The Friars lost their Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference White Division opener on Sept. 20 at Joliet Catholic Academy (JCA), 49-14, the second week in a row they lost to reigning state champions.

The Friars’ first offensive drive of the game ended with Joliet’s Jabril Williams intercepting a Kaden Cobb pass and returning it 93 yards for a touchdown. Fenwick’s head coach, Gene Nudo, questioned the call on the field.

“It really snowballed fast last night,” said Nudo in a phone call with Wednesday Journal the day after the game. “We drove the ball down to [Joliet’s] 20-yard line, and their cornerback intercepted the ball while he was on his knees. Outside of that, Joliet Catholic did what Joliet Catholic does. They pounded us with the football, and they are a very physical team.”

Running backs Jordan Anderson (16 carries, 141 yards, 3 TDs) and Kenyetta Williams (12 carries, 91 yards) paced the Hilltoppers’ ground game, which amassed 319 yards. Quarterbacks Anthony Napolitano and Aidan Voss combined to toss three touchdown passes for JCA (2-2, 1-0 in the CCL/ESCC White).

“We had to pick our poison in putting together our strategy for the game,” said Nudo. “Knowing that Joliet Catholic likes to block nine guys and run the ball at you, we game-planned this week to stop them in the run game. They hit a couple of open passes and that opened up the game for them.”

For Fenwick, Cobb completed 16 passes in 25 attempts for 187 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Danny Kent rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries, and Max Reese snagged seven receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown for the Friars (2-2, 0-1).

“We did have some positive things going on, and we saw some growth from our younger guys in the spotlight,” said Nudo.

“The seniors on this team do a terrific job of communicating with our youth and help them compete on the practice field. So we are going to have another opportunity again this week to continue to grow as a team.”

Fenwick opens a three-game home stand Friday, Sept. 27 against Marist. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Triton College in River Grove.

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