PEABODY — Bishop Fenwick football coach Dave Woods knows the Crusaders don’t run a typical spread offense.
However, it’s hard to question Fenwick’s offensive approach after last night’s a 34-14 win over Weston. The victory pushed Fenwick’s record to 5-0 for the first time since 1999. The Crusaders went on to a 12-0 record and a Super Bowl title that year.
Pounding the visiting Wildcats with their usual run-heavy offense, the Crusaders pulled away with a big dose of sophomore running back Rufus Rushins and senior quarterback Fran Hannon.
Rushins ran for 148 yards on 22 carries, scoring three first-half touchdowns, and Hannon added 67 yards on 11 carries.
Woods also opened up the playbook a bit in the second half and Hannon threw touchdown passes to Nick Bona (13 yards) and Matt Renzulli (5 yards).
“We’re a spread team that the head coach is afraid to throw the ball. They’re giving us an awful lot because they have to commit people to stop Rufus,” Woods said. “To be a true spread team and really put pressure on the defense, you need to throw the ball a little bit. But it’s hard to do that from my standpoint when every time we give it to our running back he’s getting 8-10 yards.”
Rushins, with the assistance of another dominant performance from the Crusader offensive line, was consistent all night. The bruising sophomore never broke a long run (his longest of the night was 16 yards) but he was constantly pushing the pile forward.
“We’re physical and we wore them down and that’s a good sign for us,” Woods said. “I think they were a very good team. They were 3-1 for a reason and they won some games and put some points on the board. For us to play that defense against them, with athletes everywhere was great. We did a nice job, especially in the second half. Our defense turned it up, which is a good sign because we’ve done that a couple weeks now.”
Weston (3-2) had a lot of weapons. Quarterback Brett Rowe ended up completing 14-of-25 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. But Fenwick also intercepted him twice, one each for Eric Razney and Greg Collier.
Deondre Molyneaux (5 catches, 100 yards, TD) and James Sacco (3 catches, 42 yards, TD) were both big, strong, fast targets for Weston, but the Crusaders did an excellent job preventing them from breaking a big play.
“We don’t have a lot of numbers, but we are deep,” Woods said. “I think we have six guys that play defense and not offense. That gives us a chance to talk to them and give them a blow, and in the fourth quarter we still have our legs.”
Then there are the legs that carry the Crusaders’ offense.
“I know I wouldn’t want to have to stop those two guys (Rushins and Hannon) and the offensive line was tremendous,” Woods said. “A couple times Weston went to a short-yardage defense with seven, eight guys in the box and the offensive line was still handling them.”