St. Laurence 7
The Fenwick football team held on to edge St. Laurence 14-7 in Burbank on Friday night to earn its first Catholic League White Division victory of the season, and first win under interim head coach Scott Thies.
The Friars (2-3, 1-1), who went with a rotating three-quarterback lineup that included regular starter Pat Hart, scored in the closing seconds of the first half to break a 0-0 tie. Dan Lattner, one of several grandchildren of 1953 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner playing in the Fenwick football program, tossed a 26-yard pass to John O’Malley for a touchdown.
Thies, who replaced Joe DiCanio at the start of Week 4, implemented some trick plays on offense. The Friars ran several plays where the center snapped the ball directly to a running back. He said Hart, who has been nursing a badly bruised hand, is likely to see more time on defense and as a running back on offense.
“He’s an incredibly talented all-around athlete and we need to utilize him in other capacities as we mix in other packages on offense,” said Thies, also Fenwick’s athletics director.
Running back Jack Stibich had an outstanding night for the Friars, finishing with 164 yards on 17 carries, including a 51-yard touchdown run with 10:58 left in the third quarter to put the Friars up 14-0. His 80-yard TD run in the opening quarter was called back due to an illegal formation penalty.
A Fenwick fumble later in the third led to St. Laurence’s only touchdown of the game. The Vikings (2-3, 1-1), who were hit with three personal fouls in the contest, scored on a quarterback sneak by Alex Flisk. The Friars turned the ball over a total of five times.
“I’ve been coaching for eight years and I’ve never seen us turn the ball over so many times and still end up with the victory,” said Thies. “A lot of it was because we implemented a few new things and the timing needs to be there.”
An interception in the end zone by Fenwick’s Joe Kelly, his second of the night, stalled a late-game rally by St. Laurence in the final quarter.
“While it wasn’t our best performance, we’ll still take the win,” added Thies. “We need to continue to improve game by game and day to day.”
While Hart is expected to play against Gordon Tech on Saturday at Luther North, running back/linebacker Robert Spillane is questionable with a sore shoulder and guard Pat Bovard is out indefinitely with a knee injury.