IC Catholic rolls over St. Edward for 5th win

St. Edward pulled out all the stops a matchup of Metro Suburban Blue football unbeatens with IC Catholic Prep Friday in Elgin.

The Green Wave recovered an onside kick. They faked a punt for a first down. They threw the ball 42 times - all in the first half.

But they had absolutely no answer for the Knights' big-play ability, especially NIU-bound Jordan Rowell.

Rowell needed only 4 carries to rush for 219 yards, leading the Knights to a 49-3 victory.

The Green Wave couldn't catch Rowell in the open field on 99- and 97-yard touchdown runs. Quarterback Luke Ricobene also passed for 3 touchdowns and ran for another.

"That was crazy," Rowell said of back-to-back nearly 100-yard runs. "It caught me off guard. I saw the hole and I just hit it."

The Knights scored on every play they ran in the second quarter other than Ricobene taking a knee to go into halftime with a 49-3 lead. Their starters sat the second half.

"Jordan wasn't touched on either of those runs," IC Catholic Prep coach Bill Krefft said. "It's a tribute to the offensive line and what they are doing."

The first big play for IC Catholic Prep (5-0, 1-0) came on the defensive side. On the first play from scrimmage, Kemon Reese tackled St. Edward's leading rusher Angel Garcia for a 1-yard loss, and Garcia suffered a sprained left ankle and never returned.

"Losing Angel was huge," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said.

The Green Wave (4-1, 0-1) went to the air on the next play, and sophomore Khalil Saunders stepped in front of Dylan Mlinarich's pass for an interception he returned for a touchdown and 7-0 lead just 43 seconds into the game.

Ricobene made it 15-0 with the first of his touchdown passes, a 37-yard strike to Lazerick Eatman.

St. Edward got on the board on David Madden's 35-yard field goal. After recovering an onside kick, the Green Wave drove to the Knights' 1-yard line.

IC Catholic Prep held on downs, and Rowell immediately followed with a 99-yard score, a 14-point swing and a 29-3 lead.

"That was a big turning point," Ricobene said. "That was big. Our defense made a big stop. We got a lot of momentum from that."

Ricobene completed 5 of 7 passes for 161 yards.

"Our offensive coordinator (Tony Navigato Jr.) called great plays all game. We just make our reads and execute."

Ricobene kept the drives short in the second quarter with a 70-yard pass to Luke Calles and an 18-yard TD to Brendan Russ.

The Knights only ran 13 plays in the first half - scoring on six of them - while Mlinarich threw 41 times.

"Defense and secondary did an outstanding job all night," Krefft said.

Mlinarich finished 24 for 56 for 244 yards and 4 interceptions. Tyler Holte caught 11 passes.

"We get in a big game like this and I think the kids being so young forgot what they were instructed to do and we had some brain cramps," Rolando said. "They are a very good team. We didn't see any weaknesses on film and we didn't see any on the field tonight.

"Our goals are still intact. "We want to make the playoffs for the sixth time in the last eight years. Beating IC was not one of our main goals. Getting 6 wins, getting in the playoffs, getting a playoff win are our goals."

Images: St. Edward falls to IC Catholic Prep, 49-3 in football

  St. Edward's Angel Garcia tries to break free from IC Catholic's Kemon Reese Friday night at Greg True Field in Elgin. Brian Hill/
  St. Edward's Daniel Falco is wrapped up by IC Catholic's Dylan Packer at Greg True Field in Elgin Friday night. Brian Hill/
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