East St. Louis hammers Prairie Ridge to win its 10th state title
- CHAMPAIGN – In the Class 6A state championship, Cary-Grove, a Fox Valley conference team beat East St. Louis. It was one the most memorable high school football games in state history, and it added some juice to the matchup between Prairie Ridge & the Flyers.
East St. Louis did not let this happen again. It defeated the Wolves 57-7 in order to win its tenth consecutive state championship. This was the largest margin in state history for a victory in a title match.
Miles McVay, a senior Flyers player, said that it was amazing to do the work for the city. “They let us down last year.”
McVay, a senior at 6-6 and 330 lbs, has committed to Alabama. For four years, McVay and Paris Patterson (a recruit from Arkansas) have been East St. Louis’ offensive line anchors.
Coach Darren Sunkett of the Flyers said, “We set this goal after losing the state championship last year and the guys came out starting January working their butts off,”. “We had great leadership, and those guys understood what it meant to get back there.”
Prairie Ridge (12-2) was scored by a 14 yard run by quarterback Tyler Vasey during its first drive. The penalty and a costly tackle stopped the next two drives. The Wolves were unable to get it moving offensively again.
Vasey stated, “Those mistakes cannot happen, especially when our offense is so fast.” “And [East St. Louis] is so fast.”
Vasey rushed 25 times for 126 yards, and one touchdown.
Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp stated that “Talent-wise, we clearly met our match.” “The coin toss was almost comical, if you looked at the difference in size. It’s impossible to match that talent.”
TaRyan Martin ran 17 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns to help the Flyers (12-2). Quarterback Robert “Pops” Battle was 10-for-12 in passing for 207 yards with two touchdowns.
Schremp stated that “We came out, and we weren’t tackling real good.” The matchup is difficult when they have DI talent all over the lineup, and right now we don’t even have a kid who is going to college.
This season, East St. Louis did not lose to an Illinois team. Lemont was the Flyers’ best opponent, losing 32 to 29 in the semifinals.
Sunkett stated, “The tradition East St. Louis Football has is a great feel.” “These guys are our first team since the eighties to be at state for three consecutive years, and if not for COVID, it would have been four.”