St. Edward senior running back Davontae Elam had good reason to hug each of his linemen after the Green Wave pounced all over Genoa-Kingston 43-21 Saturday night in nonconference action at Greg True Field in Elgin.
For starters, on the first play from scrimmage from the Green Wave 20-yard line, Elam went untouched down the left sideline after bursting through a hole for the game's first score. He totaled 213 yards on 11 carries with 5 touchdowns, 4 on the ground and 1 through the air -- a 72-yard pass that he tipped to himself in the third quarter on a 1-play drive from quarterback Bryan O'Neill, the only pass he threw in the game.
And Elam's last rush, a 72-yard score down the right sideline, pretty much brough everything into full circle, capping off a personal best for himself.
"I wanted to show everyone what I could do when I'm healthy and I just want to give credit to all my coaches and my linemen," said Elam, whose previous career-high was 4 touchdowns in a single game. "Our line was out of control today, they just got their assignments down."
Zach West (6-0, 260), Collin Holte (5-10, 235), Will Bothwell (5-8, 185), Matt Colasuono (6-1, 195) and Kasey Cooke (5-11, 260), plowed the way for not only Elam, but for Michael Castoro, who rushed 4 times for 104 yards, including a 40-yard run and a 50-yarder that setup Elam's second TD.
The Green Wave (1-0) had 7 plays go for at least 40 yards, where they rushed for 328 of their 483 total yards, which outgained the Cogs (0-1) by 214.
"Davontae had a great game, just across the board everybody played a great game," Green Wave coach Mike Rolando said. "We've got a lot of weapons. Mikey (Castoro) is a great athlete, you saw little flashes of Dwayne (Allen Jr.), having a great game, Danny Favela is a good athlete."
Even Cogs coach Travis Frederick gave Elam praise saying: "He made kids miss. He's got a nice stiff arm. He looked pretty good."
St. Edward led 21-14 at the half and in a 4:12 span of the third the floodgates opened. St. Edward scored on 3-straight plays, including Elam's 72-yard run and 76-yard reception and Allen Jr.'s 77-yard touchdown pass from QB Joseph Mullen. By then it was 43-14 with only 3:13 remaining left in the quarter.
"Those are one-play drives and those are disheartening for a defense and they energized our team, too." Rolando said of the big plays. "I think we've got some explosive weapons and the defense played phenomenal."
Credit the Green Wave defense, too. Except for a 65-yard score on a passing play from Cogs QB Griffin McNeal to Mike Kuhn on a 4th-and-17- from their own 35 early in the first quarter, St. Edward sacked McNeal 4 times and held the Cogs scoreless from the 6:05 mark of the second until the 4:45 mark of the fourth. McNeal was 14 for 24 for 171 yards with 2 touchdowns and connected with 9 receivers but Genoa-Kingston rushed for only 98 yards as O'Neill, Nathan Dwyer recorded sacks and Tighe Koehring helped force 6 three-and-outs as Genoa was 3 for 13 on drives. St. Edward finished 6 for 12.