By Marty Farmer
The Bulldogs beat the Bulldogs on Sept. 6 and that suits Riverside-Brookfield High School football coach Brendan Curtin just fine.
Curtin's football team edged host Wauconda (same mascot name) 26-21 in a nonconference game.
With the victory, RBHS has already matched last season's win total in which the Bulldogs finished 2-7.
The Bulldogs have benefitted early this season with solid play on offense, defense and special teams. Several of the team's top players play multiple positions as well.
Against Wauconda, the defense came through when it mattered most. Leading 26-21 with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter, RBHS stopped Wauconda on fourth down-and-2 at the RBHS 15-yard line.
"It was an incredible defensive stand," Curtin said. "Middle linebacker Eddie Pena once again anchored the whole unit. Linebacker Luke Swiatek made plays all over the field."
Swiatek and Luke Gentile had an interception each. Curtin also credited defensive lineman/linebacker Brian Crossman with a strong performance
RBHS quarterback Matthew Torres completed 19 of 36 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Led by Matt Novak (4 catches, 36 yards, 2 TDs), Daniel Hillyer (4 catches, 52 yards), Nic Novak (3 catches, 37 yards) and Gentile (4 catches, 32 yards), seven players caught at least one pass or more from Torres.
Chris Doherty added a 10-yard touchdown run and finished with 67 yards on 17 carries.
"It was a team win against Wauconda," Matt Novak said. "We executed our assignments, gave it our all the whole game and came out with a victory."
Nazareth cruises past Curie
After a Week 1 loss to St. Louis powerhouse Cardinal Ritter, the Roadrunners got back on track with a 35-0 win over visiting Curie, from Chicago.
Nazareth scored four touchdowns in the first quarter against the Condors. Sophomore Tyler Morris scored on an 83-yard kickoff return and a 68-yard run, setting the tone early for a blowout. Junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy added an 8-yard touchdown run and then tossed a 30-yard TD pass to Tanner Koziol to cap off the scoring barrage.
Senior Alex Carrillo tacked on a 3-yard run into the end zone in the second quarter.
"Our focus, effort and execution were much better this week," coach Tim Racki said. "We will continue to work on execution and timing offensively. Defensively, we continue to work on the swarming, shutdown identity that has been our tradition here at Nazareth.
The Roadrunners (1-1) host Fenwick (2-0) on Friday, Sept. 13 in an intriguing CCL/ESCC crossover matchup. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
"It will be a great atmosphere Friday night," Racki said. "This is the first time Fenwick and Nazareth have played each other in football."
Fenwick demolishes Dunbar
Quarterback Kaden Cobb remained unbeaten on the varsity level as the Friars dominated Dunbar in a 45-6 win over the Chicago school at Triton College.
The sophomore completed 10 of 15 passes for 97 yards and three touchdowns against the visiting Mightymen.
Fenwick head coach Gene Nudo notched his 100th win as a high school varsity coach. As a head coach at all levels, he has amassed a 178-74-2 record with a 100-38 mark in high school and 51-31 showing at Fenwick.
"I'm very proud of my record as a high school coach," Nudo said. "It means many young men have given me an opportunity to be part of their lives and have belief in my ability to lead them."
Eian Pugh caught two touchdown passes and Max Reese had one TD reception for the Friars.
The Cobb to Pugh combination proved particularly effective early, as the pair connected on a pair of touchdowns to give the Friars a 15-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Friars also ran the ball well with six ball carriers accounting for 154 yards on 23 rushes. Danny Kent (7 carries, 87 yards, 2 TDs) and Novak (7 carries, 58 yards) led the way.
After a 3-yard touchdown run by Kent, Cobb tossed his third TD of the game to Reese which extended the lead to 29-0 in the second quarter against Dunbar.
Linebacker Danny Farnan added a scoop and score on a 20-yard fumble recovery, extending the Friars' lead to 36-0 at halftime.
"We went up big at half so it allowed everyone to get on the field and have fun," said Fenwick linebacker Bryce Legan, who is from Riverside. "This year we have 11 seniors on the field; we play faster now."