Unbeaten St. Edward bests Elmwood Park for bevy of firsts

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Friday’s Metro Suburban East game at Elmwood Park marked the possibility of a number of firsts for St. Edward.

A first undefeated regular season in school history, the first conference title since 2010, and a title in the first year of its new conference were all on the line.

“I’m so proud of these kids — they’ve got a good vibe,’’ St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. “They’re playing for each other, unselfish, no matter who it is, they’re out there cheering for them and have overachieved.’’

“We talk about the old days, the guys that came before them, laid the bricks for this program, and this day is for them.’’

The Green Wave owned the day, defeating the Tigers 54-14.

“It hit me and everyone else in the offseason, that we had it,’’ St. Edward quarterback Joseph Mullen said. “It was then I knew and said that we’re going undefeated. To do it, though, is really awesome.’’

Elmwood Park came out strong, throwing a 68-yard double pass on the first play of the game, scoring two plays later, and then promptly recovering a St. Edward turnover.

“We knew they were going to try some trick plays,’’ Rolando said. “We had six guys around the guy who threw the ball but it was just a minor setback.’’

But that’s where the good news ended for Elmwood Park (2-7, 1-4).

St. Edward (9-0, 5-0) forced a three-and-out on the Tigers’ next possession and scored in three plays. The Green Wave then scored on their next seven possessions, each of which started no deeper than the St. Edward 45-yard line. Four started at the Elmwood Park 37 or closer.

Mullen, who would finish with 156 yards on 7-of-11 passing, threw all four of his touchdowns in the first half.

“The line, receivers and Dwayne Allen are what drive this offense,’’ Mullen said. “There’s a reason he’s the rushing leader in the area, and he just makes it that much easier for me to pass.’’

The Green Wave wouldn’t need much of Allen as he rushed only six times for 53 yards and a touchdown. He also had one of Mullen’s four passing TDs.

While the offense gets all of the accolades, the Green Wave defense has been stout. The defense has shut out or kept its opponents in single digits five times this season.

After Elmwood Park’s first drive, the St. Edward defense stiffened and held the Tiger offense to negative 20-yards and no first downs.

Santos Gomez added two TDs, while Brandon Romero’s 1-yard run and a 6-yard pass from Xavier Vega to Jesus Carrillo accounted for the Elmwood Park scoring.

“For something like this to happen, everything had to bounce the right way and for us they did,’’ Rolando said. “We won the games we were supposed to, showed up in the games that were tight and won, and set this up to be a magical season.’’

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