Photo by Bill Roseberry
The Civic Memorial Eagles and Marquette Explorers line up in the trenches during the opening week of prep football at Lewis Hauser Field in Bethalto on Aug. 26. The Eagles blanked the Explorers 30-0 in the rivalry match.
After spending two seasons working as an assistant for the Civic Memorial football program, Mike Parmentier got to make his debut at the helm of the Eagle gridders on Aug. 26.
It was a success.
The Eagles blanked local rival Marquette Catholic 30-0 in Week 1 at Lewis Hauser Field in Bethalto, to win their fifth consecutive season opener.
Now CM will work on making it consecutive years in the postseason for the first time since the ‘98 and ‘99 campaigns. The Eagles were 7-3 last season under Justin Winslow before being bounced by Mater Dei, 34-14, in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“The big thing with me is the first game of the year — I hate it,” said Parmentier, who was previously a head coach at Girard and Staunton. He led Staunton to a state runner-up in Class 2A in 2013. “I think every coach is the same way; you just don’t know where your weaknesses are at, you don’t know who is going to make plays and those types of things. It’s hard to work on special teams. Now we get to look at film and correct a lot of mistakes we made tonight and hopefully we can fix those and get better in Week 2.”
Parmentier pointed to the loss of 2015 quarterback Adam Hill and running back John Whitworth as tough parts to replace this season. Whitworth ran for 1,466 yards and broke Joe Odom’s rushing record (1,188) from ‘98. The ‘15 AdVantage News Football Player of the Year is now at Division II Quincy University. Hill took his skills to Illinois College.
Moving on from those players will be a challenge for the Eagles.
“I was really scared of Marquette for the fact that they had 20 of 22 starters back and we lost our leading passer and our leading rusher; that’s over 3,500 yards of offense that we had to replace,” Parmentier said.
Marquette gave CM a battle in the first half. The rival programs found themselves in a scoreless stalemate entering the locker room, both making defensive stands during the first half.
“We were in a dog fight at 0-0 and the offensive line stepped up and the defense and coach (Nick) Smith did a great job of dialing up a shutout. In the second half I thought we really took control of the game.”
Second-year Explorers’ head coach Darrell Angleton thought his team played a brilliant first half and he wasn’t totally disheartened with the second half play, either.
“The first half the defense played really, really well and we were happy with that play,” Angleton said. “The offense moved the ball, too. That turnover at the end of the first half was really a borderline turnover and that was a breaker because you go into the locker room up 7-0 and you know you’re getting the ball in the second half.
“You throw in three turnovers in the second half and a couple of fumbles in the backfield that we recovered and you put yourself in a hole.”
While the Explorers turned the ball over four times in the game, the Eagles got things going behind their O-line in the second half.
CM’s monster offensive line is a true asset. The Eagles’ line comprises Andrew Deckard (6-1, 320), Brandon Deckard (6-1, 280), Curtis Deckard (6-4, 300), Eli Jones (6-4, 230) and Cody Reynolds (6-2, 285). Jones is the newcomer, replacing graduated Jordan Stagner.
Altogether the Eagles rushed for 254 yards and three TDs on the ground.
“We’re fortunate and kudos to Marquette, because they knew we were going to lean on those guys and we did and they stuffed us in the first half,” Parmentier said.
New players are stepping up to lead the Eagles this season and one of those is senior wide receiver/defensive back David Lane. Lane hauled in a 37-yard touchdown catch in Week 1 and picked off a pair of Marquette passes on defense.
Lane admitted he was a little jittery knowing he was beginning his final prep season.
“I had butterflies in my stomach since the second hour at school,” Lane said. “I couldn’t focus in school because I was so pumped up. There were some great fans out here tonight and I can’t describe the feeling; there is nothing like it. I love this game. There is nothing better.”
Lane, along with CM quarterback Brayden Pierce and running backs Corey Price, Camryn Gerhardt, Rikki Lafferty and Zach Williams will be focal points on the offense this season. Williams missed Week 1.
Price had 111 yards rushing and a touchdown vs. the Explorers, while Gerhardt ran for 84 yards and a score.
CM welcomes Salem to Hauser Field at 7 p.m. tonight for a non-conference Week 2 showdown.
Marquette will enjoy its home opener at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Public School Stadium in Alton against Mater Dei, the team that knocked the Eagles from the playoffs a year ago.
It’s a big night for the Explorers, who will retire former standout Craig Hentrich’s number at halftime. Hentrich starred at Marquette before continuing his career as a kicker at Notre Dame University and enjoying a 16-year NFL career as a punter.
Follow #AdVsports on Twitter