As running styles go, Dwayne Allen Jr. fancies himself more east/west than north/south.
“When I get the ball,” the St. Edward junior running back said, “I try to make people miss.”
Allen had all quadrants of the football field covered Saturday.
He ran for 239 yards and three touchdowns — all the scores coming in the second half — and intercepted a pass to boot in St. Edward’s 35-28 Metro Suburban crossover win over IC Prep in Elmhurst.
In beating an old Suburban Christian conference rival, St. Edward (4-0) is off to its best start since the 2010 team went 4-0. If that milestone seems modest, consider that 8-3 group was one of only two Green Wave teams to win eight games in the program’s 70-year history.
“I don’t know of many St. Edward teams that have started 4-0,” St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. “It’s a huge win. I’m proud of my boys.”
Large win, and no player was larger than the 5-9, 162-pound Allen.
After IC (1-3) tied it at 14-14 mere minutes into the second half, Allen took a handoff at the Knights’ 42-yard line, cut outside, and outran the defense to start a string of 21 unanswered Green Wave points — all on Allen’s TDs.
He scored from 7 yards out, and after wrestling away an interception broke off a 77-yard TD run to make it 35-14 with 8:12 left in the fourth quarter.
“You look at him, you’d think of him more of a scat back, but he likes to present himself as a power back,” Rolando said. “He finishes runs hard and he makes people miss. I was excited to see him run on the (field) turf and he didn’t disappoint.”
The two teams combined for five turnovers in the second half, contributing to repeated swings of momentum.
IC sophomore Jordan Rowell stepped in front of a Joseph Mullen pass on the first play of the third quarter, that interception leading to a tying Max Eichhorn 5-yard TD.
One play after Allen’s go-ahead 42-yard score, IC quarterback Rhashaun Epting fumbled an exchange, Dan Howell recovered for St. Edward, and Allen made it hurt with his second TD.
IC came back to march down to the St. Edward 1, but on second-and-goal Green Wave defensive end Brandon Ostrander recovered a muffed exchange.
“I just fumbled it. That’s my fault,” Epting. “I pulled my hands away too soon.”
On IC’s next possession, Allen picked off a pass seemingly destined for an open Knights’ receiver, colliding with his opponent near the goal line and coming away with it.
“I wasn’t really expecting them to go deep there,” Allen said. “I saw the ball in the air for a while, I had to pick the ball off.”
“Missed opportunities,” said Epting, who did run for 110 yards on 11 carries with a 70-yard first-half touchdown. “If we could have those back we would.”
Mullen was 6-for-15 for 77 yards with touchdown passes to Nick Duffy and Ostrander in the first half, but was also intercepted twice —the second leading to a Rowell 3-yard TD run that pulled IC within a touchdown with 1:16 left.