The stands at Donaldson Stadium were packed for the latest edition of the St. Mary’s High School-Bishop Fenwick sports rivalry, a Catholic Central League battle of football unbeatens.
And the two Catholic Central League sports powerhouses gave their fans an instant classic, with St. Mary’s Coach Sean Driscoll’s Spartans winning, 21-19, in overtime Friday night.
St. Mary’s quarterback and cornerback Ali Barry, who had scored a 45-yard touchdown in the second quarter, denied the Fenwick receiver a reception for a two-pointer in one-on-one coverage to seal the Spartans’ victory in what was billed as the “game of the week” and truly could now be considered the “regular season game of the year.”
With the Crusaders’ defense notably keying on All-Scholastic candidate and running back David Brown Jr., it was Derek Coulanges who stepped up on offense with 205 yards rushing and two touchdowns, including an electrifying 80-yard rush through the middle of the Fenwick defense.
But it came down to overtime where the two teams are given possession of the football and four downs to score from the 10-yard line. St. Mary’s went first in the overtime, with Coulanges scoring a 1-yard touchdown and Barry producing the two-point conversion on a rush for a 21-13 lead.
Fenwick scored a TD on its possession, but Barry blanketed Fenwick receiver Troy Irizarry on the crucial attempt for the two-point conversion.
Sean Driscoll called the 21-19 decision “a big win” for the program.
“Anytime you can beat a program that’s been as good as Fenwick over the years, it’s always a big win,” said Driscoll. “I think we did a nice job defensively, especially down the stretch when the pressure was on to make a play to win the game.”
Driscoll credited offensive linemen Jack Marks, Tommy Falasca, Kenson Justine, Martin Marange, and first-year center Graham Richman for their blocking and helping Coulanges pile up the yardage.
After giving up an early score, the St. Mary’s defense contained the Crusaders’ explosive offense. Inside linebacker Chris Sazo had an outstanding game. Donovan Clark, Jack Marks, and Nick Sacco (“He’s having a phenemonal year defensively for us getting to the football,” said Driscoll also excelled for the St. Mary’s defense.
St. Mary’s (4-0), who has moved up to No. 18 in the Boston Globe Top 20 poll, will host Bishop Stang Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Manning Field.