ELGIN – Giving up big plays over the course of a game will hurt any team, and the Genoa-Kingston football team learned that the hard way against St. Edward on Saturday night.
Four of the Wave’s six touchdowns were scored on plays of 50 yards or more as St. Edward beat the Cogs, 43-21, in Elgin.
“I think we needed to prevent the big plays,” Cogs junior quarterback Griffin McNeal said. “Offensively, the pass blocking was great and I had time for most of the game, but we just couldn’t move them. We need to work on the open-field tackling and stopping the big play, and we’ll be fine. I would never doubt anyone on this team’s effort”
St. Edward’s first play from scrimmage was an 80-yard touchdown run from Davontae Elam, which gave the Wave an early 7-0 lead. Genoa-Kingston responded with a big play of its own.
McNeal completed a pass to Mike Kuhn on 4th-and-17 that turned into a 65-yard touchdown pass. The Cogs missed the extra point.
The Wave extended its lead 50 seconds later with Elam’s second touchdown of the game.
Genoa-Kingston eventually tied the game with another McNeal passing touchdown. This time, Eli Thurlby made the touchdown reception. The Cogs completed the two-point conversion to make the score, 14-14.
“We did a good job and came back to tie the game 14 all,” Cogs coach Travis Frederick said. “But, we gave up another score there and they got away from us a little bit.”
Elam scored his third touchdown of the game with 2:56 remaining in the first half to give St. Edward the lead at the break.
St. Edward ran away with the game in the third quarter by scoring three touchdowns in the span of four minutes – all three were on plays of 60 yards or more.
“Just a couple of big plays. You just have to hand it to Elam – he is fast,” McNeal said.
The Cogs scored one more time, a 2-yard run from Sal Lopez, which closed out the scoring.
“We had good effort and we have tough kids. We just got a little outclassed tonight. I think defense took a lot of licks and we had boys in positions at times – we just needed to execute,” Frederick said. “On offense, we are going to work out some kinks. It was a team effort. There were some calls that I could have wanted back too.”
Next up for the Cogs is Rockford Lutheran on Friday night. Frederick said his team will be working hard this week to be ready.
“We have to improve our tackling and our defense against a spread team because Rockford Lutheran – their athletes are just as good (as St. Edward’s), if not better,” Frederick said.