Football: Lincoln-Way East ready for road date with Edwardsville
By Pat Disabato email@example.com November 12, 2013 8:48PM
St. Rita's Tommy Mister (5) pushes the ball forward against Mount Carmel. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 14, 2013 6:31AM
Saturday marks the first time Lincoln-Way East will travel to Edwardsville to play a football game.
However, the Class 7A powerhouses are quite familiar with one another.
In fact, this will be the fourth consecutive season the two have met. The first two meetings, in 2010 and ’11, were regular-season games played at Illinois State University. Last season, the two matched up in the Class 7A quarterfinals in Frankfort.
The results of each game, though, have been similar. The Griffins have won in a rout: 45-14 in 2010, 37-14 in ’11 and 40-10 last season.
East coach Rob Zvonar, however, is aware this is a different Edwardsville squad. The Tigers not only are a perfect 11-0, they’ve outscored opponents 480-103, including a 40-0 pasting of Bradley in the second round.
“I could see this type of season coming from them a year ago,” Zvonar said. “They’re 100 percent legit. They’re as good a team as we’ve played this year and one of the best in the state. They’re fun to watch, but not to play against. We’re going to need to use some clock and keep them off the field.”
For that to occur, the Griffins (9-2) will need running backs Brian Craft and Jordan Wirtz to move the chains and quarterback Mike Weller to produce yards through the air.
East’s offense is coming off arguably its finest performance of the season, recording a 57-40 win over Oswego East.
As far as having to make the long drive, which is approximately 260 miles from East’s campus, Zvonar is excited about the opportunity.
“It will be good to take a bus ride with the team,” he said. “It’s something different. We’re going to make the best of it and try to enjoy it.”
St. Rita coach Todd Kuska exuded class after his team’s gut-wrenching 20-15 loss Friday to Mount Carmel. However, he couldn’t mask his frustration of the two Catholic League Blue powers meeting in the second round in 7A.
“They’re a great football team and this was a great football game,” Kuska said. “But it’s a shame it was played this early. It’s just not right.”
Player of the Week
Javier Montalvo, of Lincoln-Way West, is the SouthtownStar Football Player of the Week.
Montalvo, a senior running back, carried the ball 19 times for 315 yards and three touchdowns during a 46-0 win over Glenbard South in a Class 5A second-round match-up.