HOLBROOK — Saturday’s football matchup between undefeated Catholic Central League rivals Bishop Fenwick and Cardinal Spellman went down to the wire.
Fenwick’s halftime adjustments paid dividends but it was Spellman who prevailed for a 26-20 win in overtime.
Fenwick forced overtime by shutting Spellman out in the second half, after the Crusaders went behind 20-12 by the halftime break. David Cifuentes scored from the 10 in the third quarter, and Crusaders quarterback Chrys Wilson ran is way into the end zone for the 2-point conversion, and it was a 20-20 ballgame going into the fourth quarter.
No one knew overtime was still to come, when Cardinal Spellman scored first, on a touchdown run by Jovan Marrero from three yards out. Parker Hall’s boot made it 7-0 with 6:14 left in the first quarter.
The Crusaders responded with the first of David Cifuentes’ three touchdowns, this one from two yards out. The rush failed and Spellman led 7-6.
Cifuentes continued his momentum and gave Fenwick its first lead of the contest, 12-7, on a 65-yard touchdown dash. Again, the Crusaders stumbled on the conversion attempt.
Spellman scored the only two touchdowns of the second quarter. Cardinals quarterback Will McAlpine rifled one 57 yards to Craig Faria and it was a 13-12 after the PAT kick missed.
The Cardinals moved ahead on their next possession, when McAlpine hit Shane Foley for a 25-yard touchdown toss, and Parker Hall’s kick made it 20-12 as the second quarter came to a close.
Fenwick scored the only points of the second half. Cifuentes’ third TD of the game, a 10-yard carry, closed the gap to 20-18. Wilson evened the score at 20-20 on a 2-point conversion rush.
Both teams missed field goals in the closing stretch of regulation.
Fenwick got the ball to start the overtime. Starting at the 10, Fenwick threw two incomplete passes before handing off to Angel Martinez who got the ball down to the three. Cifuentes carried the ball on 4th-and-goal and was denied at the one, holding Fenwick scoreless.
McAlpine got the snap and drilled a pass to Shane Foley at the one-yard line. Marrero got the ball at the one and the Fenwick defense held, pushing him back to the three. Marrero got the ball again, and made no mistake, making a nice move to get in for the game-winner.
The two coaches, Dave Woods of Fenwick, and Ron St. George of Spellman both feel that their two teams will probably see each other again down the road, and they both can’t wait to play each other again after Saturday’s game.
“They have a very good program, we have a very good program, this is the kind of game you’d expect,” St. George said. “Both teams are so well coached, with so many talented players we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
“Two great teams going at it so when you’re trying to win a league championship, that’s what you’ve got to do, those are the teams you’ve got to play, got to beat, nobody’s going to hand it to you,” Woods said. “It was two great teams, everybody fighting, making plays, and it come down to one big play on overtime. It would be nice to see these guys down the road in a rematch, that would be awesome.”
Fenwick hosts Williams Friday night (7).