SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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September 27, 2012

Football Focus: Well-conditioned Bishop Fenwick built for the long haul

PEABODY — The Bishop Fenwick football team may be 3-0 for the first time in 13 years, but the Crusaders are looking at this season as something of a gourmet meal.

The hope is that this start is really just an appetizer warming up to a fulfilling main course.

Make no mistake, Fenwick is happy to have matched their win total from each of the last two seasons already. Just don’t confuse happiness with a sense of satisfaction. The Crusaders are still hungry.

“It’s really nice but we can’t rest on our laurels,” said senior captain Fran Hannon. “It’s great to start out with three wins, but we want that fourth and then more.”

Fenwick returns to the gridiron on Saturday, when they take on Georgetown at Trinity Stadium in Haverhill. The Royals are 1-2 but they’re averaging 34 points per game and have a dangerous quarterback in Niko Edwards.

The Crusaders will be buoyed by the return of Hannon at QB. The senior missed the last two games and saw his team rally with a pair of gritty wins. Sophomore Rufus Rushins (443 rushing yards, 5 TDs) carried the load and junior captain Nick Bona played well at QB in the wins over Pope John (39-22) and Lynnfield (14-7).

“This is a group with great team chemistry,” said Crusaders head coach Dave Woods. “They’re coming together not just as a football team but as a group of guys.”

Last week’s win over Lynnfield was the 100th at Fenwick for Woods, who has been the Crusaders head coach since 1998. Woods guided Fenwick to Super Bowl appearances in his first three seasons and is one of only three coaches in the immediate area with multiple Super Bowl victories.

“To get that win for coach at home and in front of a big crowd was nice,” said Hannon. “He works really hard and he does a lot for us.”

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