Bulldogs, Friars win regular-season football finales

Both teams eager to get playoffs started, make a post-season run

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By Marty Farmer

Sports Editor

Consider the Riverside-Brookfield High School football team ready to go for the Class 6A playoffs.

The Bulldogs capped off an 8-1 regular season with a 37-7 home win over Glenbard South. The game also marked the end of a great rivalry.

"With Glenbard, it's kind of the end of an era," RBHS coach Brendan Curtin said. "They're moving to a new conference next year. There's ton of history between our teams.

"To be honest, we had one of our better weeks of practice. Before we took the field Friday, I could see in our players eyes that they were going to make it a great night."

Quarterback Hunter Hughes threw two touchdown passes of 35 and 10 yards to Zach Vaia (6 catches, 84 yards) and running back Nicolas Del Nodal (14 carries, 145 yards) added a pair of touchdowns on the ground.

Del Nodal opened the scoring on a 73-yard TD run to put RBHS up 7-0. RBHS kicker Colin Riordan chipped in a 30-yard field goal and Hughes' aforementioned TD passes to Vaia followed as the Bulldogs built a 24-0 lead at halftime.

Defensively, Anthony Walsh (7 tackles), Jeff Bills (6 tackles, sack) and Andrew Mirko (6 tackles) led RBHS.

Looking ahead to the Class 6A playoffs, the second-seeded Bulldogs host Lake Forest (5-4) in opening-round action. Last season, Lake Forest upset the Bulldogs 40-7 in the first round of the playoffs.

"As far as our upcoming game in our 'second season' I would say the football gods have a wicked sense of humor," Curtin said. "All kidding aside, it's a great opportunity for which we are grateful."

Friars win CCL Green title

One of the goals that the Fenwick High School football team set this season was to defend its 2016 Chicago Catholic League Green Division championship.

Mission accomplished.

The Friars realized their goal via a 31-28 win over De La Salle on Oct. 21 at St. Rita in Chicago. The victory improved the Friars' record to 6-3 (3-1 in the CCL Green) and clinched a share of the conference title with Montini.

"It feels good to be in the playoffs," Fenwick coach Gene Nudo said. "We knew we were already in and so we didn't need to win. But at the same time, this was for a share of the conference championship. It's nice to get our piece."

Against De La Salle, Fenwick sophomore quarterback Danny Cronin completed 8 of 15 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Running back Jason Ivery (19 carries, 88 yards, TD) and all-state wide receiver Michael O'Laughlin (5 catches, 101 yards, 2 TDs) led offensively as well.

On defense, Jalen Bates had six tackles, Jacob Kaminski 5.5 and Max Forst five.

"We're more united as a team now, which is exactly what you want going into the playoffs," Ivery said. "Everyone's counting us out, but we're the only ones counting ourselves in."

Fenwick faces host Wheaton North in an opening-round matchup of the Class 7A playoffs.

Email: marty@rblandmark.com

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