The No. 1 goal of the Fenwick football team right now is to end the season where it began: at Soldier Field.
The Friars (4-6) took a step toward that goal on Saturday when they pummeled De La Salle 42-10 at Morton West High School in Berwyn to advance in the Prep Bowl playoffs. Fenwick kicked off its season with a 33-14 loss to Hubbard between the historic colonnades in Chicago. Now, according to head coach Joe DiCanio, Fenwick wants more than anything to return to the scene of the crime on Nov. 25 and win the Prep Bowl. Such a victory could validate a rough regular season for the Friars.
But troubling regular season or not, Fenwick didn't show any remorse against De La Salle, a team it had defeated 28-17 on Oct. 1.
Dan Mega scored the Friars' first touchdown on a 4-yard run. Jack Finan followed the feat with a 20-yard TD to open the second quarter. Cornerback Austin Gordon helped out the offense in the same frame with an interception that resulted in a 25-yard TD. The Friars led 21-10 at halftime, despite a fumbled punt that led to a De La Salle touchdown in the closing seconds.
Fenwick's defense continued to trouble De La Salle in the second half. Carmen Curio recovered a fumble and took it 20 yards for a touchdown.
The Friars closed the door when Brien Rooney hit Pat Tobin for a 30-yard TD pass, and Kendrick Crump burst for a 70-yard TD run late in the game.
"It was a good win for our kids," said DiCanio. "They needed the confidence builder."
Saturday's game was also significant for Fenwick in that for the first time in school history four brothers entered and played in a game at the same time. The Cahills?#34;Mike, Connor, Dan, and Pat?#34;played during the Friars' victory. Sophomores Connor, Dan and Pat are triplets who DiCanio moved up to play on varsity for the Prep Bowl playoffs.
"It was really a neat thing for the Fenwick fans to see those brothers getting time in the same game," said DiCanio.
The Friars travel to St. Laurence on Friday (7 p.m.). A victory will pit Fenwick against a mighty opponent in the following round where either Loyola or Mt. Carmel will emerge.
"It's not going to get easier, that's for sure," said DiCanio.