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Fenton suffers first defeat of season
By Jonathan Jones | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 10/1/2011 1:39 AM

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Fenton suffered its first defeat of the season Friday in Bensenville, falling 32-20 to Ridgewood on homecoming.

Ridgewood tailback and kick returner P.J. O'Connor stunned Fenton with a stellar offensive performance. O'Connor ran back a kick return for a touchdown for the second consecutive week.

Ridgewood marched up the field on its first offensive possession. When Ridgewood penetrated the red zone, the Rebels threw a 23-yard pass to their intended receiver, which initially was intercepted by Fenton senior cornerback Frank DiLauro. However, a roughing-the-passer penalty took possession from Fenton.

Ridgewood (3-3, 2-0 Metro Suburban Conference) ultimately finished the drive with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Jacobsen to go up 6-0.

Fenton's first drive eventually was concluded by an interception from Ridgewood defensive back Sam Karim. The turnover enabled Jacobsen to connect with Rebels wide out Adam Kutylowski to lead 12-0 in the first quarter.

"The kids knew what it took to win," said Ridgewood coach Chris Zack. "We believed in ourselves. We have a lot of dangerous weapons, and I feel we'll be a force to be reckoned with. I think we can end the season 6-3."

However, the Bison retaliated. Fenton rallied down the field and cut the deficit after Bison senior quarterback Sean Havlovic scampered into the end zone on a 27-yard keeper.

On the ensuing Fenton kickoff O'Connor made his first appearance, bobbing and weaving his way through blockers as he glided for an 87-yard return and an 18-6 Ridgewood lead.

When Fenton's defense tightened up midway through second quarter, so did the offense. Havlovic linked with DiLauro for a 21-yard pass at the corner of the end zone to keep matters close at halftime.

Both teams tweaked their game plans. Fenton proceeded to return to their bread and butter in the screen and flat department, while Ridgewood relied on the rush.

"We started the second half right," said Fenton tailback Alan Geneva. "In order to get big plays we ran the little ones. We did well with the short offense and continued to roll with it."

Fenton returned to the second half summoning 14 unanswered points. Including the first half DiLauro score, Havlovic rushed his second touchdown of the game for 1-yard to gain their first lead with five minutes remaining in the third quarter 20-18.

As time dwindled, Fenton attempted to even the score. On fourth and 2 at Ridgewood's 10-yard line, Fenton decided to go for it with a rush play. Ridgewood defensive end Brad Cabot sniffed out the play and stopped Fenton's effort a yard short as the Bison turned over their last chance on downs.

"We put our faith in our (offensive) linemen," said Fenton coach Mark Kos. "Nine times out of 10 we would've gotten that first down. I told the kids they have 12 hours to feel sorry for themselves and it's time to go back to work. I can't take anything away from (Ridgewood)."

Following the turnover on downs, O'Connor ran a 71-yard touchdown to push the Bison out of contention.

Fenton (5-1, 0-1) moves on to play MSC foe Glenbard South.

"We're capable to execute better offensively," Kos said. "Unfortunately sometimes we're our own worst enemy. We have to get better. It's up to these guys how we respond. I believe we'll do the right thing and get better."