Fresh off an inspiring 21-20 comeback victory against Wauconda, the Riverside-Brookfield High School football team had a much easier time against host Ridgewood with a 40-7 win on Friday night in Norridge.
The Bulldogs improved to 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 95-39.
Against Ridgewood, RBHS junior quarterback Hunter Hughes continued his efficient play by completing 8 of 12 passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Nicolas Del Nodal (8 carries, 170 yards, 2 TDs) and wide receiver Stefan Giminski (3 catches, 33 yards, 2 TDs) also led a diversified attack.
RBHS dominated on the ground by rushing for 293 yards and four TDs
Defensively, senior linebacker Keenan Scott had a team-high six tackles including three for loss. Ja’Mari Wise finished with four tackles, Zach Mieczkowski contributed two tackles, a sack and fumble recovery and Joey Swallow tallied five tackles.
Jhalen Williams, Zach Vaia and Max Buffo each had an interception for the Bulldogs.
RBHS limited the Rebels to 95 rushing yards on 35 carries.
The Bulldogs host Aurora Central Catholic on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7:15 p.m.
Fenwick mauls Montini
If there were any lingering doubts, Fenwick is for real.
The Friars’ attention-grabbing 38-6 win over Montini at Triton College Friday only reinforced the team’s superb play through three games this season.
“The main key to victory for us was our will to keep fighting,” senior running back Conner Lillig said. “We knew they had a lot of good players, some who play on both sides of the ball, so we had to come out with a chip on our shoulder and play at 110% on both sides of the ball.
“Beating Montini had to be the best feeling in the world for our team. After last year’s disappointing performance, this was a huge accomplishment for the entire program.”
After a disappointing 3-6 campaign in 2015, Fenwick has returned 17 starters this season and already notched victories against Phillips, Bowen and Montini. Phillips and Montini are defending state champs in Class 4A and 6A, respectively.
The Friars (3-0, 1-0 Chicago Catholic League Green) have outscored their opponents 123-32 and are averaging 41 points per game.
Fenwick’s win against Montini on Friday avenged a 48-7 loss to the Broncos last season.
Quarterback Jacob Keller and Lillig powered the Friars in their rematch victory. Keller completed 13 of 18 passes for 177 yards and rushed six times for 32 yards. He accounted for four touchdowns overall (2 passing, 2 rushing).
Lillig also turned in a monster performance with 201 yards and a TD on 31 carries. With Lillig and an excellent offensive line setting the tone, Fenwick dominated on the ground with 42 carries for 242 yards.
The passing game has been potent as well, featuring a cadre of capable receivers. Jack Henige (5 catches, 62 yards, TD), Sherman Martin (3 catches, 46 yards, TD), Mike O’Laughlin (3 catches, 39 yards) and Lillig (1 catch, 16 yards) all contributed against Montini.
Even kicker Conor Hendzel took part in the scoring barrage with a 36-yard field goal. He also had three touchbacks on five kickoffs.
The Friars scored on their first four possessions of the first half. Keller threw a 16-yard TD pass to Martin and an 8-yard TD pass to Henige in the first quarter to build a 14-0 lead. Hendzel’s field goal and an 11-yard run by Keller extended the lead to 24-0 in the second quarter.
In the second half, Lillig and Keller added touchdown runs of eight and seven yards, respectively, to close out the scoring for Fenwick.
Defensively, the Friars excelled with strong production from multiple players. Senior linebacker Brett Moorman had a team-high 5 ½ tackles plus a sack against Montini. Other top contributors included Lorenzano Blakeney (5 tackles, fumble recovery), Ryan Chapman (4 tackles) along with Ellis Taylor and Lorente Blakeney (3 tackles each). Jack Kaminski added a sack.
“3-0 is nice but we want more,” senior defensive end Ellis Taylor said. “As a program, we have high expectations.”
Senior running back Will Smith led Montini in rushing with 20 carries for 75 yards. Prince Walker, the Broncos’ top rusher, left the game in the second quarter with a strained quad injury. Michael Cooney kicked a pair of field goals for Montini (1-2, 0-1).
The Friars hit the road for the first time this season, taking on Leo Friday, Sept. 16. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Nazareth falls to Notre Dame
The Roadrunners lost 22-17 to host Notre Dame in an East Suburban Catholic Conference matchup. Nazareth kicker Aidan Bresnahan made a 47-yard field goal in the third quarter to give the Roadrunners a 17-14 lead; however the Dons scored a touchdown plus a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to pull out a 22-17 victory.
Nazareth quarterback Zach Stevens (6-for-14, 74 yards) threw two touchdown passes in the first half. Cameron Weeks led the Roadrunners in rushing with 95 yards on 23 carries. Devin Blakley and Wesley Lones each had a touchdown reception.
The Roadrunners (2-1) finished with 217 yards of total offense and 10 first downs. The team struggled on third down, converting only 4 of 13 (31 percent) and committed three turnovers.
Nazareth hosts Carmel on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.