A season in which the Fenwick football team exceeded expectations came to an end Friday night, as the Friars fell to Catholic League counterpart Brother Rice 21-0 in the semifinals of the Prep Bowl playoffs. 

The Crusaders were able to beat the Friars at their own game, out rushing Fenwick by 144 yards. The Friars managed to gain just 78 yards of total offense and found themselves unable to score for the second time in as many weeks. 

Brother Rice set the tone on their first possession, running all over the Friars’ vaunted defense. Quarterback Brennan O’Boyle’s 15-yard pass to Erik Faust gave the Crusaders a 6-0 lead. The score capped a 45-yard drive that took only three minutes.

The Crusaders’ second score, midway through the second quarter, would come courtesy of a fumbled punt, giving Rice the ball inside the Fenwick 10-yard line.  Shortly thereafter, Jim Buckley’s 7-yard touchdown run would give the Crusaders a 14-0 advantage. 

The 14 first-quarter points were a rude awakening for a Fenwick defense that had allowed just six first-quarter points in their 12 previous games this season.  

The second quarter saw both teams struggle to move the ball. Fenwick running backs Pat Brady and Kendrick Crump were a non-factor against Brother Rice’s small but quick defense.  The Friars would go into the half facing a 14-point deficit. 

Trailing in the second half and unable to run, the Friars were forced to pass. However, attempts to get back into the game were unsuccessful as sophomore quarterback Brien Rooney showed his youth, completing only 2 of 14 passes for a total of 23 yards.  

Brother Rice running back Jim Connelly scored the games final touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The 15-yard touchdown run put the exclamation point on the Crusaders’ 21-0 victory.

Despite the end result, it is hard to overlook Fenwick’s success under first-year head coach Joe DiCanio. The Friars finished 10-3 overall and won the Catholic Metro title.

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