Fenwick      49
Lincoln Park 15

The Fenwick football team’s mantra going into the postseason was simple: Win and advance, win and advance, win and advance and so on. The Friars kicked off the Class 7A playoffs by doing just that, pummeling first-round opponent Lincoln Park 49-15 on Saturday at Morton West High School and setting up a showdown between West Suburban (Silver) Conference powerhouse Glenbard West in the second round.

Fenwick head coach Joe DiCanio admitted he had his team (7-3) prepping for the undefeated Hilltoppers (10-0) even before the game against Lincoln Park.

“We prepared well all week-not necessarily for Lincoln Park-but for next week,” DiCanio said. “Not to put Lincoln Park down because they played hard, but we know that the road in 7A is going to be an increasingly difficult one. We concentrated on preparation and getting better. Win and advance-that’s what it’s all about.”

The host Friars scored touchdowns on their first three possessions against the Lions to build a 21-0 cushion by the end of the first quarter. Mike Ember opened the scoring spree for Fenwick on a 7-yard touchdown scamper at 10:20 of the first quarter, followed by Greg Killingsworth’s 16-yard touchdown run and quarterback Joe Romano’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Art Sundry with 4:23 left in the first.

Killingsworth (11 carries, 116 yards) added a 37-yard scoring run with 9:31 left in the third quarter.

“It was a good win for us and we got to play a lot of people,” Killingsworth said. “Our offensive line has been looking really good.”

The Friars’ front wall of Emilio Alcaraz, Nick Edmonds, Jon Osterhout, Nate Welch, Conor Glazier and Alex Furth opened holes all afternoon for Killingsworth, Ember (5 carries, 40 yards), Bret Strelczyk (16-yard touchdown run) and James Delaney.

Fenwick, which forced four Lincoln Park turnovers, scored on two of the Lions’ miscues when Jack Dittmer and Mark Donatelli returned interceptions 55 and 35 yards, respectively, for touchdowns to extend the Friars’ advantage 49-7 midway through the third quarter.

Senior Dan Tallarico added a sack that led to a fumble recovery by Mike Trucco.

Lincoln Park (6-4) got on the scoreboard when Jason Stigler raced into the end zone from 10 yards out at 6:32 of the second quarter to whittle the Fenwick lead to 21-7. Stigler (6 catches, 79 yards) added a second score on the day off a 44-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Antonio Garcia. Kelvin Blanchard hauled in seven catches for 34 yards and added a fumble recovery for the Lions.

With their road trip this Saturday to picturesque Duchon Field in Glen Ellyn, the Friars are looking forward to the challenge of facing host Glenbard West, who defeated Wheaton North 14-0 in its Class 7A opener. The Hilltoppers feature Notre Dame-bound offensive lineman Chris Watt, a pair of excellent running backs in Bryant Venson and Robert Cook, and a superb defense anchored by Theo Odom, Pat Loveless and Kyle Krumweide.

“We have played big schools before like Providence and St. Rita and we stuck with them,” Dittmer said. “We’re going to go right after [Glenbard West].”

Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday. Ticket price for both students and adults is $5.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...