St. Edward comes back to make it 5-0
The Guerin Prep faithful was in stunned silence after St. Edward spoiled the Crusader homecoming 38-21 Friday evening in River Grove.
After a 13-0 deficit stared the Green Wave (5-0) in the face, St. Edward junior running Dwayne Allen was not ready to bow out early. Allen and St. Edward retaliated from the 13-point hole to post 38 unanswered points on the scoreboard.
For the fourth week in a row Allen registered yardage on the ground over the century mark, and for the second week in a row recorded over 200-yards (205 yards).
"I just have to stay positive," Allen said of the slow start to the game. "I had a feeling I'd break a run. I have the benefit of my offensive line that didn't give up for me. This is the first time in my football career that we've gone five in a row. I'm looking forward to the next game."
And run he did. With Allen's 241 all-purpose yards and one touchdown game, he not only extended St. Edward's undefeated record, but he also had his best performance of the year.
The first two offensive series the Green Wave tossed an interception and coughed up a fumble. This led to consecutive hook ups between Guerin Prep sophomore Richie Zacharias, who connected with junior receiver Keith Franklin for corner of the end zone touchdown (35 yard and 14 yard) throws.
However, the St. Edward defensive unit tightened up its play. After they chased a 13-0 lead, they wouldn't relinquish a score to Guerin Prep until there was a mere 14 seconds left in the entire game.
With the help of St. Edward junior linebacker Jake French (2.5 sacks, onside kick recovery), senior Jack Tierney (one sack for a safety) and freshman cornerback Savion Smith (didn't allow a single catch to Franklin after his first quarter touchdowns), nothing got past the St. Edward defense. St. Edward senior safety Bryan O'Neil also added an interception.
"It's no secret that we had an embarrassing start to the game," French said. "We came back because it's never a one-man show. We listen to what the coaches say, and we perform as a team.
"We have to keep our hearts throughout the entire game. If we got our head on right, we can get the win the right way."
In addition to the offensive showing that Allen displayed, Green Wave senior quarterback Joseph Mullen (11-for-21, 146 yards) threw for 3 touchdowns. Two of the Mullen scores were tossed to senior receiver Santos Gomez (5 catches, 56 yards), while the other from 4 yards out was gripped by senior receiver Nick Duffy.
The final St. Edward score was set up emulating the 1985 Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl where William 'The Fridge' Perry rushed a ball into the end zone. In this version of the T-formation from the biggest man on the team was Green Wave senior lineman Kasey Cooke taking in a 1-yard run for the touchdown.
Although the St. Edward defense ended up allowing 65 yards in penalties that led to a final Guerin Prep scoring drive, Green Wave coach Mike Rolando was proud of the tenacity that all three phases exhibited in the final three quarters.
St. Edward will try to keep its perfect season alive as the Wave travel to Walther Lutheran next Saturday.
"I'm proud of the boys responding after the beginning," Rolando said. "Joe led the team well at quarterback, and I have a number of freshmen that played well. Dwayne is a phenomenal runner hitting a lot of good holes, and he make good plays out of nothing.
"It is a great way to learn (from the slow start) because you can't look past anyone. We're making history with every win. It's going to take a lot of heart to keep (the undefeated record)."