By Marty Farmer
Considering all the different venues the Fenwick football team has played in this season, it's only fitting the Friars clinched their second consecutive Chicago Catholic League White Division championship on the road. The Friars defeated host De La Salle 20-0 Friday in the marquee matchup within the CCL White this season. The Meteors' home field, located just a few blocks from U.S. Cellular Field (home of the Chicago White Sox) marked the fifth "away game" Fenwick has played this fall.
As he's done all season, Fenwick senior Rich Schoen set the tone for the Friars. The Riverside native, who plays wide receiver, linebacker/safety and returns punts, turned in another stellar all-around performance against the Meteors. Schoen returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown with 2.3 seconds remaining in the first quarter. He also caught three passes for 53 yards, highlighted by a 37-yard touchdown reception midway through the second quarter, and added two interceptions and five tackles to power the Friars' lockdown performance defensively.
Shaking off a disappointing fourth quarter in last week's 21-13 loss to Providence, Fenwick senior quarterback Gino Cavalieri (10 of 20 passing for 151 yards) finished this one with a touchdown against De La Salle. He also tossed a pass to running back Robert Spillane to complete a successful two-point conversion. Spillane rushed nine times for 36 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown with 37 seconds left before halftime. Spillane's score was set up by a roughing-the-punter penalty against De La Salle, one of three costly special teams mistakes the Meteors made on the night. The Friars rushed for 101 yards on 25 carries.
Along with Schoen, the Friars' other defensive leaders included Danny Shannon (seven tackles, sack), Jack Rafferty (seven tackles), Mike Kozyra (six tackles) and Sam Nicholsen (sack). The Fenwick defense has been rock-solid all season, allowing just 82 points over eight games, including two shutouts. Opponents are averaging just 10.2 points per game compared to the Friars' impressive 33.3 points per game clip.
De La Salle quarterback Tom Duddleton completed 7 of 15 passes for 65 yards and ran six times for 35 yards. The Meteors, who were missing Vanderbilt-bound running back Mikale Wilbon due to injury, fell to 5-3 on the season.
Fenwick (7-1, 3-0 CCL White) closes out the regular season against St. Laurence on Saturday at Hoffman Stadium on the Morton West campus. Game time is 1 p.m.