PEABODY — Eric Razney was too busy speeding into the end zone far ahead of everyone else to have noticed what took place in the Northeast secondary behind him.
As Razney was scoring his second touchdown of the night, this one on a beautifully thrown 51-yard spiral from quarterback Nick Bona, Northeast defensive back Pedro DelToro turned to his left, looked at safety Avery Tango, and without saying a word reached his hands out wide with his palms up. It was the universal sign of What just happened there?
What happened is that Fenwick’s coaches had the Golden Knights scouted very well. They knew, with their own speedy playmakers and Bona’s ability to throw the deep ball, that they could cash in on long passes against a three-deep zone coverage that was prone to cheating up.
“We knew there was going to be a cornerback up close and a safety in the middle of the field,” acknowledged Razney, whose Crusaders hammered Northeast, 43-6, in the Division 5 North title game. “Coach (Dave) Woods told me two days ago we were going to be throwing the ball because we knew those plays would work.
“Nick threw two good balls in the middle of the field ... I took more of an angle to get them, and once I caught both of them I knew I was going to score.”
That one play, the second of six touchdowns in Fenwick in a battle of 9-0 clubs, was a microcosm of what the Crusaders did all night: cash in on the big play.
It was Bona and Razney twice hooking up for big TD passes; the other, a 50-yard strike on a fly pattern, gave Fenwick a 7-0 lead in the final minute of the first quarter. It was a 40-yard run on a jet sweep by Charlie Maistrellis that gave the hosts a 21-0 lead; it was a blocked punt by Matt Renzulli that resulted in a safety for Fenwick; it was a fumble recovery by 255-pound junior lineman Josh Niconchuk that put the ball at the Northeast 4-yard line, leading to yet another Crusaders’ touchdown.