By Jean DePlacido Correspondent
The Salem News
---- — PEABODY — All night long Trevor Lyons had been carrying the load for Hamilton-Wenham, but with the game on the line in overtime coach Andrew Morency called on freshman Cameron Macri on first down from the 10-yard line. The ninth grader sliced his way into the end zone to give the Generals a hard fought 14-8 victory and hand host Bishop Fenwick it’s first loss.
The game was all tied up at 8-8 at the end of regulation after a great defensive stand by the Crusaders, stopping Lyons from the one yard-line twice in the final seconds after he had completed a nine-yard pass to Ben Kozlowski to set up a second-and-goal from the one.
In overtime each team gets the ball at the 10-yard line and has four plays to score. Fenwick went first and ran four running plays. Rufus Rushins, who had 25 carries for 159 yards, picked up five to set up a fourth-and-one at the one but was stopped inches short of the goal line.
Hamilton-Wenham then had four plays from the 10, but needed only one as the hard running Macri broke up the middle to end the game.
“We needed something to get the heat off Lyons because Fenwick was keying on him,” said Morency, his team now 3-2. “Football is a game of inches, and we came within inches of scoring right at the end. Then Rushins was very close to getting in when Fenwick got the ball (in overtime).
“Give Bishop Fenwick a lot of credit because they were very tough defensively. What a great game between two very competitive schools. This is always a great rivalry.”
Both teams had several chances to get on the board in the first half, but fumbles, interceptions, or big fourth down defensive stands kept it a scoreless game until the third quarter when Lyons took his team down the field on the opening drive.
The big play was a 51-yard run by Macri, who was hauled down at the Crusader 10. Lyons bulled his way into the end zone from three yards out, and then rushed for the extra points. Lyons gained 109 yards on 25 carries, completed five passes for 93 yards, and had an interception.
Fenwick answered right back with an 80 yard, 13 play drive, capped by quarterback Fran Hannon’s 14-yard touchdown strike to Nick Bona. Rushins ran for the extra points to tie the game up with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter.
The Generals ate up over 10 minutes with a long drive that started at their own 3-yard line. They marched to the Fenwick 10 behind the running of Lyons and two big pass completions to Kozlowski, but on fourth down Ryan Gray’s field goal attempt was no good.
“We had our opportunities, and there’s no question there was a momentum swing when we didn’t get any points, but that just shows the character of this team,” said Lyons. “We were able to dig deep and come back with the big play. We gave it to the young gun.”
Fenwick coach Dave Woods was proud of his team’s defensive effort. He knows the Crusaders have to put this loss behind them and get ready for St. Mary’s next week and the start of league play.
“The intensity we showed tonight has to carry over into our practices,” said Woods. “The guys played their hearts out, and our defense on the goal line was tremendous. We came up with two outstanding plays to deny them. Our defense is getting better every week.
“Hamilton-Wenham has some very talented kids running the ball. Both teams had trouble with turnovers and breakdowns in that first half. It would be great to be 6-0, but 1-5 or even 0-6 doesn’t mean anything because we have to be ready for the tough league games ahead. The only thing that matters is being ready for a very tough St. Mary’s team next week.”