Fenwick     32
Rock Island 0

The Fenwick football team may have spent more time on the bus traveling to Rock Island than actually playing its opponent on the field. The Friars rolled into the Quad Cities, where the celebrated high school football game is promoted on Burger King and Dairy Queen marquees, and blanked the Rocks 32-0, then, promptly jumped back on the bus. It marked the first time in three years that Rock Island had lost a home game.

“The ride home was long, but tolerable because we did so well,” admitted Fenwick head coach Joe DiCanio. “A loss and that drive would have been a nightmare.”

But the Friars made the most of their 170-mile trip once arriving in Rock Island. Bret Strelczyk began Fenwick’s scoring barrage with a 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Tim Hague’s 32-yard field goal and a Joe Romano (12-for-24, 3 TDs) touchdown pass to Quinn Murphy in the second blew the game open for the Friars (1-0).

Hague nailed another 32-yard field goal in the third and Kevin Sweeney caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Romano.

“I don’t know how good we are yet but this is the most closely nit team I’ve ever coached,” said DiCanio. “I think we may have won that game the minute we stepped off the bus. That’s how determined they seemed.”

Nico Krajecki hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Romano in the fourth to close out the scoring.

Fenwick’s defense held Rock Island’s quarterback, Chris Suhr, to just 3-of-17 passing for 51 yards. The Friars managed to stop the Rocks’ running game as well, holding Nikko Watson to 65 yards on the night.

Fenwick now turns its sights to Notre Dame on Sept. 4. The Dons crushed Sullivan 43-6 last week in their season opener and were a Class 8A state qualifier a year ago.

“They will be favored against us, but we will go in there and do our best,” said DiCanio.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...