Fenwick football knocks down Spellman, remains undefeated

Fenwick quarterback Bryce Leaman looks to make a move during a game at Peabody on Thursday. (Libby O’Neil)

The Bishop Fenwick football team (5-0) defeated Cardinal Spellman (2-3) on a beautiful Thursday night at Fenwick High, 34-3, to keep the season perfect.

Coached by Troy Irizarry, Fenwick controlled the game from start to finish. The captain recorded three touchdowns on the night, as well as picking up a sack on the defensive end.

Fenwick’s opening drive started strongly, and the kickoff was carried to the 40-yard line. From there, running backs Anthony Nichols and Irizarry grounded them, combining for 43 yards on the drive.

The march down the field would result in Nichols finding the end zone on a 17-yard flurry down Main Street, giving his team an early 7-0 lead after the extra point.

Spellman’s quarterback Jack Duffy was on point early during his team’s opening drive, hitting three passes in no time. However, things changed when Fenwick’s Kurtis Bruch intercepted the ball on a Duffy shot near the sideline.

Like clockwork, Fenwick looked for more offense. Quarterback Bryce Leaman found captain Costa Beechin on a banked route, who escaped from the secondary and carried him 52 yards home.

In the following series, and beginning with a long running quarterback for Duffy, Spellman was on the move. A few plays later, a holding penalty put them just 35 yards from the promised land. But on a crucial fourth attempt, Duffy’s bomb was deflected and intercepted by Leaman; this time, the quarterback made his presence felt on the defensive end.

See also  Odds, prediction, line of Michigan vs. UConn: Model's 2022 Week 3 College Football Picks on a 50-41 streak

After an unproductive drive by Fenwick’s offense, their swarming defense must not have wanted Spellman to score before the half, stopping multiple running plays behind the line of scrimmage on Spellman’s next drive.

Those plays turned out to hurt them. With Fenwick having a short field, Leaman waited for the defensive line pressure to get to him and dropped a screen pass to Irizarry, who took the catch 23 yards to the end zone to make it 20-0. The point after was not good.

After a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Crusaders would make Spellman pay for his mistake, once again. And even though Fenwick only had about 30 seconds left before halftime, they increased their lead with Irizarry taking a pass nine yards down the field and landing on the goal line. The halftime score was 27-0, with Irizarry scoring two of the team’s four touchdowns.

“Troy is our leader and he has worked for four years, even more, in youth soccer he worked hard for a long time. So this is what he worked for, his last year,” Fenwick head coach Dave Woods said.

After a quick clearance from Spellman to open the fourth number three, Fenwick got the ball back, only for Beechlin to be unable to force his way between the sticks.

A 24-yard shot from Duffy to Brian Gallagher gave the team behind a much-needed boost. His drive could have reached the 10-yard line, but a sack by Michael Geissler for a seven-yard loss stopped Spellman’s plans. However, the Cardinals were able to hit a field goal to cut the deficit to 27-3 to end the third quarter.

See also  Westacott to end AGPC reign

The backfield tandem would continue to dominate in the fourth, with Nichols taking a handball for 19 yards, working his way down the sideline with defenders at his back. Shortly after, Irizarry received a handball from Leaman, bounced it wide, and ran 29 yards to the end zone for his hat-trick of touchdowns.

“On game nights, he’s ready to play. And it’s great to see him get to this point, and the culmination of all the hard work that he’s put in, it’s paying off for him,” Woods said.

Fenwick played conservatively and ran the ball for a good part of the fourth quarter. The final score read 34-3 in favor of the still undefeated Crusaders.

Next on Fenwick’s schedule is Archbishop Williams on Friday, October 14 at 6:00 p.m., where the group looks to stay perfect in their 2022 campaign.

Joey Barrett can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment