After three very tight, high-scoring games to open the season, the Fenwick High School football team has experienced decidedly more uneven results the past few weeks. Fortunately, Friday night’s score worked in the Friars’ favor with a 38-0 win over visiting DePaul Prep (formerly Gordon Tech) at Hoffman Stadium on the Morton West campus.
The victory certainly helps erase the memory of a 42-0 loss at Loyola Academy in Week 4 of the season.
“Our defensive coaches did a great job getting us back on track,” Fenwick coach Gene Nudo said. “Our kids played really well. DePaul Prep is hurting for numbers a little bit, but they have some really talented kids. I’m proud of the way our team bounced back [from a 42-0 loss at Loyola Academy].
Senior quarterback Jack Beneventi got things rolling with a one-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter to put the Friars up 7-0. With 1:14 left in the first quarter, senior running back Pat Donahue broke free for a 68-yard touchdown run to extend the Fenwick lead to 14-0.
“Our O-line did a great job opening up the holes for Pat [Donahue],” Fenwick center Greg Lazzara said. “We were giving Jack [Beneventi] lots of time for the receivers, and they did great too.”
Beneventi connected with Casey O’Laughlin on a 7-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to keep momentum on the Friars’ side, and senior kicker Michael Cahill drilled a 24-yard field goal late in the first extending the advantage to 24-0.
Defensively, senior defensive back Aaron Garland and junior defensive back Pat Rafferty each had an interception, with Garland returning his pick 25 yards for a score.
“Our secondary had a great game,” Lazzara said. “Garland’s pick that he returned for the touchdown was huge.”
Donahue finished with 98 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown, while Beneventi was 8-for-14 passing with 158 yards and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). O’Laughlin had four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Promising junior running back Will Lattner contributed two catches for 80 yards and three carries for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterbacks Sean Moorman (4-for-5, 50 yards passing) and Gavin Graves also saw some valuable playing time under center.
“Our plan going into the game was that Moorman was going to get reps,” Nudo said. “It was good that we were also able to get Graves out there.
Defensively, linebacker Jim Krecek had 5 1/2 tackles and Scott Stibich contributed 4 1/2 tackles, while Chris Hawthorne and Justin Rodriguez each had a sack.
The Friars hit the field again Friday, Oct. 3 against host Marmion Academy. Lazzara knows Fenwick must maintain its focus in order to knock off the Cadets,
“They’re a big team, and they’re tough,” he said about Marmion. “We’re just going to be studying film and keying in on their strong players.”