Gene Nudo thinks his high-flying Fenwick offense is back — and it’s hard to argue that point.
Marmion is likely a believer after the Friars scored 35 unanswered points Friday to run away with a 49-13 Catholic League Green game in Aurora.
Fenwick (4-2, 2-0), shut out two weeks ago by Loyola, has responded by scoring 80 points its last two games.
“We had a slip-up against Loyola, which is a pretty darn good team,” Nudo said, “but this was a very good offensive game. I’m starting to become happy again.”
The Friars showcased quick-strike ability that Marmion (4-2, 1-1) simply couldn’t contain.
Jack Beneventi’s 40-yard pass to Patrick Honan set up Pat Donahue’s 2-yard touchdown. Donahue 24 carries, 129 yards) busted a 50-yard TD run to make it 13-6, and on the next drive after a Marmion interception, Adam Williams’ 32-yard burst up the gut led to Donahue’s third TD.
“Donahue is an exceptional runner,” Nudo said. “We have some guys that can really stretch the field. You have to honor them.”
One of those guys is Will Lattner, who took the second-half kickoff 97 yards to the end zone for a 28-6 lead.
“It’s awesome when you can run all day like we were able to do,” said Donahue, who had been held to two yards rushing by Loyola.
Things never could turn for Marmion, which fumbled its own second-half kickoff return which led to a Fenwick touchdown. The Cadets turned the ball over three times, leading to 21 Fenwick points.
Marmion actually led 6-0 after a quarter courtesy of Connor Hoeft’s field goals of 29 and 31 yards.
It was tough sledding after that against another rugged Catholic League opponent. Providence beat the Cadets two weeks ago.
“Welcome to the Chicago Catholic League. Just an old-fashioned butt-whooping,” Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. “Either I underestimated them or overestimated us. When you get beat this bad, that’s on me.”
Rusty Joyce was 8-for-21 for 101 yards and Nate Traxler had a late touchdown run for Marmion.
Things started in inauspicious fashion for Fenwick.
Noel Abraham picked off Beneventi’s third pass and returned it 55 yards to set up Hoeft’s first field goal. Forty Fenwick penalty yards fueled Marmion’s second scoring drive.
Nudo, who knows Marmion all too well from his Driscoll coaching days, wasn’t overlooking his new league opponent.
Iowa recruit Beneventi finished 11-for-14 for 129 yards.
“First quarter was not pretty,” Nudo said. “Matter of fact, I pulled the whole team together and asked them if we were going to help (Marmion) celebrate their homecoming. They responded.”