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Davontae Elam helps lead St. Edward into Saturday's game against Wheaton Academy. | Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
St. Edward’s 43-26 win at Chicago Christian last week wasn’t perfect, but it did provide a much-needed boost of confidence.
The triumph ended the Green Wave’s four-game losing streak and helped keep alive its faint chances of reaching the playoffs. St. Edward (2-4) also posted its highest scoring output of the season in the victory while getting a huge effort from junior running back Davontae Elam, who finished with 364 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
“We’ve been trying to sure things up week after week on offense, and it was good see that start to payoff,” St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. “It was really good to see a healthy Davontae running hard, running over people and making people miss.”
Next up for the Green Wave is a trip to play Wheaton Academy (2-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday at West Chicago High School.
The Warriors are coming off a 56-0 blowout win over Guerin last week, which followed a 56-52 victory over Walther Lutheran in Week 5. The two high-scoring games mark a big turnaround for Wheaton Academy, which combined for only 32 points in its first four outings.
Senior quarterback Nate Martinez and junior running back John Gemmel lead the attack for the Warriors, who like St. Edward, must win their three remaining regular season games to have a chance at reaching the playoffs.
“Wheaton Academy is a two-dimensional team that runs the spread out of the gun,” Rolando said. “Their passing game isn’t as efficient as some of those we faced in the past, so hopefully our guys can cover them a little better and at least keep them to some short routes and not give up the big play.”
The Green Wave expects to be without Jacob Koehring and Andrew Yarwood, who represent half of the seniors in the team’s regular lineup and both play tight end and defensive end.
Koehring was ejected from last week’s game following a double personal foul penalty and must sit out one game by rule. Meanwhile, Yarwood suffered a hip injury on a kickoff return in the first quarter and is doubtful for Saturday.
On top of those absences, St. Edward will also be without junior linebacker Jack Tierney, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn labrum. Tierney had 45 tackles this season.
“We’re still fighting an uphill battle,” Rolando said. “We had 17 or 18 upperclassmen who were eligible to start the year, so we’re down even lower than that now. We’ve got some sophomores that are going to step up into key roles and we’ll see what they’re made of.”