By Marty Farmer
The Riverside-Brookfield High School football team has to be pleased with its progress three games into the regular season. Sure, the team's 3-0 record is the bottom line, but it's the way the Bulldogs have won that's been most impressive.
RBHS is getting it done in all three phases, as the offense, defense and special teams have all contributed to a perfect start. A third of the way through the season, RBHS has outscored its opponents 111-28.
The Bulldogs' 35-7 win against visiting Ridgewood on Friday served as the latest evidence that RBHS appears for real this season.
"We had a very solid performance," senior linebacker Anthony Walsh said. "We had a good week of practice and the home crowd helped us succeed."
The trio of quarterback Hunter Hughes, running back Nicolas Del Nodal and wide receiver Stefan Giminski sparked the Bulldogs' potent offense against the Rebels. Hughes completed 9 of 12 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns. Del Nodal rushed for 85 yards and a TD on 12 carries, while Giminski caught four passes for 90 yards. Defensively, RBHS dominated the action as well by completely shutting down the Rebels' running game. Ridgewood rushed for minus-27 yards. Senior Jeff Bills led the way with 6.5 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception. Anthony Walsh (6.5 tackles, sack) and Zach Vaia (2 tackles, interception) also played key roles.
On special teams, Joey Quarino had a fumble recovery on a Ridgewood punt return.
"It shows how much talent we have on the team," Giminski said. "Staying disciplined makes us even more dangerous on a whole. All we do is take it one week at a time. Our mindset is that we always try to go 1-0 every week."
In Week 2 action, the Bulldogs defeated host Wauconda 43-21 on Sept 1. Del Nodal had a stellar performance with 20 carries for 118 yards, 2 receptions for 18 yards and a 67-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Chris Doherty added a 52-yard touchdown run and Hughes finished 12-for-17 passing for 184 yards.
RBHS (3-0) visits Aurora Central Catholic in a Metro Suburban Conference crossover matchup on Friday, Sept. 15. Kickoff is 7:15 p.m
Nazareth defeats Notre Dame
The Roadrunners' playmakers came through during a 28-15 win against visiting Notre Dame on Friday. Led by running back Ty Gavin, who had 165 yards on the ground in the first half, the Dons actually led 15-14 at halftime.
However, Nazareth junior Devin Blakley returned the opening kickoff of the second half 48 yards. Three plays later, quarterback Zach Stevens threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Diamond Evans (5 catches, 80 yards) to give the Roadrunners a 22-15 lead early in the third quarter. Nazareth tacked on a touchdown with 11:35 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 28-15.
Nazareth has excelled this season by using a pair of quarterbacks. Bobby Grimes (9-for-15, 110 yards) and Stevens (5-for-11, 50 yards) played well against Notre Dame.
Defensively, the Roadrunners shored up their run defense considerably in the second half by holding Gavin to just 25 yards.
Fenwick falls to Montini
Statistically, the Fenwick High School football team more than held its own against Chicago Catholic Green rival Montini on Friday, Sept. 8 in Lombard. The Friars had more rushing yards than the Broncos (193-156), total yards offense (325-301), first downs (15-12) and time of possession (26:45-21:15).
Nevertheless, Montini took the early inside track to the CCL Green title via a 28-7 win.
Trailing 14-0 with four minutes left until halftime, Fenwick scored its lone touchdown on sophomore quarterback's Danny Cronin's 23-yard touchdown pass to 6-foot-6, 225-pound wide receiver Michael O'Laughlin. It was a brilliant catch by O'Laughlin, who made a diving two-handed catch to cap off an 11-play, 82-yard drive and make the score 14-7.
After Montini tacked on two touchdowns to build a 28-7 lead, the Friars mustered one last scoring threat early in the fourth quarter. Cronin completed consecutive passes of 16 and 35 yards to O'Laughlin and senior running back Jason Ivery ran 21 yards up the middle to set up the Friars at the Montini 8-yard line.
Two plays later, Ivery scored on a 3-yard run, but the touchdown was negated due to a false start penalty by Fenwick.
Montini built its lead courtesy of a pair of short TD runs in the first half by Jake Karczewski, quarterback Nicholas Orlando's 72-yard TD pass to Mitch West and a 1-yard keeper by Orlando at 10:43 of the third quarter.
Cronin finished 8-for-17 passing for 134 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Ivery had 22 carries for 136 yards and O'Laughlin caught five passes for 132 yards.
Defensively, sophomore defensive end Jacob Kaminski recorded 6.5 tackles and Jalen Bates added 5.5 tackles and caused a fumble.