Fenwick's Ricky Sorrentino chases down a Curie player during Friday's Prep Bowl at Soldier Field.Photos courtesy of John T. Brennan.

On Thanksgiving weekend, Ricky Sorrentino celebrated Father’s Day. Honoring the memory of his father, Richard (who died last February), the Fenwick senior linebacker scored on an 85-yard interception return with 10:56 left in the third quarter to lift the Friars to a 6-0 win over Curie in the 77th Annual Prep Bowl title game held at Soldier Field on Friday.

“It’s hard to put into words this feeling,” said Sorrentino, who was named Player of the Game. “I feel my dad’s spirit everytime I put on [this] Fenwick helmet. The season was dedicated to him. I want to thank my mom [Darae Sorrentino]. Since my dad passed, she’s been my rock. I couldn’t ask for a better parent.”

While Sorrentino’s story carried the emotional day, Black Friday truly belonged to all the Friars. Fenwick (8-5) won its fourth Prep Bowl title in 10 appearances, courtesy of a stout defensive effort and timely plays from the offense.

“Our defense played terrific,” Fenwick coach Joe DiCanio said. “Our offense got the key first downs in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory. We had to keep [the Prep Bowl trophy] with the Catholic League.”

Led by ballhawks like Sorrentino, Steven Sreniawski (team-high 11 tackles) Jack Stibich, Glen Somers, Joe Kelly and others, the Friars stopped Curie five times in the red zone and knocked Condors quarterback Reese Fleming out of the game on two occasions.

Offensively, Stibich led the Friars with 77 yards on five carries. Fenwick rushed 34 times for 138 yards, while Curie had 34 carries for 84 yards. Kevonta McIntyre had 24 carries for 70 yards rushing to lead Curie (9-6).

After a pass by Fenwick quarterback Pat Hart was picked off by Brandon Barker midway through the third quarter, the Condors took over on their own 27. Curie promptly went on a 15-play march that positioned the Condors with a third down-and-four at the Fenwick 7. Stibich and Kelly came up big the next two plays with a sack (9-yard loss) and pass breakup, respectively, to regain possession for the Friars.

Curie threatened once more midway through the fourth quarter, but the ubiquitous Stibich (9 tackles) blocked a pass on a fourth down-and-1 at the Friars’ 26 to turn back the Condors’ final comeback bid.

“All year we knew we could make it to a championship game,” Stibich said. “After we lost in the [state] playoffs to a good Prairie Ridge team, we knew we had to come back and win the rest of our games.”

Fittingly, Sorrentino clinched the Friars’ victorious fate when he converted a gutsy fourth down off a fake punt with 2:42 remaining in the game.

“I’m really happy for Ricky,” DiCanio said. “I’m sure his dad is celebrating. I’m really proud of all our kids. They were resilient and stepped up this season.”

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