ELMHURST – It’s not too often that a player goes from out of the playoffs to the middle of a four-peat bid in his final season.
But that’s the scenario Danny Cronin faced this fall after transferring from Fenwick to IC Catholic Prep.
Suffice to say, it’s been nothing but an easy transition so far for the senior quarterback and his Knights’ teammates, who improved to 3-0 on the season with a 43-7 win over Wheaton Academy Friday in Elmhurst.
“The guys really accepted me and that started in the weight room,” Cronin said. “Since then, it’s been like a family. Now they are my brothers.”
Making the move even easier was the fact that Cronin went to grade school at IC.
“It feels natural to be back on this field,” he said. “It feels like home.”
The 6-foot-3 Cronin has quickly found a home under center and against the Warriors, he threw for 140 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 64 yards on seven attempts. He has now accounted for five touchdowns on the year and almost 800 yards of total offense for the Knights, who have won 29 consecutive contests and three straight state titles.
“Danny is very unique,” junior running back Kyle Franklin said. “He can run and when he does, he looks like a running back. He is an all-around versatile quarterback.”
Count IC coach Bill Krefft among those who are very impressed.
“He’s doing a great job managing the system,” Krefft said. “There are a lot of players around him to get the ball to. So to come into a new system and learn it and to be able to execute it at a high level already is impressive. The offensive line is doing a great job setting the tone and he is doing an outstanding job running the system.”
Helping out Cronin on Friday was Franklin, who was was nearly unstoppable himself in the Metro Suburban Blue conference opener. He rumbled for 121 yards and four touchdowns on just nine carries. Chauncey Lee had a 42-yard touchdown reception, Will Cooke scored on a one-yard run and Tommy Sloan added a 32-yard field goal.
The defense, which features a mostly inexperienced line, was also dominant, yielding just 200 yards of total offense to the Warriors. They have now just given up 26 points in three weeks.
“The D-like has been playing great the first three games,” said senior linebacker Kevin Cooke. “They are all playing amazingly and doing a great job for us linebackers. And then of course our defensive backs are doing well. It’s a total team effort.”
Wheaton Academy (2-1) got a 17-yard touchdown pass from David Dorn to Alejandro Ventimillia. The sophomore Dorn was making his start at quarterback for the Warriors, who take on St. Francis in week four.
ICCP will renew its budding rivalry with Bishop McNamara next Friday. The two teams will be meeting for the eight time in recent history, with the Knights holding a slight 4-3 edge.
“We are excited to get a chance to compete against them again,” Krefft said. “For sure it’s a rivalry game. We have the utmost respect for them, they are physical and nasty and athletic. We are looking forward to the challenge.”