The St. Edward Green Wave were throwing a rushing party Friday night at Trinity College in Palos Heights against Chicago Christian and everyone was invited as the Green Wave kept their playoff hopes alive, winning 43-26 and raining on the Knights' homecoming parade.
St. Edward junior running back DaVontae Elam led the charge as he rushed for a jaw-dropping 331 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 181 of the yards in the first half alone.
St. Edward ran for 348 yards in the first half alone.
"(Coach Mike Rolando) tells us we're a downhill running team," Elam said. "I have to give credit to the offensive line for getting me holes. This win gives us a boost of confidence. (Chicago Christian) was just as hungry as us for a win, and I just didn't want to let my brothers down."
Contributing to the rushing force was sophomore running back Danny Favela (3 carries, 100 yards, 1 TD) and sophomore quarterback Mikey Castoro (5 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD).
Chicago Christian scored first on a pass play from sophomore quarterback Christian Bolhuis to senior Trevor Stephens to lead 6-0 early in the first quarter. However St. Edward would go on to score 30 unanswered points with three of the scores being rushing touchdowns for over 20 yards.
"All practice we're underwater but it doesn't affect us during the game," said Favela who also registered an interception playing safety. "If it wasn't for the offensive line, I wouldn't have scored my touchdown. We've already messed up one homecoming, let's ruin another."
St. Edward's defensive front would hold off Chicago Christian for six three and outs in the first half. The Green Wave were stingy with yards as they didn't allow a first down for 14 minutes.
However, the Knights responded to adversity as they tacked on two more touchdowns from the effort of senior running back Colby Roundtree scampering for a 10-yard touchdown and Stephens who scooped up a failed Green Wave handoff exchange and returned it for an 89-yard touchdown with 8 seconds remaining in the half. St Edward nursed a 10-point lead into the second half. Penalties were a nemesis to the Green Wave as they allowed Chicago Christian to stay within striking distance. St. Edward racked up 114 yards in penalties including 2 touchdowns that were called back. However, Elam's 2 second-half touchdowns would seal the deal.
"We wanted to win the battle up front," said St. Edward coach Mike Rolando. "Penalties kill us and fumbles have plagued us on first down. (Elam) has waited years to become our main guy. He's our horse, and always finds a way to get first."
Chicago Christian registered one last touchdown on a 1-yard run by Bolhuis, but it was far too late for a comeback to salvage its homecoming.
"Turnovers hurt us on offense," said Chicago Christian coach Jim Bolhuis. "We had a fumble and interception back-to-back. St. Edward is a class act team, and they have a great running back in (DaVontae Elam). We were looking forward to this match all week, but their guys came out tougher."
St. Edward will push for postseason play next week at Wheaton Academy.