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Bp. Feahan 42, D-R 13

Schweiger, Feehan in rush to repeat

By Jeff Schaible
Globe Correspondent / December 2, 2009

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TAUNTON - One year removed from its most recent Super Bowl win, Bishop Feehan is nearing the top of the mountain again.

And a familiar name is doing the heavy lifting.

Powered by sophomore running back Zack Schweiger, the Shamrocks defeated Dighton-Rehoboth, 42-13, last night in a Division 3 semifinal at Taunton High.

Feehan will meet Marblehead Saturday at Gillette Stadium for a chance at its sixth Super Bowl trophy since 2000.

The brother of Dartmouth running back Nick Schweiger, the Ivy League’s leading rusher, Zach had a career day, rushing for 168 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns.

“I’m just glad we have that family around,’’ coach Tony Wood said. “There’s just something about that gene pool.”

After splitting carries in the first half, Schweiger erupted for 122 yards in the third quarter as Bishop Feehan put the contest out of reach.

“I told [coach Wood] to give me the ball,’’ Schweiger said. “He did. And they kept giving it to me. The linemen were great up front, our blocking backs really set me up.’’

The Shamrocks’ ball-hawking defense, which surrendered 12.8 points per game this season, forced five turnovers, giving Bishop Feehan’s offense plenty of opportunities.

After a sloppy start in which the teams combined for four turnovers in the first three minutes, Feehan quarterback Tommy Romero (9 of 16, 153 yards, 2 TDs) put the Shamrocks on top with a keeper late in the first quarter.

Early in the second, Romero connected with Derek Beyer out of the slot for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

After a forced fumble, Feehan needed just three plays to reach the end zone, with Schweiger getting his first touchdown of the game on a 10-yard burst.

D-R had cause to be optimistic as Brian Espinosa returned the second-half kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown for the Falcons’ first score.

But Bishop-Feehan answered with three consecutive scoring drives as Schweiger ran wild.

“The offense really exploded tonight,’’ Wood said. “I never thought we’d put up this many points against a team of this caliber, but we were running on all cylinders.’’

Bishop-Feehan’s defense silenced D-R’s potent aerial attack. Quarterback Brett Croteau and receiver Espinosa, who connected for 11 touchdowns during the regular season, hooked up for only one play for 11 yards. Croteau was 1 of 10 with two interceptions and a fumble.

“They’re explosive on offense. We doubled [Espinosa],’’ Wood said. “Our secondary broke on the ball nicely, came up with some picks. But they had their chances, they just missed on a few big plays.’’