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Fenwick football coach Joe DiCanio agreed with Athletics Director Mike Curtin when Curtin said, “You have to be lucky to win sometimes.” The statement came following a sequence of unlucky events in the last six minutes of Friday night’s game led to Fenwick falling 20-17 to Notre Dame.

 After being down 17-3 at halftime, the Friars (1-1) battled back to tie the game up by the fourth quarter. But with six minutes to go in a fourth down and six situation on Notre Dame’s 37-yard line, DiCanio’s decision to punt came back to haunt him. The snap sailed over the kicker’s head and Notre Dame recovered the ball on Fenwick’s 40-yard line. Then, Fenwick linebacker Jack Dittmer nearly saved the day with an interception on third down, but fumbled it back to Notre Dame. The Dons won the game with an 18-yard field goal.

“I’d make the same decision again in that situation,” said DiCanio. “We hadn’t converted on fourth down in two previous attempts in the game and our defense was playing extremely well. I don’t regret the decision, just wish there was a better outcome.”

To make matters worse the Friars lost two-way starter Quinn Murphy for the next few weeks due to a separated shoulder. Murphy suffered the injury on the final kick-off of the game.

Brewster Hague’s 28-yard field goal with 7:51 left in the first quarter put the Friars on the board. In the third quarter, Joe Romano hit Nick Krajecki (12 receptions, 171 yards) for a 33-yard touchdown pass and Murphy for a 15-yard touchdown. 

Fenwick’s defense held the Dons to just four first downs in the second half.

“I’m pleased with the way the team fought back in the second half,” said DiCanio. “But we need to stop making mental mistakes if we’re going to have any chance against our next opponent.”

The Friars begin Catholic League (Blue) play against Mt. Carmel at Toyota Park this Friday (7 p.m.).

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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...