Playoff implications will fill the stadium air at O’Brien Stadium Friday night. Collinsville has a chance to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Mattoon is fighting back to make a run at the playoffs after starting the season 0-2. Take a look at tonight’s Week 5 non-conference matchup.
Team Records: Collinsville (4-0, 0-0) @ Mattoon (2-2, 2-1)
Past Results: Collinsville opened the season with two nail-biting victories. That included a 13-6 win over Belleville East. Then, the team escaped with a 10-7 win over Troy Triad. In Week 3 the team blew away Alton 41-0. Last week, Collinsville ran over Charleston 49-14. Mattoon started the year with a 26-13 loss to Troy Triad and then a 31-7 loss to Mount Zion. The team’s last two wins have been thrillers with a 12-9 come from behind win over Taylorville in Week 3 and a 20-14 win over former Apollo champ Effingham.
Tickets: Tickets will be sold at the gate at O’Brien Stadium
School Size: Collinsville (1,866), Mattoon (929)
Kickoff: 7 p.m
Opponent’s History: First-year head coach Colton Rhodes has this team off to its best start since 2010. From 2010, the team had won a combined 19 games, including a 1-4 season last year. Former Mt. Zion head coach Mike Popovich coached at Collinsville, including two straight 0-9 seasons before Joe Bevis took over for one season. Collinsville has made the postseason just three times in school history, including their last appearance in 2010. With a win tonight, the team could do so again.
“We have been preaching all week that this is our first chance to be playoff eligible since 2010,” said Rhodes. “Our kids are hungry, and we can feel the community supporting us every week. It’s an exciting time right now for our team, we are just going to continue to put the work in every week and hope that it translates between the lines every Friday night.”
Collinsville Running Game: Collinsville averages 191.0 rushing yards per game. Junior Jerry Richardson leads the way with 71 carries for 546 yards, good for 7.7 yards per carry. Richardson owns four touchdown runs, while junior quarterback Kolby Anderson also has two touchdown scores.
“Our running back, Jerry Richardson, is the real deal,” said Rhodes. “However, I don’t want to take anything away from our offensive line. Our offensive line is very big and aggressive and they love to run blocks. I have confidence in calling a run play and then executing every time so Jerry can find a hole and gain positive yards.”
Collinsville Passing Game: Collinsville averages 164.8 passing yards per game, led by Anderson, who completed 35-of-62 passes for 659 yards and a perfect nine touchdown to zero interception ratio. Anderson owns an overall QBR of 133.0 for the season. The receiving core is led by senior Trey Swygeart, who has 13 receptions for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Darren Pennell added 10 receptions for 151 yards and four touchdowns.
Collinsville Defense: Collinsville has allowed just 27 points this season, including holding a high-powered Troy offense to just seven points. Their first shutout of the season was Week 3 against Alton. Defensively, sophomore Isaiah Norton leads the team with 31 tackles. Both Richardson and Anderson play both sides of the ball with Richardson owning 18 tackles and Anderson with 16. As a team, the defense also has three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Miscellaneous: The weather is projected to be 71 degrees at kickoff with a humidity of 50% and a zero percent chance of rain.
Mattoon Running Game: Taeriek Grace has led the Green Wave rushing in three of the four games. Grace finished with a season-high 95 yards last week. In three games, Grace has 39 carries for 215 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jackson Spurgeon had his best rushing game last week with 57 yards to bump his total to 47 rushes for 92 yards. In his last two games, Gavin Cline has added 11 carries for 47 yards.
“Mattoon looks to be very big and physical on film,” said Rhodes. “We are going to have to defend the entire field against their offense. They are very well-coached and can do a lot of different things both offensively and defensively. We are preparing for as much as we can during our practices this week because we know Mattoon is going to be very tough.”
Mattoon Passing Game: Against Effingham, Spurgeon threw for 234 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Spurgeon has completed 38 of 83 passes this season for 623 passing yards with three touchdown passes and three interceptions. Last week, Derrius White had his best game of the season with seven receptions for 144 yards.
Mattoon Defense: Mattoon struggled against the run last week against Effingham, allowing 189 yards, as well as 274 passing yards. Still, the defense forced six total turnovers.
What Collinsville Said: “There will be a lot of emotions for Mattoon on Friday night and we will be finishing up from a long 2 hour plus bus ride,” said Rhodes. “Our team will be prepared to play our game no matter what the circumstances. We are heading to Mattoon looking for that 5-0 record that Collinsville hasn’t seen since 1998.”
What Mattoon Said: Head coach Troy Johnson was unavailable for comment.