ATTLEBORO - While it appeared that Bishop Feehan carried a major edge over Sandwich heading into yesterday's game, the Blue Knights hung tough in the first half. Down only 8 points, they were definitely in striking distance.
On Feehan's third play of the second half, running back Nick Schwieger changed all that.
The senior's third touchdown of the game, a 61-yard romp, proved an effective back-breaker as Feehan went on to bury Sandwich, 39-9. The game was a showcase for Schwieger, who ran for 282 yards and four touchdowns.
"It was an off-tackle play, like the one we used to score on the first one," he said, referring to his 74-yard run that put Feehan up, 7-0. "I noticed they were blitzing and jamming the off-tackle hole, so I just bounced off and another hole opened up."
On that play, Schwieger got help from his lead blocker, fellow senior Andrew Nunes.
"They just come, arrive, and dominate up front," Schwieger said of his line.
"We are a running team, and all the credit goes to them."
"I'm very pleased with how they played today," said Feehan coach Tony Wood. "[Sandwich] is a tough team on defense with all their different formations, but we responded in the second half and do what we do best, and that's to play good football."
Sandwich answered Schwieger's first score on its next drive. After the ball was handed off from quarterback Joe Perry to two other players and then back to Perry, he found receiver Bryan Bolton for a 74-yard strike. But the extra-point try failed, leaving the Shamrocks up, 7-6.
Bishop Feehan struck back with 2:25 left in the opening quarter, marching 70 yards in 11 plays. Schwieger capped the drive with a 3-yard run on fourth and goal to make it 14-6.
"He is a very patient back and just waits for holes to expand," said Sandwich coach Bill Luette. "We tried to man up and load the box and try to shut him down.
"He's just a really good back, the best back we've seen all year."
After the teams traded field goals to close the half, Schwieger's third score pushed it to 24-9. He got one more chance to show his stuff late in the third as he streaked for 66 yards to his fourth touchdown to make it 31-9.
The fourth quarter had quarterback Michael McGowan running in from the 1 with 5:34 left.
Fittingly, Schwieger got the 2-point conversion, the last points on the day.
But the Shamrocks can't celebrate for long. They face off against Mansfield Tuesday in the Division 2 playoffs.
"Right now, we're playing well and we're excited about the opportunity," Wood said.
"Mansfield is a strong team with lots of weapons. It's going to be a great challenge."