LPI Game Visit Preview: #7 East St. Louis @ Providence

East St. Louis

They were 3-2 last year before a teacher’s strike caused them to forfeit the last 4 games of the year. The Flyers return a lot on offense starting with the playmaking Jeff Thomas who will lead this high powered offense into New Lenox. Thomas (LPI #1 WR) is lightening fast and is always a threat to make a big play. With his strong and accurate arm Rey Estes (LPI #2 QB) will be connecting with Thomas a lot this season and will be using his good speed to gain yards on the ground when needed. On the other side of the ball hard hitting and very underrated SS/OLB James Knight (LPI #10 DB) will be leading the East St. Louis defense.

Keys To The Game
1. Estes needs to look to his playmaker in Thomas on the outside or scramble for yards when nothing is open. Providence will be scheming to shut down Estes and Thomas through the air and on the ground. If they do so successfully then somebody else like Perez Hall will have to step up and make big plays for this offense.
2. Knight and the rest of the East St. Louis defense must contain Warfield from breaking off big chunks of yards.

Other Players To Watch
Terez LaGrone (LPI #15 DL), Tahler Cook, Lamontre Harvey (LPI #25 DL), Perez Hall


After winning the 7A state championship in 2014 Providence Catholic had an uncharacteristically down year at 3-6 in 2015. Injuries were a big part of that as well as a very rough schedule in the Chicago Catholic League. This year Providence has 2 of its best players back at full health in RB Richie Warfield (LPI #6 RB) and OLB/SS Mariano Sori-Marin. Warfield has a great combination of speed (4.50 40), size (5’11” 200lbs) and hands (also plays the slot) that is very tough to defend. In my opinion, Warfield is one of the most underrated players in the state. Sori-Marin also missed time with injury, but is back to show off his great size (6’1″ 210lbs), instincts and high football IQ to opposing offenses. Martez Malone is also a threat with great size and length on the outside.

Keys To The Game
1. The Providence O-Line must neutralize the Flyers front 7 and open holes for Warfield to run through. However, if the Flyers load the box and are able to stop the run (which I suspect they’ll try to do) then Drake MUST look to the outside and try to connect with Malone.
2. Sori-Marin and the rest of the Celtics secondary need to contain the explosive Thomas AND keep Estes from scrambling for yards. Not an easy task, but is what they have to do to try to win.

Other Players To Watch
Jared Drake, Alex Bowler, Gaoshua Williams