Weaver helps propel Loyola past Montini

WILMETTE, Ill. -- Loyola coach John Holecek doesn’t believe the common assumption that smaller quarterbacks can’t be as effective at the Division I level or beyond.

“I played with Doug Flutie,” said Holecek, who was Flutie’s teammate on the Buffalo Bills. “I know about small quarterbacks.”

Flutie taught Holecek that size only matters if you’re not moving the ball or scoring points. Flutie had no trouble doing just that, despite his 5-foot-10 size, at every level he played, and Holecek has witnessed his own 6-foot quarterback Malcolm Weaver prove he’s just as capable.

Weaver hopes after college coaches see Saturday’s film of No. 10 Loyola’s 41-24 win over No. 4 Montini that more of them will become believers as well. Weaver accounted for all of Loyola’s scores in the home victory, throwing for five touchdowns and rushing for another.

“I enjoy proving people wrong when they say I’m too small to play quarterback,” Weaver said. “It’s my dream to play college football. I’m going to do everything I can to do it.”

Weaver used his arm and his legs to beat Montini’s defense on Saturday. He threw for 257 yards and rushed for 98, including a 28-yard touchdown. He connected with three different receivers for scores.

Montini’s own star Jordan Westerkamp, a Nebraska recruit, thought there was no doubt Weaver was a college quarterback.

“I can’t wait to see him play in college next year,” Westerkamp said. “He’s such an athlete.”

While Westerkamp was gushing about Weaver’s abilities, Loyola (2-0) also had plenty of adjectives to describe Westerkamp. Despite putting multiple defensive backs on him, Loyola couldn’t find anything that stopped Westerkamp from catching the ball.

Westerkamp finished with eight receptions for 159 yards and three touchdowns for the Broncos (1-1).

“He has amazing hands,” Weaver said. “There was one play where the ball flew out of bounds, and Charlie Dowdle was sitting there and was about to catch it, and Westerkamp just comes out and grabs it with one hand. When you can do that and run a 4.5-4.6, he’s going to be really good at Nebraska.”

Holecek hasn’t witnessed many receivers better than Westerkamp at the high school level.

“Do I really have to put it into words?” Holecek said. “You can’t guard him with two people. He’s special.”

Holecek also has his own group of talented receivers, and they all got a piece of the action in the win. Connor Person and Dowdle each had two touchdown receptions. Dylan Brennan caught the other touchdown. Marquese Martin-Hayes had seven receptions for 99 yards.

Montini led 7-0 after scoring in the game’s first minute, but Loyola responded with 28 unanswered points and led the rest of the way.

Montini quarterback Mark Gorogianis threw for three touchdowns, and kicker Andrew Harte made a 36-yard field goal.