Marmion coach Dan Thorpe had his own theory as to why Fenwick’s formidable defense didn’t seem so formidable Saturday night.
“They got tired. They had a few guys going both ways,” Thorpe said. “Nos. 16 (Patrick Hart) and 17 (Jack McGann) are special kids, but they got tired.”
Actually, McGann does not play on offense, but Hart is perhaps undefeated Fenwick’s top player and appeared on both offense and defense in an extended role. He had earned plenty of rest one week earlier in Fenwick’s blowout victory at Hales in the season opener.
Hart, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior from Burr Ridge, rushed four times for 11 yards in a 16-6 win over Marmion at Riverside-Brookfield. But Hart also made several appearances in the backfield during goal-line situations as a blocking back for leading rusher Robert Spillane, who had 18 carries for 125 yards on Saturday.
“I like playing both ways. I’ll do everything they need me to do — I play football,” Hart said.
In the season opener, Hart had his number called only twice and scored Fenwick’s first TD of the season on a 1-yard run. Otherwise, he spent the rest of that game on defense.
But there are times when Hart, an outside linebacker, needs a break and the person responsible for filling his spot is usually junior Jack Rafferty or senior Danny Figliulo.
“When he does need a blow, I’m the guy,” Rafferty said. “We win as a team.”
Hart doesn’t relinquish opportunities to play defense very often. It is clearly his favorite side of the field and where he makes the biggest impact, considering Spillane has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first two games.
“I try to hold my own and get in some reps before he comes back in,” Rafferty said. “I try to stay in as long as I can.”
Fenwick’s defense in the first half against Marmion (0-2) limited the Cadets to one first down and 29 total yards.
On offense, Hart had only three carries in the first half and one in the second half.
“He is so dynamic when he is playing offense and defense,” Fenwick defensive coordinator Titcus Pettigrew said of Hart.
In the second half, Marmion established its ground game behind Jordan Glasgow (22 carries, 110 yards), but could only cross the goal line once.
“We ended up losing our technique,” Pettigrew said. “They started making us pay for our mistakes.”