Prep Football

Blue Devils see lead evaporate, fall to Alton

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 1, 2018 12:50 am

QUINCY -- The Quincy High School football players know how fast you can go from being comfortably confident to uncomfortably numb.

It takes less than three minutes.

A 14-point lead with 2 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the first half Friday night morphed into a six-point deficit by the time the Blue Devils made it to the locker room.

And they never recovered.

Alton scored on the first possession of the second half, then made two critical defensive stands to preserve a 41-37 victory at Flinn Stadium. It is the first time the Blue Devils have lost at home to the Redbirds since 2007. QHS now is 35-6 at home in the last 10 years.

"We win at Flinn. That's what we do," Quincy coach Rick Little said. "We win here a lot. So to walk off the field with a ... I don't even like to say the L-word ... but to walk off with that, it's tough."

It's even tougher to take when all seemed to be going the Blue Devils' way.

The first play after Alton scored to make it 14-8 with 7:53 to go in the first half, QHS senior wingback Jirehl Brock hit an open seam in the middle of the field, juked three different defenders in the secondary and raced 61 yards for the third of his five touchdowns. He then caught the two-point conversion pass from Donovan Prost for a 22-8 lead.

Brock finished with 200 yards on 29 carries, caught three passes for 65 yards and scored all five of Quincy's touchdowns.

"Wow," Alton coach Eric Dickerson said. "There's no doubt he's a Division I running back."

The collection of athletes Alton countered with changed the tide.

The Redbirds' Ahmad Sanders returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the Blue Devils' 41-yard line. Alton got to the 11-yard line before Quincy's defense tightened up, but on fourth and 5 from the 6, Sanders squirted to the 1-yard line for the first down but fumbled into the end zone. Lonnie Tate recovered it for a touchdown for the Redbirds, trimming the deficit to 22-14.

On the first play of the next drive, Quincy quarterback Donovan Prost fumbled as he ran toward the right sideline, and Alton's Ju'Qui Womack recovered at the 16-yard line. Izeal Terrell scored three plays later on a 2-yard run as the Redbirds tied the game.

An interception thrown by Prost with 33 seconds remaining in the half gave Alton the ball again, and Redbirds quarterback Andrew Jones found Moory Woods deep over the middle for a 33-yard touchdown strike with one second left in the half. It put Alton up 28-22.

"It definitely gave us some momentum," Dickerson said. "That's what we were looking for tonight. Our kids never stopped. They stayed the course and we had some good things happen to us. Momentum is a fickle thing, and it worked well for us in the first half."

Little knew his team could regroup.

"The plan at halftime was simple," Little said. "We told them we're not a team that beats ourselves. We said, ‘Hang in there. Here's the recipe. They're going to get the ball. We've got to get a stop.'"

Alton drove 68 yards on the opening drive of the second half and capped it with a 26-yard touchdown reception by Terrance Walker for a 34-22 lead.

That's when the Redbirds made the first of their two big defensive stands. The Blue Devils had first and goal from the 8-yard line and failed to score as Brock was stopped short of the goal line on third down from the 2-yard line, and Prost was stopped on a quarterback sneak on fourth down.

Alton made it hurt when Sanders turned a short catch into an 84-yard touchdown four plays later.

"We knew at that point we had to make a play," Little said.

Brock made two. He caught a 29-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, then scored on a 1-yard run with 5:38 to go to make it a four-point game. Less than a minute later, Jack Rupert intercepted a pass at midfield to give the Blue Devils the ball with 4:40 to go.

"When the music plays in a movie, it's a climactic moment," Little said. "We got our stop, so let's go score."

He had every reason to believe they would.

"We hadn't punted the whole game," Little said. "We felt we were in a great position to capitalize."

The Blue Devils reached the Redbirds' 23-yard line with 1:30 to play, but an incompletion, a run that was a stuffed and a screen pass that never materialized left the Blue Devils facing fourth and 10 with 1:05 to go.

"Now it's a one-down territory," Little said.

Prost's pass was incomplete, and Alton ran out the clock on its first victory of the season.

"If we execute better throughout the game, we're talking about a win," Little said. "That's disappointing."

Alton 41, Quincy High School 37

ALT QHS

23 First downs 23

34-195 Rushes-yards 48-310

249 Passing yards 106

445 Total yards 416

11-21-1 Comp-Att-Int 6-12-1

8-85 Penalties-yards 6-40

3-0 Fumbles-lost 2-1

Alton 0 28 13 0--41

Quincy 7 15 0 15--37

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

Q--Jirehl Brock 16 pass from Donovan Prost (Devin Neally kick), 9:10

Second Quarter

Q--Brock 2 run (Neally kick), 10:16

A--Tim Johnson 10 run (Izeal Terrell run), 7:53

Q--Brock 61 run (Brock pass from Prost), 7:41

A--Lonnie Tate fumble recovery in end zone (kick failed), 2:37

A--Terrell 2 run (Terrance Walker pass from Andrew Jones), 1:33

A--Moory Woods 33 pass from Jones (run failed), :01

Third Quarter

A--Walker 26 pass from Jones (run failed), 7:54

A--Ahmad Sanders 84 pass from Jones (Jake Lombardi kick), :37.5

Fourth Quarter

Q--Brock 29 pass from Prost (Neally kick), 11:52

Q--Brock 1 run (Drake Tournear pass from Prost), 5:38

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Alton, Johnson 20-155, Sanders 6-15, Jones 5-14, Walker 2-9, Terrell 1-2; QHS, Brock 29-200, Adonte Crider 10-71, Garrett Drew 5-44, Prost 4-(minus 5).

PASSING--Alton, Jones 11-21-249-1; QHS, Prost 6-12-106-1.

RECEIVING--Alton, Sanders 5-132, Walker 3-51, Tate 2-33, Woods 1-33; QHS, Brock 3-65, Crider 1-21, Rod Rudd 1-15, Tournear 1-5.

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