Friday, October 11, 2013

There are seven undefeated teams*...

...left in 7A, of which I've seen two, Benet and Lake Zurich.

Tomorrow I'll see another, Fenwick, as they host Providence (3-3) at Concordia University, above, in River Forest. (A Catholic League game played at a Lutheran school? My father must be turning cartwheels in his grave!)

Before I settled on my Game of the Day, I briefly considered Benet at Nazareth (4-2) and Oak Park River Forest (5-1) at Lyons (3-3) .

But even though Nazareth knocked off Notre Dame last week, I just don't think lightning will strike two weeks in a row; Benet's just too strong. And as for OPRF and Lyons, let's face it -- and I'm going to get into a lot of trouble for saying this -- it's a consolation game: both teams already lost to West Suburban Silver Conference perennial champ Glenbard West.

Providence (ranked No. 22 by the Sun-Times and No. 40 by MaxPreps) is a good, solid team which lost to three top-notch programs: Joliet Catholic (5-1), Loyola (6-0) and St. Rita (5-1).

And Fenwick (ranked No. 20 by the Trib, No. 21 by the Sun-Times and No. 25 by MaxPreps) is experiencing a bit of a renaissance under second-year head coach Gene Nudo. The Friars finished 8-4 in 2012 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008, narrowly losing to Rockford Boylan, 22-21. (I knew I should have gone to that game!)

I think this will be a good test for the Oak Park squad, as they have played a "favorable" schedule (as Ara Parseghian would have put it) so far. Only the two "Bishop" schools, Lynch and McNamara, have winning records, and Lynch is ranked a nose-bleeding No. 305 in the state of Texas by MaxPreps.

Here are the Friars' results so far (home team in CAPS):

FENWICK 63, St. Joseph 0    
Fenwick 32, BISHOP LYNCH (TX) 14    
Fenwick 28, BROTHER RICE 20    
FENWICK 40 Bishop McNamara 14    
Fenwick 31, ST. IGNATIUS 6     
Fenwick 40, GORDON TECH 7

Providence, of course, competes in the Catholic League Blue, which, along with the DuPage Valley, is one of the two best conferences in the state of Illinois. (And I'm not being sarcastic; I'm a convert. More on that later.)

As you can see, the Celtics haven't had too many days off this year. (One, to be exact, against Gordon Tech.) Even though Minooka is only 2-4, they always seem to give you a good game. Oh, and by the way, when Providence gets through with Fenwick tomorrow they still have to face Mount Carmel. Sheesh!

Here are their results from 2013 so far:

JOLIET CATHOLIC 42, Providence 35
Providence 38, MINOOKA 17
PROVIDENCE 55 De La Salle 20
LOYOLA 28, Providence 16
PROVIDENCE 42 Gordon Tech 0
St. Rita 37, PROVIDENCE 14

How have the two teams fared against each other in recent years? Looks like they haven't played since 2010. (I'd say Providence has the edge, wouldn't you?)

2010: FENWICK 17, Providence 7
2009: PROVIDENCE 42, Fenwick 7
2008: PROVIDENCE 24, Fenwick 0
2007: Providence 30, FENWICK 6
2006: PROVIDENCE 23, Fenwick 21
2005: Providence 24, FENWICK 21

Now, all other things being equal (which they never are), I'd pick Providence to win this game. But I think Gene Nudo is a bit of a football genius. Combine that with running back Robert Spillane, the grandson of the legendary Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner, and I think it could be a barnburner. I'll pick the Friars in OT.

You can follow the game with me on Twitter, @BoringOldWhtGuy.

P. S. Do you think, if I asked him nicely, that Mr. Lattner would give me his autograph?

* The other four are Schaumburg, Edwardsville, Whitney Young and Dunbar.

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