Except for an early St. Rita fumble, there was no indication that the Fenwick football team would pull an upset over the fourth-ranked Mustangs on Friday night.
The Friars (1-2), who nearly stunned St. Rita last season – but lost in the closing seconds 14-13 – were thwarted from the end zone altogether this time around, enduring a 42-0 walloping in the Catholic League crossover match-up.
St. Rita running back Guerby Ministre scored twice – from five and three yards out — in the first quarter, and the Mustangs eventually took a 21-0 lead by halftime. Quarterback Scott Thomas (10-of-15, 141 yards passing) tossed three touchdown passes, and Mike Zunica surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark on just 11 carries for the Mustangs.
Outsized, Fenwick’s offense was unable to gain much ground. Quarterback Pat Hart finished 4-of-11 for 41 yards passing, and running back Jack Stibich could only muster 45 yards on nine carries rushing.
But the Friars had a few bright moments in the form of an interception by Zach Vergara and a fumble recovery.
“We’re not a bad team. St. Rita is just a very good team,” said Fenwick football coach Joe DiCanio. “Their defense was way better than it was a year ago. The size mismatch, our turnovers just didn’t help things. We gave them a short field to play on and you can’t do that with a team like St. Rita. They will make you pay.”
In last year’s game between the two teams, St. Rita was ranked No. 2 in the state and held a 14-0 lead going into the fourth quarter when the Friars made a comeback. After the second touchdown, DiCanio elected to go for the win with a 2-point conversion but the play was halted.
Fenwick has now gone two straight games without scoring a touchdown. Marmion handed the Friars a 6-0 loss in Week 2.
The Friars begin Chicago Catholic League White Division play against Bishop McNamara on Saturday (Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.) at Morton West Stadium and DiCanio said his team is ready.
“We have gone up against some very tough opponents and I can honestly say we are ready to take on Bishop McNamara. They are a good team, but we’re going to be prepared.”