought our defensively we were assignment and alignment sound and extremely effective with our tackling. Also, forcing four turnovers were key as we had multiple players step up and make plays,” Coach Joggerst said.
Perez tallied a total of three touchdowns on the night and said, “Our offense is clicking on all cylinders. The defense is really coming around too.” Coach Joggerst also complimented the team’s offense saying, “Offensively we were extremely balanced in the first half mixing in the run and pass. The offensive line did a good job protecting and creating holes. To build that big of a cushion in the first half was great to see.”
The Panthers are now 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the Southwestern Conference. They will host Belleville East this week who is currently on a three game losing streak and 1-6 overall.