By Marty Farmer
After winning its first four games with relative ease, the Riverside-Brookfield High School football team faced its toughest test to date on Friday, Sept. 22 during the school's annual homecoming game.
The suddenly battle-tested Bulldogs rallied for a 20-9 comeback win against Wheaton Academy at the Kennelly Athletic Complex.
Quarterback Brad Thorson threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Noah Jones to give the Warriors a 6-0 late in the first quarter.
RBHS tied the score at 6-6 when senior running back Nicolas Del Nodal (20 carries, 141 yards) scored on a 7-yard scamper into the end zone early in the second quarter.
Miles Vander Klok made a 35-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to put Wheaton Academy ahead 9-6.
The Bulldogs responded with a pair of touchdowns to win the Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division game 20-9.
RBHS took the lead, 12-9, for good on quarterback Hunter Hughes' 3-yard TD pass to Del Nodal. Hughes continued his efficient play by completing 17 of 22 passes for 135 yards.
On Wheaton Academy's final possession, RBHS linebacker Anthony Walsh picked off a Thorson pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown in the closing seconds of the game.
The Bulldogs' top receiver, Stefan Giminski, also shone in other areas of play with an interception, three punts inside the 20-yard line and a 35-yard punt return. Wide receivers Zachary Vaia (5 catches, 73 yards) and Devin Moody (4 catches, 33 yards) and defensive lineman Sam Gomez (4 tackles, sack) also starred for RBHS.
RBHS (5-0, 1-0) hosts reigning Class 3A state champion Immaculate Conception (4-1, 1-0) on Friday, Sept. 29. Game time is 7:15 p.m.
LTHS cruises past Leyden
The Lyons Township High School football team tuned up for their Week 6 showdown with Glenbard West by cruising past Leyden 31-0 in a West Suburban Conference crossover on Sept. 22.
Senior quarterback Ben Bryant completed 19 of 32 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Bryce Moskiewicz (11 carries, 115 yards) and Tyrone Green (13 carries, 75 yards, 2 TDs) took turns wearing down the Leyden defense. The Lions finished with 357 yards of total offense.
LTHS (5-0, 2-0) hosts Glenbard West (4-1, 2-0) Friday, Sept. 29 at Bennett Field in Western Springs. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Friars falter at Loyola
Fenwick senior wide receiver Michael O'Laughlin caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Danny Cronin to pull the Friars within 14-7 of host Loyola with 8:30 left in the second quarter of Saturday's Chicago Catholic League crossover.
But, the Ramblers dominated the action the rest of the way, outscoring Fenwick by 27 points to notch a 41-14 victory on Sept. 22 in Wilmette.
Last season, Loyola rocked Fenwick 52-21 en route to a 13-1 record and Class 8A state finals appearance.
This time against Loyola, the West Virginia-bound O'Laughlin had the Friars' best performance offensively with eight catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. The team's other top playmakers, Cronin (10-for-20, 144 yards, 3 interceptions, 2 touchdowns) and senior running back Jason Ivery (8 carries, 43 yards) were held in check. Fenwick rushed for 56 yards on 18 carries.
Loyola quarterback Quinn Boyle completed 20 of 29 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns and ran 17 times for 115 yards. His dual threat effectiveness coupled with senior running back Hamid Bullie (16 carries, 62 yards, 2 TDs) caused Fenwick problems.
John Lynch had two interceptions for the Ramblers.
Defensively for Fenwick, sophomore defensive lineman Jacob Kaminski had 7.5 tackles and Lorenzano Blakeney (4 tackles, interception) played well. Solomon Singleton (team-high 9.5 tackles), Joe Rafferty (8.5 tackles), Michael Leopold (8 tackles, 2 pass deflects) and Max Forst (6.5 tackles) also contributed for the Friars.
Fenwick hosts Marmion on Friday, Sept. 29. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Triton College in River Grove.