The waited 364 days to enact revenge on the Somerset Berkley Blue Raiders and on a bitterly cold night at McGrath Stadium they took out a year’s worth of frustration. Feehan rolled to a 41-7 victory, scoring on each of their first five possessions, to clinch the EAC title that slipped from their grasp a year ago and ensure a spot in the Division 3 playoffs.
The game was not even as close as the lopsided score line with Feehan using its size and strength at the line of scrimmage to dominate a young Blue Raiders squad and wrap up a perfect conference record, to earn their sixth win in a row (after an 0-4 start), and to set up a date the Tuesday after Thanksgiving against the winner of the South Coast Conference.
Head coach Curt Smith was surprised at the margin of victory but he knew that if the Shamrocks (6-4, 4-0) could get off to a good a start it would make things very difficult for Somerset Berkley (4-6, 3-1), “The ball bounced the right way for us early in the game and I think that gave us momentum. That’s what we needed to do was get up early, that’s what we talked about all week…and we were fortunate enough to do that.”
Senior tailback Cameron Frye sparked the Feehan offense with 111 yards on the ground and two first quarter touchdowns, including the opening run from 63 yards out on just the third play of the game. Senior captain Andrew Murphy also found it easy going against an overmatched Blue Raider defense throwing for three touchdowns to three different receivers. Murphy finished the game 4-7 for 154 yards and should have added a rushing touchdown as well but he fumbled on the one yard line, which was then recovered by fellow captain James Corbesero for the score.
The Shamrock offense has been clicking in recent weeks for Coach Smith and he sees outstanding progress from the beginning of the year to now, “We’re playing with confidence on offense and poise and that’s important. No more deer in the headlights looks now. Everyone’s a veteran now and we’re playing well together. The kids get it.”
Feehan’s defense lost a shutout in the final minute of the game while the starters were resting on the bench but the Shamrocks continue to be outstanding on that side of the ball. Defensive linemen Mitchell Martin, John LaBelle, Chris Barthe, and linebacker Thomas Flett were all over Somerset Berkley from the opening kickoff and allowed only three first downs in the first half.
The Shamrocks will wrap up the regular season on Thanksgiving Day on the road at Randolph and wait to find out who their opponent will be and where they will play in the Division 3 playoffs.