St. Rita cruises to second straight victory
By Mike Clark For Sun-Times Media September 8, 2012 10:58PM
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:28AM
The sting of Week 1 is fading for St. Rita.
The Mustangs pulled away in the second half to beat Fenwick 38-15 Saturday night in a Catholic League crossover at Morton West, their second straight comfortable win after an opening defeat against Marist at Soldier Field.
“I think we’re getting over the Marist loss,” quarterback John Kelley said. “We’re moving on forward and we know we can compete with anybody in the state.”
St. Rita led just 10-7 at halftime but opened a 24-7 lead in the third quarter on a pair of Kelley touchdown passes. He found Julian Crum for a 12-yard score and Tom McCormick for a 10-yard TD.
Tim Lombard’s 45-yard punt return for a touchdown with 11:35 left in the fourth period pushed St. Rita’s lead to 31-7. Guerby Ministre ran five yards for the Mustangs’ final score.
The big second half didn’t come after any major tactical changes, according to St. Rita coach Todd Kuska.
“We didn’t execute very well in the first half at times,” Kuska said. “We shot ourselves in the foot. At halftime, I said, ‘We don’t have to adjust. We have to do a better job of holding onto the ball, a better job of executing.’ ”
“We just settled down and got the mental mistakes out,” said Kelley, who was 8-of-19 passing for 87 yards in the first half and 5-of-8 for 88 yards in the final two quarters to finish 13-of-27 for 175 yards with two touchdowns.
Derrick Miles led the Mustangs’ ground game with 78 yards on 15 carries. He had a 14-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and John Kelly kicked a 20-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.
Fenwick (2-1) pulled to within 10-7 when Pat Hart recovered Kelley’s fumble in the end zone with 7:14 left in the second quarter. Another fumble recovery by the Friars set them up with a chance to go ahead but Jack Sears recovered a Fenwick fumble in the St. Rita end zone with 3:33 remaining.