In 19 years as a head football coach, Fenwick High School’s John Aregood can’t ever remember a season like the one his Falcons are having.
It’s not wins and losses, though. It’s turnovers.
Fenwick, 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the Greater Catholic League Coed North Division, have turned the ball over 25 times. Included in that total are games of seven, five and four turnovers.
“Turnovers have never been a problem with any team I have ever coached,” Aregood said as his team prepares for a road game against Purcell Marian on Friday night at Walnut Hills. “We have been a turnover machine. We fumble, we throw turnovers, and even when we force a turnover, we find a way to turn over the turnover.”
Fenwick had four turnovers in a 24-17 overtime win over McNicholas last week, something Aregood knows his squad can’t do against Purcell (1-6, 0-4).
“We got some things straightened out the last two weeks,” Aregood said. “They have a lot of athletes, and we have to play well or they can easily beat us.”
The Cavaliers have been outscored 215-104 and are returning home off a 56-6 loss at Alter.
Purcell is starting to get healthy again, but it’s still been a long season of transitioning to how first-year coach Dave Wirth runs a program.
“Ultimately, it’s not the Xs and Os,” Wirth said. “It’s the intangibles, the dedication. If you don’t do the little things, then what you do on offense and defense don’t matter.”
The intangibles are what sticks out to Wirth about the Falcons.
“They have tough-nosed, hard-playing, disciplined kids,” he said. “They don’t do too much and they don’t do too little and they don’t panic. They just keep grinding, and that’s the kind of team you want.”
Purcell has been hurt by big plays this year. There have been times when the Cavaliers have scored, only to surrender a touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff.
However, it is the big-play ability of the hosts that concerns Aregood.
“They are trying a new system, but they have a lot of athletes,” he said. “We are going to have to play disciplined defense because if one of them gets loose, they are going to take it to the house.”
Fenwick has a balanced attack. Quarterback Sully Janeck is 51 of 93 for 607 yards and four touchdowns. Keegan Corbett leads the ground attack with 760 yards on 152 carries, while Caleb Davis has added 322 yards on 84 carries.
The Falcons have won two straight after a four-game skid.
“We’ve got a good team,” Aregood said. “I think we are the best 3-4 team in the state. We just need to run off these final three games and see what happens.”
What: Fenwick (3-4, 2-2 GCLC North) vs. Purcell Marian (1-6, 0-4 GCLC Central) at Walnut Hills, 7 p.m.
Where: Marx Stadium, 3250 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati
Last year: Fenwick won 38-7