Considering Fenwick and Lake Forest Academy both entered Friday’s game with unofficial 2-0 records in the Chicago Catholic League (White), the matchup looked at a minimum intriguing on paper.
On the field, however, the Friars’ versatile offense established one-way traffic early by scoring 35 points in the first half en route to a comfortable 44-14 win over the Caxys at Hoffman Stadium on the Morton West campus.
The Friars (6-2, 2-0 CCL White), who amassed 369 yards of offense against LFA, featured a balanced attack as junior quarterback Gino Cavalieri (12-for-18, 171 yards) continually found 6-foot-2, 215-pound running back Robert Spillane (6 catches, 100 yards; 6 carries, 61 yards) in the end zone via the passing game with three touchdown connections in the first half. Cavalieri threw a 41-yard strike to Spillane at the 10:20 mark of the opening quarter to give Fenwick a 7-0 lead. Spillane hauled in catches of seven yards and one yard with less than three minutes remaining until halftime to break the game open.
Senior wide receiver Danny Lattner chipped in four catches for 49 yards courtesy of the Friars’ talented signal-caller Cavalieri.
“Gino is progressing along well as our quarterback,” Nudo said. “He has some talent and he’s learning what we’re looking for in terms of directing our offense.”
Looking ahead to the Friars’ promising future, Cavalieri spearheads an impressive group of juniors on offense, including Spillane, tight end Ryan Smith and running back Jimmy Donahue who have helped Fenwick average 32 points per game this season.
In fact, the Friars’ production is on a notable upswing recently, putting up 164 points in the last four games alone.
“The players had a lot thrown at them [before the season started] with new terminology and a new coaching staff,” Nudo said. “They are intelligent, hard-working kids who have done a nice job of learning what we’re trying to establish as a program.”
In addition to an effective aerial attack on Saturday, Fenwick tallied three rushing touchdowns as well on Donahue’s 35-yard run and Pat Hart’s eight-yard scamper both in the first half. Bobby Somers’ 20-yard burst in the third quarter finished off the Friars’ scoring barrage.
While the offense has looked prolific at times, the Friars have also been playing well defensively led by Hart, a hard-hitting senior linebacker. John Lattner had an interception and the Friars also recorded a safety against the Caxys. Kicker Zach Laszkiewicz kept up his stellar work with two kickoff touchbacks along with six PATs.
The only negative for Fenwick was committing nine penalties for 85 yards.
The Caxys, who are not technically members of the White Division, got on the scoreboard in the second quarter when quarterback Chris Karamanos (5-for-14, 70 yards) threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Matt Gagnon. Karamanos added a two-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left in the game.
Fenwick closes the regular season at De La Salle on Friday (7:30 p.m.). The Meteors (4-4, 1-2) feature sensational running back Mikale Wilbon, who has been battling injuries as of late.