With both teams trying to find their identity, it will be a soul-searching Week 4.
Collinsville, coming off of one of its best seasons in recent years, appears to start finding the form of a team that was 8-1 during the regular season last year. Charleston, meanwhile, seeks its first win after starting the season 0-3. Another loss could take a massive hit to the team’s playoff hopes.
Here is the preview for Friday night’s game.
TEAM RECORDS: Charleston (0-3) vs. Collinsville (2-1)
PAST RESULTS: Charleston is coming off a 31-13 loss to Effingham on the road. The team’s other two losses are a 20-0 shutout loss to Lincoln and a 41-30 loss to Herscher in the opening week. Collinsville opened up the season with a 20-12 loss to Belleville East. After that, the team responded with a 29-14 win over Troy Triad and a 47-0 blowout win over Alton. Last year, Charleston fell to Collinsville on the road, 49-14.
TICKETS: Tickets will be sold at the entrance of Trojan Hill.
SCHOOL SIZE: Charleston (796), Collinsville (1,865)
KICKOFF: 7:00 p.m.
OPPONENT’S HISTORY: Colton Rhodes broke onto the scene last year as a first-year coach. Rhodes guided a team that went 1-4 during the shortened season and led the team to an 8-2 record. It was the first time that Collinsville qualified for the playoffs in 11 seasons. The eight wins were also the most wins since 1998.
COLLINSVILLE’S RUNNING GAME: Stats for the current season are unavailable. Jerry Richardson (5-9, 180) led the team with 1,342 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry and owned seven games with 100 yards rushing or more. The team also returns quarterback Kolby Anderson. The senior rushed for 649 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
“I would like to attribute our ability to score points on our defense and special teams unit doing such a great job,” said Rhodes. “Our defense has done a great job getting stops and creating turnovers. This has allowed us to start with a great field position and have some momentum on offense. On offense, we have a ton of weapons and an experienced offensive line. We like to have a balanced attack on offense and try to take what the opposing defense is willing to give us.”
COLLINSVILLE’S PASSING GAME: Stats for the current season are unavailable. Anderson threw 1,487 yards in the air by completing 87 of 154 pass attempts. Anderson finished with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. The team’s top receiver from last year Trey Swygeart graduated. He led the team with 626 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Richardson returns as the top receiver with 398 receiving yards and four touchdowns, as well as junior Darren Pennell with 299 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.
COLLINSVILLE’S DEFENSE: From last year, the team brings back its top tackler in junior Isaiah Norton. Norton owned 108 tackles, which featured 87 assists. Senior Eric Stuber finished with four tackles for loss. Pennell returned after a season with three interceptions, while Anderson also added two interceptions himself.
MISCELLANEOUS: The weather is projected to be 72 degrees at kickoff with a humidity of 74% and a 3% chance of rain.
CHARLESTON’S RUNNING GAME: The Trojans have gained 280 yards in their opening three games, a 93.3 yard average. Jeremiah Hayes leads the team with 149 yards rushing on 23 carries and one touchdown in two games. Brett Spour adds 26 rushes for 73 yards and a touchdown while Langdon King has 44 yards on 18 carries across three games.
CHARLESTON’S PASSING GAME: Spour has completed 34 of 55 (61.8%) passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions. Luke Bonnstetter has pulled in six receptions for 99 yards. Luke Nelson owns 10 receptions for 92 yards receiving. King is next with five receptions for 42 yards.
“We learned that our passing game is pretty solid,” said head coach Jerry Payne. “We couldn’t run the ball last week. We had to throw the ball. Everyone did a great job.”
CHARLESTON DEFENSE: The Trojans have allowed 1,117 total yards with 724 on the ground – a 241.3 average. Linebacker Ben Coffey is the team’s leading tackler with 312 total on six solo and 25 assisted along with a sack. Nelson, a defensive back, has the most solo tackles with 11 to go along with 13 assisted followed by defensive back Chet Shrader’s 10 and 13. Both have one tackle for a loss as well. Defensive lineman Aidan Archibald has a team-best four tackles for loss.
WHAT COLLINSVILLE SAID: “I like to think this team has the potential to be better than last year’s team that finished the regular season 8-1. We aren’t quite there yet, but this group of kids shows relentless effort to get better every day. Without looking at the records, Charleston does a lot of things well. They haven’t found a win yet this season, but they don’t quit at all. They are extremely well-coached and a disciplined team.”
WHAT CHARLESTON SAID: “It all comes down to execution and competing,” said Payne. “We feel that we have a pretty good game plan going on. The younger kids just need to remember the rules for their positions. Collinsville is not the Collinsville from last year, but they are a sound team. We can’t make too many mistakes. If we do, it’s going to burn us.”