Kennedy, defense help Fenwick reach .500

MEDFORD – What looked like a romp became a gut-wrencher.The Bishop Fenwick High School football team got two touchdowns from running back Dan Kennedy in a 20-14 victory over Medford at Hormel Stadium on Thursday night. Fenwick needed a last-second defensive stand to outlast the Mustangs and reach .500 (2-2).”Medford played great,” Fenwick coach David Woods said. “They’re tough kids. They fought all the way to the end. They fought hard.”Medford had made things interesting with under two minutes left in regulation. On first and six from the Crusader six, Mustang quarterback Mike Sullivan passed to wide receiver Jan Lopez. Despite being driven back, Lopez stayed mobile and motored into the end zone at 1:26. Alegre Rodrigo kicked the extra point. It was 20-14.The Fenwick special teams unit helped matters momentarily by recovering a Medford onside kick. Medford, though, forced a fourth and nine on the Crusader 37 with 29 seconds left. After two Crusader time-outs, Fenwick punted and Medford took over on its 33 with 16 seconds to go.Those who watched Antwaan Randle El in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2006 Super Bowl win would appreciate what happened next. On first down, Sullivan pitched the ball to Alex Krasco, who unleashed a toss to Giovani Sanders, prompting a celebration among the Medford fans. The Mustangs had a first down on the Fenwick 33 with five seconds left.Amid cheers from the crowd, Sullivan wheeled and ran, but was finally taken down short of the goal line as time elapsed.”Just keep them out of the end zone,” Woods said in describing his strategy on the final play.Thus ended a game that began with Fenwick scoring on its first two possessions.The Crusaders got the ball to start proceedings, and on the second play of the game, Kennedy ran 79 yards into touchdown territory at 10:29. Medford drew an offsides penalty on the first PAT attempt, but Fenwick missed on the reprise.Fenwick forced Medford into a fourth-and-13, and recovered the ball on its 28. This drive developed more gradually, with Medford making several stops to avert a quick score. Fenwick nevertheless progressed into Medford territory, and on second and nine from the Mustang 22, Chris Renzulli took it in at 4:39 of the first quarter. Quarterback Pat Holleran misfired on a conversion pass attempt, though.Fenwick would soon face some difficulties. After its defense caused Medford to punt again, senior Kyle White injured his MCL on the return.”He’s probably our best player,” Woods said. “Kyle is our leader. The kids responded.”Medford recovered the ball on the play, taking over on the Crusader 22. Two plays later, Pat Barry ran it in from the 10, and Rodrigo’s kick made it 12-7 with 27 ticks left in the first quarter.Late in the first half, Fenwick got its double-digit margin back. The defense helped by recovering a Medford fumble with 2:53 remaining in the second quarter. Key plays on the ensuing drive included a Holleran pass to Joe Bona from the Medford 36 that, coupled with a personal-foul call on Medford, set up a first-and-five on the Mustang five. On third and one, Kennedy scored his second touchdown of the evening. While Holleran was intercepted on his first conversion-pass attempt, an offsides call on Medford negated the play, and the Crusader quarterback succeeded on the retry, running it in for two points and a 20-7 halftime lead.

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