Turnovers hurt Friars in Soldier Field opener

Bradley's impressive kickoff returns not enough for Fenwick

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By Larry Rogowin

Sure, turning the ball over six times killed Fenwick in its season-opening 33-14 loss to Hubbard Saturday night at Soldier Field.

But to coach Joe DiCanio, allowing the Greyhounds (1-0) to convert six of 13 third-down attempts was just as damaging.

"Those are turnovers to me," said DiCanio. "You've got to play four downs."

The most damaging of these conversions came during what DiCanio called the defining drive of the game. Leading 13-7 at halftime, Hubbard (who was turnover-free the whole game) opened the third quarter with a 15-play, 82-yard touchdown drive that chewed up nearly seven minutes and increased its advantage to 12 points. (The extra-point was no good.)

Three plays into this drive, quarterback Sean Cattouse hooked up with star running back Robert Hughes on a 30-yard passing play on third-and-15 from the Hubbard 18-yard-line.

"That was the game," said DiCanio, whose team never found an answer for Hughes. The junior gobbled up 137 of Hubbard's total 349 offensive yards on 20 carries and ran for two touchdowns. Hughes also caught three passes for 50 yards and returned a kick 42 yards. The latter set up Hubbard's final offensive scoring drive of the game, which made the score 27-14 with 3:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Fenwick finished with 166 total yards on offense, gaining 63 to Hubbard's 158 in the first half. Two of the Friars' turnovers came in the first quarter. Fenwick's only first-half offense came via senior Eric Bradley's 88-yard TD run on the kickoff that followed Hubbard's second TD (about 15 seconds into the second quarter).

Bradley broke through a hole created by senior Dominick Kennedy's double-man block near midfield, faked out a couple of defenders and raced to the end zone down the Fenwick sideline. In a way, Bradley rehearsed the touchdown run on his previous kickoff return, a 39-yarder that gave Fenwick possession at midfield with 6:07 left in the first quarter.

On the first return, explained Bradley, "I saw the hole but couldn't hit it hard enough. I told [my teammates] before we went out there the second time, 'This is the one right here.' They looked me in the eye and they knew it."

The Fenwick offense fared better in the second half, but remained hindered by turnovers. The Friar's best drive of the game, a 45-yard trek, ended with a fumble on the Hubbard 13 about a minute-and-a-half into the fourth quarter.

The Friars did finally notch an offensive TD on Kendrick Crump's one-yard run with 6:47 remaining in the game, four plays after a penalty-riddled Hubbard offensive series gave Fenwick possession on the Greyhounds' 30. The touchdown was set up by the Friars' best offensive spurt of the game: Junior quarterback Dan Walsh, who replaced injured starter Brien Rooney with three minutes left in the third quarter, connected with senior Pat Tobin on a 35-yard passing play that sent Tobin crashing to the field just a yard shy of the end zone.

But any momentum Fenwick gained from the touchdown was extinguished by Hughes' ensuing 42-yard kickoff return.

Hubbard closed out the scoring on Emery Oliver's 27-yard interception return for a touchdown with just under three minutes remaining in the game. The extra point was blocked.

All but one of Fenwick's turnovers came on interceptions that were largely attributed to the confusion of a youthful offense and Rooney playing with a slight concussion sustained in the first quarter, explained DiCanio.

The Friars play Gordon Tech Friday at North Park College in Chicago. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

 

OPRF

Saturday, Aug. 27
Football 42, Larkin 12
(Huskies: Rick Foytik 8-for-13, 124 yards, 4 TD; DeAngelo Wisdom 20 carries, 142 yds; Jason Simmons 5 catches, 93 yds, 3 TD)

Friday, Aug. 26

Soccer 2, Fenwick 0
Wednesday, Aug. 24
Evanston 4, Tennis 3
(Huskies: Pat Maldre, goal; Jared Reddrick, goal)

 

Fenwick

Saturday, Aug. 27
Hubbard 33, Football 14
Tennis 5, Bishop McNamara 0
Tennis 3, Carmel 2
St. Ignatius 3, Tennis 2

Friday, Aug. 26
OPRF 2, Soccer 0
Tuesday, Aug. 23
Girls golf 161, RB 234
(Friars: Nicole Mentone, 39

Thursday, Aug. 25
Girls golf 153, Mother McAuley 167
(Friars: Erin Sullivan, Fenwick, 33)

 

Trinity

Thursday, Aug. 25
Regina 187, Trinity 210

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