Seven more TD passes for St. Edward's Mlinarich in runaway win
If sevens are lucky, St. Edward quarterback Dylan Mlinarich was the luckiest man in Melrose Park Saturday.
The St. Edward junior quarterback threw 7 touchdown passes for the second game in a row as the Green Wave improved to 3-0 by trouncing winless Walther Christian 63-8 at Fran Fanelli, Jr. Memorial Football Field.
The 6-foot-2, 189-pound left-hander saw open receivers everywhere he looked as St. Edward scored 7 touchdowns in the first half alone.
"I'm very surprised but I look forward to doing this. I work for this all off-season," Mlinarich said of 16 touchdown passes in 3 games. "The O-line did an amazing job, the wide receivers ran great routes and coach Ro (Mike Rolando), amazing play calling."
Junior Saveon Smith hauled in 4 receptions, including touchdowns of 6, 52 and 55 yards.
"I'm excited. I'm happy we're 3-0," said Smith, who said he'll be fine after he reached for his left hamstring at the end of a 55-yard touchdown catch-and-run. "In the off-season we work real hard with each other, run routes, all that, practice hard. I'm proud of my team and the accomplishments that we're doing right now."
Mlinarich completed 15 of 26 passes for 358 yards without an interception or sack. Like Smith, all his top targets were fellow juniors: David Madden (5 rec., 117 yards, TD), Tyler Holte (3 rec., 49 yards, TD) and Ryan Pomeroy, whose 53-yard scoring catch just before halftime made it 49-0.
Tailback Angel Garcia contributed 90 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns in 13 attempts to help the Green Wave amass 487 total yards.
Garcia, a Melrose Park native who lived five minutes from Fanelli Field until his family moved to Elgin when he was a sixth-grader, was also key on defense, rotating at middle linebacker with sophomore Sidney Muhammad. He was part of a Green Wave defense that limited the Broncos to 42 total yards.
In fact, Walther Christian's offense was in negative yardage until it mounted a 58-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes against St. Edward reserves.
"They came out and did what we asked them to do: play hard from the get go, whoever we had in there," Rolando said of his players. "We had some freshmen and sophomores in there the whole second half and they all played hard. I thought our intensity was good in the first half. We don't want the kids to come down and play at another level because of who we're playing."