BERWYN — With Fenwick’s defense on the field late in the fourth quarter trying to stall a game-tying drive by St. Ignatius, defensive back Aaron Garland was able to accomplish what teammate Brian Doyle came so close to doing just moments earlier.
Garland intercepted a Ryan Coolidge pass attempt with 1:20 left to secure a 17-9 Friars Catholic League victory at Morton West in Berwyn.
“First thing, I have to thank coach [Titcus] Pettigrew for putting me in the right position to make the play,” said Garland, a senior. “I was just thinking it was time to make a play. I saw it [the ball] the whole time, and I was thankful that I caught the ball.”
Earlier in the Wolf Pack’s final drive, Doyle had a pass slip through his hands and was visibly upset during a brief injury delay. He did not think about the missed pick for very long.
“It is all about getting to the next play and being in the right position,” Doyle said. “We will make the play the next time, and other people will make plays, like Aaron. It is all about the team effort.
“It was definitely a stressful drive for us, it was good to get off the field and make a big stop for the team.”
Doyle was instrumental in halting a first-quarter drive by St. Ignatius when he picked up a fumble after the Wolf Pack (1-6) had driven to the Fenwick 5-yard line.
On defense, the Friars (5-2) did not allow a point in the second half, also limiting the St. Ignatius offense to just a field goal in the first half. The Wolf Pack’s lone TD came on a 96-yard interception return by Luke Soenen.
“As a defense our goal is no touchdowns, force turnovers and we win the game,” Garland said. “One thing we focus on during the week is zero points. That is one thing that we stress, and we were able to come out with the win.”
In addition to a fumble recovery by Justin Rodriguez in the third quarter, the Fenwick defense also forced three St. Ignatius punts in the second half.
“Really over the last three weeks the defense has played very well for us,” Fenwick coach Gene Nudo said. “I am pleased with the hard work. We are moving some people around, getting some people in some better spots.”
- The Friars’ offense scored on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter to secure a lead the Friars maintained for the rest of the game.
- Quarterback Jack Beneventi scored on a 3-yard run on the second play of the quarter, while Adam Williams capped a nine-play drive with a 1-yard plunge.