Juice jamboree: Fenwick head coach Joe DiCanio gets doused with water after his team defeated Brother Rice on Saturday to earn a trip to the playoffs.J. GEIL/Staff Photographer | Click here to buy this photo and see more at WednesdayJournalOnline.MyCapture.com

Fenwick 23
Brother Rice 7

The Fenwick football team capped off the regular season by downing Brother Rice 23-7 at Morton West High School on Saturday afternoon, a victory that helped the Friars celebrate homecoming and Senior Day, and one that qualified them for the Class 6A playoffs.

On a warm and windy afternoon in Berwyn, Fenwick’s Jack Stibich had one of his best games of the season. The junior running back scored twice for the Friars, scampering in from 28 yards with 5:58 left in the opening quarter and sprinting from 48 yards out with 38 seconds left in the third. Stibich finished the day with 119 yards rushing on 12 carries, but his exploits didn’t stop there. He also had seven tackles and an interception while playing defense.

“Jack is one of those kids that doesn’t come around too often in a coach’s time,” said Fenwick head coach Joe DiCanio. “He’s a great student and a great player. He’s a force on both sides of the ball. I’m glad he’s on our team.”

The Friars (5-4) took a 13-0 lead in the second quarter when Eric Hulihan hit Quinn Murphy on a halfback pass for a 22-yard touchdown.

Brother Rice got on the board just before halftime when Martez Walker scored from seven yards out with 48 seconds left on the clock.

After Stibich’s 48-yard TD run in the third, Zach Laszkiewicz closed out the scoring for the day with a 29-yard field goal in the fourth.

“This was a great win for the program,” said DiCanio. “We had a great week of practice coming off the lackluster performance against Hales the week before. There was just a different look in their eyes for this game.

“Brother Rice came at us with everything they had, playing for a higher seed in the playoffs, and we had no choice but to win. It was a good game and I’m proud of this team.”

The Friars, who are the 13th seed in Class 6A, travel to Crystal Lake to take on fourth-seeded Prairie Ridge (8-1) on Saturday (1 p.m.) for the first round of the playoffs.

“The only thing we know right now about Prairie Ridge is they score a lot of points,” said DiCanio who planned on reviewing film of the Wolves as soon as possible. “They are stingy on defense and aggressive on offense. We will no doubt have our work cut out for us, but we are playoff tested. I told the team that we have already played two playoff games, and one was against Brother Rice. Not to mention, we played this season in the Blue Division of the Chicago Catholic League, which in my eyes is the toughest league in the state.”

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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...