By Joe Kasper
After a heartbreaking, season-ending loss, in the division 7 MIAA Eastern Mass championship the Spartans had one more game left in their season, against cross town rival, Bishop Fenwick. St. Mary’s won, 28-21.
The annual Thanksgiving eve showdown between the two teams was a barn burner. The Spartans won the toss and elected to receive the ball. After returning a squib kick, the Spartans had possession at Fenwicks’ 46-yard line. On the second play of the drive, St. Mary’s James Brumfield found the end zone, followed up by a Calvin Johnson two-point conversion, giving the Spartans the early 8-0 lead. After the early touchdown, many were under the impression that the Spartans would run away with this game but the Fenwick Crusaders proved them wrong.
On Fenwick’s first drive of the game they scored, knotting the score up at eight-eight..
The Spartans were faced with a fourth-and-8 on their following possession. Quarterback, Calvin Johnson kept it himself, but the Crusader’s defense contained the edge, forcing Johnson out of bounds. Fenwick took over on downs. With the ball at the Spartans own 48-yard line it looked as if they were going to score again but coughed up the ball and gave possession back to the Spartans. Capitalizing on the turnover, the Spartans potent offense found the end zone to give them the 14-8 lead with just minutes remaining in the first half.
Bishop Fenwick wanted to make this a game and knew bragging rights were at stake for years to come. After driving down the field, Fenwick quarterback, Chris Wilson, kept it himself to make the score 16-14, Fenwick, going into the half. This was the first time all season the Spartans trailed at half time.
Fenwick opened up the second half with a great kick return but were stopped at the 9 yard line by the Spartans defense, which has been outstanding all year.
On St. Marys next possession, James Brumfield ran one in with just six minuets left in the fourth quarter, to give the Spartans the 20-16 edge over the Crusaders.
With five minuets left in the game, a 23-yard pass from Fenwick quarterback, Chris Wilson gave the Crusaders the ball at the St. Mary’s 47-yard line. A big 32-yard Fenwick run had them knocking on the Spartans doorstep with just 2:45 remaining in the tilt. Once again, Chris Wilson found the end zone, giving the Crusaders the 21-20 lead over the Spartans.
With only 2:40 left in the game the Spartans had their backs against the wall and with a little Thanksgiving luck, were able to score with just 46 seconds left in the game. On a third and one, the Spartans fumbled, but the ruling on the field stated that it was in fact not a fumble, giving the Spartans enough time for one more play. It only seemed fitting to let one of the best quarterbacks in the state, Calvin Johnson, do his thing and he did just that, taking it 21 yards to the house, giving the Spartans the 28-21 lead over the Crusaders with only 48 seconds left in the game.
The Spartans went on to win the game and capped of their almost perfect season.