Fenwick’s bench looked like a MASH unit following the Friars’ 51-0 route of Hales Franciscan Sunday afternoon at Oak Park Stadium.
Fenwick, which evened its overall record at 2-2, dominated the Spartans (1-3, 0-1 White Division) from the get-go, building a 31-0 lead by halftime. The Friars out-gained Hales 361 yards to 66 on offense and notched two interceptions.
But the Spartans hit hard for four quarters and left a healthy portion of the Friars’ already banged-up offensive battery bandaged and hobbling on crutches.
Junior quarterback Brien Rooney completed 10 of 14 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown (one interception) before leaving the game early in the second quarter with a hip pointer. His replacement, sophomore Mike Androwich, completed the game, passing for a TD and rushing for another.
Junior Dan Walsh relieved an injured Rooney during a week one loss to Hubbard and called the signals in the Friars’ win over Gordon Tech the following week, but was replaced by Rooney after separating his shoulder in last week’s loss at St. Rita and sat out Sunday’s game. Also sustaining injuries Sunday were junior receivers Nick Caldicott and Conor Real, and junior tight end Patrick Doyle. All three, along with Walsh and senior receiver Eric Bradley (who was scratched), are also key contributors to the Friars’ defense.
Kendrick Crump rushed for a game-high 113 yards on nine carries and recorded touchdown runs of 33, 26 and 8 yards. The hat trick was a career high for the junior tailback.
“When [Rooney] came out, it let me know that I needed to step up, I had to step up,” said Crump, who also caught three passes for 26 yards.
Coach Joe DiCanio praised Androwich, who also quarterbacked the Friars’ sophomore team for one half of Saturday’s 32-6 home victory over St. Ignatius.
“It’s hard in a game like this to come in and keep things smooth,” said DiCanio. “He did a pretty good job doing that.”
Junior Dan Mega and sophomore Colin Tobin both ran for touchdowns. Senior Bill Barnhisel and junior Austin Gordon each caught a TD pass.
Fenwick will now play its five remaining regular-season games against traditional powers from the Catholic Blue Division, starting with defending Prep Bowl champion Brother Rice (3-1, 1-1 division) Sunday at Morton West in Berwyn (1:30 p.m.)
That means the Friars are outsized and outmanned?#34;as they were against St. Rita and as they will be for the remainder of their quest to win at least three more games and secure a second consecutive postseason berth. Fenwick currently stands at 0-1 in divisional play.
Will the Friars be healthy enough? Only a week of practice and healing will answer that.
The team must also work on its psyche.
“When we come out and we hear names like Brother Rice and Providence and St. Rita, some of us get intimidated,” said Crump. “I know we can beat any team as long as we put forth our best effort.”