PEABODY — Austin Prep had a plan to shut down Bishop Fenwick running back Rufus Rushins. It worked, but the Crusaders just went to their next weapon: quarterback Nick Bona.
The senior threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Bishop Fenwick cruised to a 48-18 victory Friday night.
“We did it in all facets of the game today, no question,” said Bishop Fenwick coach Dave Woods. “Running the ball, throwing the ball, defending the run, defending the pass . . . the kids have just been getting better and better each week. It’s fun to watch.”
The Cougars did their job of limiting Rushins on the ground in the first half, but Bona took advantage of a stacked box and aired it out. He found Charlie Maistrellis and Eric Razney for touchdown passes of 26 and 37 yards, respectively.
“Clearly, we’re a handful for some teams,” Woods said. “They try to load the box to take away Rufus and the run, but we got some kids on the outside that can get open if they get man-to-man coverage. It’s fun to coach.”
Bona also tore up the Austin Prep defense with his legs. Midway through the first quarter, he scrambled 48 yards on a broken play, which set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Rushins.
In the second quarter, Bona faked a handoff to Rushins and ran it in himself for a 7-yard TD and a commanding 28-0 lead.
“Nick makes the whole team go, both on offense and defense,” Woods said of his quarterback and linebacker.
Nick Mulcahy finally got the Cougars on the board with 32 seconds left in the first half when he punched it in from 1 yard.
On the ensuing kickoff, Austin Prep’s Robert Murphy suffered a head injury. He stayed down on the turf and was taken off on a stretcher and into an ambulance at halftime.
Razney had returned that kickoff for what looked like a 73-yard touchdown, but it was called back because of a penalty. He had his redemption on the opening kickoff of the third quarter, when he brought it back 75 yards for a touchdown.
“I was a little frustrated in the first half but I tried to block it out and I had a good block set up for me and I just took it down,” said Razney, who also had an interception.
Rushins found room to run on a second-half drive and powered in for his second TD, a 9-yard score for a 42-6 lead after three quarters.
Austin Prep found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter, once on a 25-yard pass from Connor Duffy to Jonathan Saurman and the other on a 45-yard run by Christos Kourkoulos.
But the game was out of reach at that point as the Crusaders had done more than enough damage on offense.
“Our offense, we can do it all,” Razney said. “Right now we just have something special going for us.”