South Elgin handles Edwardsville in playoff opener
Edwardsville's football team ran into a pair of storms Friday night.
Playing in blustery, wet conditions throughout the game, the Tigers (5-5) fell behind 21-0 at halftime and would never recover during their 24-13 loss to the South Elgin Storm in the opening round of the Class 8A playoffs in South Elgin.
After a scoreless first quarter, the 2nd-seeded Storm (10-0) tallied 3 touchdowns during an 8 ½-minute span in the second quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Sullivan capped an 8-play, 56-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to give South Elgin a 7-0 lead.
Sullivan, who entered the game in place of starting quarterback Jordan Jones early in the second quarter, ran for 15 yards on his first snap.
"Jake played last week but he was out with a minor injury for a couple weeks," said Storm coach Dragan Teonic. "Jordan (Jones) was our quarterback but he's also the best safety in the state of Illinois. In a playoff game against a throwing team, we needed Jordan at safety, and we rolled with Jake (Sullivan) at quarterback.
"It wasn't anything -- Jordan could have done it as well, but we needed him on defense."
Following a 3-and-out defensive series, the Storm marched 34 yards in 6 plays, extending their lead to 14-0 on a 7-yard run by senior Anthony Marshall (22 carries, 98 yards).
On the Tigers' next series, an interception by South Elgin junior defensive lineman Eduardo Ramirez led to Jalen Jones' 17-yard TD run with 9.5 seconds remaining in the first half.
"That was an unbelievable play," Teonic said of the interception.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Curry (5 of 13, 86 yards; 25 carries, 54 yards) got the Tigers on the board with his 4-yard keeper to make it 21-7 with 10:39 remaining.
However, South Elgin answered with a 28-yard field goal by Kai Paz with 5:23 left.
Curry's second TD of the night -- a 2-yard run -- pulled the Tigers within 24-13 with 3:13 remaining.
"It was a little disappointing in the second half that they were able to punch two in there," said Teonic. "It's definitely something we've got to look at."
Jordan Jones' interception -- Edwardsville's third turnover of the night -- with 1:19 remaining sealed the deal for the Storm, who will visit No. 18 Marist (7-3) in 2nd-round action next weekend.
"This is our field and we wanted to put on a show for everyone, but we did it for each other, too," said junior linebacker Michael Tringali, supported by teammates Alex Rios, Axel Bernal, Rocco Castaldo and Omari Larson.
"This defense is getting better and better every single game. We're ready to go a long distance (in the playoffs)."
Mason Montgomery added 95 yards on the ground for the Storm.
Junior tailback Jordan Bush led the Tigers with 80 yards rushing.
"They (Storm) put the ball on the ground four times, and we just couldn't get them," said Tigers coach Matt Martin. "We had our opportunities, but we didn't make the most of them.
"Congratulations to South Elgin -- their coaching staff and players."