By Marty Farmer
The Nazareth Academy football team remained on a roll with a 42-7 win over host Marian Central Catholic on Friday, Sept. 7.
The Roadrunners led 14-0 after one quarter and 35-0 at halftime en route to a lopsided East Suburban Conference Catholic victory.
"Nazareth had never won a game at Marian Central so it was nice to see this squad have such a dominating performance in a venue that is very tough to play in as visitors," Nazareth coach Tim Racki said. "Having some bragging rights for the players over previous Naz teams is a nice feather in their cap as well."
Sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy completed 12 of 16 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns.
"J.J. has been nothing short of outstanding in terms of running our offense," Racki said about the first-year starter. "His confidence has increased week to week. The intangibles one must have in this position such as leadership, poise, and moxie are what is most impressive as he demonstrates all of those qualities. It's easy to forget that this young man is only a sophomore."
Wide receiver Diamond Evans finished with six receptions for 162 yards as McCarthy's favorite target.
Several other players contributed for Nazareth. Michael Love caught a pair of touchdown passes (32, 5 yards), while Marcus Griffin and Dylan Smith scored on runs of three and five yards, respectively. Tyler Morris hauled in a 16-yard pass for another Nazareth score.
Defensively, Griffin led Nazareth with four tackles (2 for loss).
The Roadrunners (3-0) have beaten highly regarded teams Lutheran North from St. Louis, Lake Zurich and Marian Central Catholic.
"I am very pleased with how we have finished this first-third of the season," Racki said. "To be playing at a high level this early in the season increases our confidence moving forward. The trick now is to avoid complacency and focus on areas where we can improve as a team in all three phases."
Friars, Bulldogs, Lions' struggles continue
In recent seasons, both the Fenwick and Riverside-Brookfield high school football teams have been very competitive, producing multiple winning records and postseason appearances.
This season has been a completely different story, with Fenwick sporting a 0-3 record and RBHS sitting at 1-2.
The Friars were dealt a 35-3 loss against host Brother Rice in Chicago on Sept. 8. Fenwick finished with 36 yards of offense via the pass and run. Quarterback Danny Cronin completed 3 of 20 passes for 18 yards and rushed four times for -18 yards. Running back Mitch Lopez had 13 carries for 25 yards.
The Friars have not scored a touchdown in 11 quarters.
All-conference kicker Brian Down kicked a 39-yard field goal for the Friars' lone score.
Danny Farnan led defensively with 11 tackles and Tom Dvorak had seven tackles and a forced fumble. Marc Thomas (6.5 tackles, fumble recovery), Jarod Taylor (6 tackles), Bryce Legan (5.5 tackles) also contributed for the Friars.
Also on Sept. 8, Bishop McNamara routed RBHS 64-0 in a Metro Suburban Conference game. In Week 2, Wauconda defeated RBHS 35-7.
The Bulldogs have been outscored 113-27 this season.
"The biggest obstacle we have faced is a lack of varsity game experience," RBHS coach Brendan Curtin said. "We returned on only one defensive starter and two offensive starters from last year's 8-2 playoff team.
"Fortunately, we have a great group of young men who the love the game of football. I believe in every young man that we have been blessed to have in our football family. I am positive that great things are in store for us."
The Bulldogs opened the season well with a 20-14 overtime win against area rival Morton.
Lyons Township High School is 0-3 after a 28-0 loss against York on Sept. 7.