Here is my game recap of #7 East St. Louis vs Providence including who stood out in this game.
This format is different than my previous article so please let me know on Twitter @lemminginsider if you guys like this format or if I should change it up for next time. I really appreciate any thoughts.
East St. Louis
In my PREVIEW ARTICLE I said that keys to this game for East St. Louis was for QB Reyoundous Estes to look for his stud receiver in Jeff Thomas and if Providence could shut down Thomas, then Estes would have to look to his other weapons on offense. Fortunately for the Flyers, Providence could not stop Thomas and they rolled this game. On defense, I said that James Knight and the rest of the flyers had to contain Providence running back Richie Warfield and they did exactly that.
This team looked dominant on both sides of the ball. Their offense was led by quarterback Reyondous Estes and his exceptional deep ball and Jeff Thomas with his lightening fast speed. Jarrell Anderson paired with Jigg Brown to lead the Flyers on the ground. Nobody jumped out at me on the offensive line, but they played well together opening holes for Anderson and Brown on the ground and giving Estes time to throw when needed. Multiple players on defense had great games including OLB James Knight, DL Terez LaGrone and DL Terrion Williams. LaMontre Harvey also played well on the DL. This defense is very fast and if the word isn’t out already, I think teams are going to find out it isn’t easy to put points on this Flyer defense.
Players That Stood Out
Jeff Thomas: Thomas lived up to the hype and then some against Providence with 5 catches for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. He started the fireworks early utilizing a double move to beat one on one coverage and haul in a 45 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Reyondous Estes. #4 was almost unguardable simply outrunning Celtic defensive backs with regularity. Thomas was shaken up in the first quarter, but only missed a series or two and later continued his dominance. Later in the 3rd quarter Thomas beat double coverage this time for a 50 yard touchdown pass from Estes. When Thomas was on the field it seemed like all eyes were on him and even when Providence would stick multiple defenders on him he would still find a way to come down with the ball. A very impressive outing for him that certainly justified his hype. Perez Hall also had a few big gains with 2 catches for 48 yards.
Reyondous Estes: Like Thomas, Estes was also as advertised. Estes finished 12/25 for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns. Early on Estes showed a little rust missing his targets, but that is almost expected in the first quarter of the first game of the season. Estes receivers also had some drops making his own stat line look less impressive.
The Mizzou commit is definitely a throw first QB that happens to have very good legs as well. #5 had time to throw this game, but on occasion when he was pressured, he used his legs to pick up chunks of yards on the ground. He did take a few sacks for fairly large losses, which lowered his total yardage, but he picked up yards when he needed to. Estes also showed his great arm strength and touch on the deep ball when he dropped a few 45+ yard passes with exceptional accuracy right into the arms of Thomas. The chemistry between the two is like a thing of beauty. The rumor mill is saying that Thomas current favorite is Mizzou with Estes likely being a big reason for that. I would not be surprised at all if this duo continued its dominance together at the next level for the Tigers.
Jarrell Anderson: Jarrell Anderson was someone who surprised me today. His day ended with 17 carries for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was fortunate that the Flyers O-Line was getting great push on the Celtics D-Line most of the game, but Anderson impressed nonetheless. #6 showed good patience and vision on outside runs waiting for a hole to open. He also showed good cutback ability when his first option was not there. When Thomas went out because of injury Anderson stepped in to return kicks and punts. He flashed his good speed, cutback ability once again in the open field making people miss. Jigg Brown also got some carriers for the Flyers and performed well with 8 carries for 46 yards and a TD. Anderson and Brown may go a bit overlooked in this high powered offense because of the aforementioned Thomas and Estes, but they are a duo to keep an eye on.
James Knight: Knight led the Flyers defense with 13 tackles. I did a write up on Knight LAST WEEK on how I think he is one of the most underrated players in the state for the class of 2017 and he also did not disappoint. Providence tried to establish the run early with RB Richie Warfield, but Knight and the rest of the Flyer defense had none of it. It seemed like Knight met the opposing ball carrier at the line or in the backfield on nearly every play. He didn’t greet the ballcarrier with a bouquet of roses, but more so with a hammer that he continually drove into the ground. You could hear his squared up hits louder than anybody else’ on the field. Knight used his good speed, great strength to routinely get off blocks and make a play on the ball. As I stated in my underrated article, college coaches, please keep an eye on this kid this season.
Terez LaGrone/Terrion Williams/LaMontre Harvey: I’m grouping these 3 DL together because all 3 of them dominated the line of scrimmage on defense together. Harvey led the way with 11 tackles followed by Williams and LaGrone with 10. I knew that LaGrone and Harvey were great talents coming in, but I was really impressed with Williams in this game as well. All 3 were constantly reeking having on the Providence OL, pressuring Providence QB Jared Drake, and leaving barely any holes for Richie Warfield to run through. This is another dynamic group to also watch on this team this season. To be completely honest, I think the defense on this team gets overshadowed a bit because of the high powered weapons on offense. However, I’m willing to bet the Flyers know how good they are on defense and will continue to prove that to teams throughout this season.
In my PREVIEW ARTICLE I said that Providence had to neutralize the East St. Louis front 7 to open holes for RB Richie Warfield and if they could not open lanes for Warfield I said the Celtics had to look to the outside to a WR like Martez Malone. Providence could not slow down the Flyer’s front 7 and the Celtics did not have a good day on the ground. QB Jared Drake looked to WR Martez Malone and they connected on a few slant patterns, but it was not consistent enough for the Celtics to keep moving the ball. It was a tough day for the Celtic offense. On defense, I said that DB Mariano Sori-Marin and the rest of the Providence secondary had to contain Jeff Thomas AND keep Rey Estes from scrambling for yards. Unfortunately, Sori-Marin did not play in this game and the Celtics could not stop Thomas through the air, but they did a fair job containing Estes on the ground. There was a few bad snaps early in the game that doomed Providence because they really had no room for error against this very good East St. Louis squad.
Players That Stood Out
Jared Drake: Drake finished the night 8 of 24 for 40 yards passing. It was a rough day through the air for the Celtics, but I commend Drake for his toughness. He took a lot of hits in this game, some I wasn’t sure if he would get back up from, but returned to his feet ready for the next play after every one. That is the sign of a true leader that won’t quit on his team. Drake also showed good mobility scrambling on a few play action bootleg passes against the Flyer’s defense.
Richie Warfield: The Celtics running game didn’t have much of a chance in this game. Their O-Line was simply overmatched by the East St. Louis front leaving very few holes for running back Richie Warfield to run through. Like Drake, I commend Warfield for his toughness and leadership never giving up and always picking his teammates up. Warfield finished the game with 13 carries for 15 yards. Warfield also had 4 catches for 7 yards. #47 is another kid I’m high on this year as I wrote about him in my UNDERRATED SERIES as well. He and the Celtics just didn’t have it this game, but I fully expect a big year for him.
Gaoshua Williams: At the CB position, Gaoshua did all he could against Flyer’s receiver Jeff Thomas. Thomas beat him a few times, but Williams flashed his quickness and athletic ability locking down Thomas and breaking up a few passes to him on a few other occasions. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter East St. Louis was up 34-3 and Providence was set to punt. Providence punted to East St. Louis and Williams forced a fumble that Providence recovered at the Flyer 15 yard line. Providence didn’t come away with points, but it was yet another instance of another player on this Providence team playing hard till the very end. A very encouraging sign for this team.
Martez Malone: Malone played both ways for Providence in this game and didn’t come off the field much. Like Williams, he also had the tough task of playing DB against Jeff Thomas. The defense as a whole had a tough time overall for the Celtics. LB Chris Kaminski played well making a few tackles in the Flyer backfield.
On offense, Malone used his good hands to reel in some lasers from Drake on a few slant routes. Nico Planeta also had a few catches for the Celtics. He and the rest of the Providence offense never quit and I give them credit for that. Its only 1 game so the Celtics needs to pick themselves up and focus on next week’s game.