FOXBOROUGH — Holding a 14-7 lead over Lynnfield in the third quarter of the Division 3A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, Bishop Feehan sought the knockout punch.
“We thought we had a good offensive and defensive line that if we controlled the ball and controlled the clock and the tempo of the game, like in a heavyweight fight, those body blows would wear people down,” Shamrocks coach Curt Smith said.
On a fourth and 2 from the Pioneers’ 36, quarterback Nick Romero (9 carries, 67 yards, 2 TDs) went untouched into the end zone on a naked bootleg to give the Shamrocks a 14-point advantage. Two late stands by the defense preserved the score and gave Bishop Feehan a 21-7 victory Saturday night for its ninth state championship in school history and first since 2009.
“No one knew that was coming but me,” Romero said of the bootleg. “I didn’t tell the line. I told Coach [Smith] it was open and we ran it. When I turned around and saw no one there I just ran as fast as I could. I didn’t want to get caught from behind.”
Feehan (10-2) wasted little time in grabbing a 7-0 lead, traveling 73 yards in four plays on the opening drive of the game. The quest was finished with a 23-yard TD gallop by Isaiah Douglas (4 carries 42 yards, TD).
After a Lynnfield punt, the Shamrocks embarked on a 19-play, 80-yard march that killed 9:49 off the clock. The drive featured six first downs and ended when Romero scrambled across the pylon from 10 yards for a 14-0 advantage.
The Pioneers (9-3) responded with a 14-play, 72-yard drive that burned 5 minutes. Kyle McGah (12 carries, 47 yards, TD) blasted into the end zone from 2 yards to cut the deficit in half.
A 57-yard kickoff return by Douglas gave the Shamrocks good field position, but Romero was intercepted at the goal line by Alex Pascucci to keep it 14-7 at the break.
Lynnfield got the ball to start the second half, but a three-and-out gave the Shamrocks the ball back. Feehan went 71 yards in nine plays on a drive that was capped with Romero’s second TD run.
“This is my fifth [Super Bowl], and it never gets old,” Smith said. “I could get used to this.”
Bishop Feehan defensive end Zachary Forget intercepted a Mike Karavetsos (6 of 19, 85 yards) pass and returned it for 50 yards for an apparent touchdown, but an offside penalty wiped out the score. Eight plays later, Forget got the turnover he was looking for when he forced a Karavetsos fumble on fourth and goal from the Shamrocks’ 2.
Lynnfield had one final chance to close the gap but stalled on fourth down at the Feehan 11 with 2:52 to go.
“Our defense played unbelievable,” Romero said. “They had two goal-line stands, which was very important for us at that point in the game. I couldn’t be happier, couldn’t be prouder of my team and my school right now.”