When fans talk about this year’s Fenwick High School football team, quarterback Kaden Cobb, center Jimmy Liston, and wide receivers Eian Pugh and Max Reese are the first names that come to mind, and for good reason — all have committed to play NCAA Division I football next fall.
But on Sept. 17, a senior running back stood out above all of them as Danny Kent scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) in the Friars’ 49-0 rout of host De La Salle.
“[It was] pretty much the guys upfront,” said Kent, crediting his offensive line. “The game plan, we knew everything was going to work. We’d been working on it all week in practice, and all I had to do was run through open holes.”
Kent finished the evening with 114 yards on 15 carries and 3 touchdowns on the ground, adding 52 yards on two receptions and another touchdown.
“Danny’s a stud; the whole team knows it,” said Fenwick coach Matt Battaglia. “The kid works hard and doesn’t care who gets the attention; he’s just going to keep working his butt off for us.”
Wanting to atone for a tough 21-20 loss at Providence Catholic, Sept. 10, Fenwick (3-1, 1-0, Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic White Division) started the game in dominant fashion, stopping De La Salle (2-2, 0-1) three-and-out on the game’s opening series, then driving 30 yards on four plays for a touchdown, a Cobb 6-yard shovel pass to Reese.
After another quick stop defensively, the Friars pounded the Meteors on the ground, marching 52 yards for another score, a 7-yard run by Kent.
“It was huge for us; it was everything,” said Battaglia of the fast start. “We had a bad taste in our mouth and it didn’t matter who or where we were playing, we wanted to get it out.”
In the second quarter, Fenwick put to rest any lingering doubt with a 29-0 scoring spree. Kent’s 45-yard reception helped set up Cobb’s second touchdown pass, 7 yards to Pugh. After Jacque Walls intercepted De La Salle quarterback Matthew Cleggs at the Meteors’ 44, it took just five plays for the Friars to find the house again as Cobb connected with Kent for a 7-yard touchdown.
Fenwick then recorded a safety as the De La Salle punter recovered a bad snap in his own end zone. On the very next play from scrimmage, Kent scampered for a 37-yard score. Finally, a 33-yard grab by Bryan Hunt set up Fenwick’s last first-half score, an 1-yard run by Kent.
Because the Friars had a 43-0 halftime lead, the second half was played with a running clock. Eddie McFadden’s 4-yard touchdown run late accounted for the final scoring.
“It was a tough loss last week. [Providence Catholic] is a game we should’ve won for sure,” Kent said. “But we bounced back this week, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Up next for Fenwick are three consecutive home games at Triton College, the first of which takes place Sept. 24 against Loyola Academy. Led by quarterback Jake Stearney, the Ramblers, ranked #1 according to the Chicago Sun-Times, feature an explosive offense and a hard-hitting defense.
It’s sure to be a stern test for the Friars, but it’s also one they’re looking forward to.
“We’re going to be locked in this week. We know they’re a very talented team, but it’s nothing that we can’t beat,” Kent said.
“Our focus has been on getting better every day and week, and for the most part we’ve accomplished that,” added Battaglia. “It’ll be nice to be back at home.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30.