PEABODY, Mass. -– Bishop Fenwick put over 40 points on the board for the fourth consecutive week, but it was its defense that stood out on Friday.
Eric Razney and Tommy Parsons each reeled in an interception for the Crusaders (5-0) and linebacker David Hurley totaled 10 tackles, while Nick Bona and James Traversey were all over the field, resulting in a 48-18 Fenwick victory over Austin Prep (4-1).
“They are three guys who have been playing for three, four years,” Fenwick coach Dave Woods said of linebackers Hurley, Bona, and Traversey, “They know how to play disciplined defense, and it showed tonight for sure."
There were a lot of playoff implications coming into the game, the two squads were tied for the top seed in Division 5 North—with the winner taking over sole possession of first place. The Crusaders wasted no time in getting started offensively in the first half, Bona (252 total yards, 3 TD’s) ran a 47-yard quarterback keeper that later resulted in a Rufus Rushins (80 yards, TD) touchdown, then threw a touchdown each to Razney and Charlie Maistrellis.
“Nick makes the whole team go, both offense and defense,” Woods said. “He did it tonight, a couple times we tried to throw the ball and they pressured him so he just scrambled—those are plays that you can’t account for, and when you have a quarterback that can do that, it’s pretty special.”
Bona added his third touchdown late in the second quarter, running it in from seven yards out to give the Crusaders an intimidating 28-0 lead. Moments later, Nick Mulcahy broke the shutout and got Austin Prep on the board before halftime.
“He does everything, on both sides of the ball. You watch him kickoff, he makes every tackle on the kickoff, and on defense he’s all over the place -- he had 20 tackles last week against Spellman, he throws touchdowns, he runs with it. He’s a player.”
After a called back kick return at the end of the first half that would have been a touchdown, Razney just couldn’t be stopped from getting into the end zone, bringing a 77-yard kick return back for a touchdown on the first play of the third quarter. After originally being aggravated with the called back touchdown return, Razney tried to quickly erase it from his memory.
“Honestly, I just try to forget about it. I couldn’t let it get to me. I was a little frustrated in the first half, but I just try to block it out -- I had a lot of blocks set for me and I just took it down,” he said.
The Fenwick defense was lights-out in the third quarter, as the linebacker-led group held Austin Prep to just six points going into the fourth. Jonathan Saurman caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Connor Duffy and Christos Kourkoulos ran in a 55-yard score late in the game, but it was too little too late.
“We had a short week, so we really had just one day defensively to prepare. David [Hurley] did a phenomenal job, especially in the first half -- he was just reading his keys and flying to exactly to where he was supposed to be, taking plays away,” Woods said.
Now with sole possession of the top seed in Division 5 North, Fenwick will have no problem staying focused when they travel to league rival St. Mary’s next Saturday. With the win, the Crusaders would clinch at least a share of the Catholic Central Large title.
“We’ve been playing good all year, every day in practice we’re always sound, we’re focused and we’re ready to go,” Bona said. “Our defense is what wins us games, not our offense. I know our offense has been putting up points, but our defense has been unbelievable.”