Boston High School: Andrew Murphy

Recap: Bishop Feehan 41, Somerset-Berkley 7

November, 11, 2011
ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- Somerset-Berkley won the coin toss prior to Friday night’s Eastern Athletic Conference game at Bishop Feehan and opted to defer to the second half.

Bad move.

On the fourth play after the opening kickoff, Cameron Frye broke through the right side and sprinted 63 yards for a touchdown. Then, three plays after the ensuing kickoff, Tom Flett recovered a Cole Stafford fumble which set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Frye and a 14-0 lead.

For all intents and purposes, the game was over, as the Shamrocks cruised to a 41-7 victory which enabled them to clinch the conference championship and a berth in the Division 3A semifinals against the South Coast Conference champion.

The Blue Raiders (4-6, 3-1) are known for their double-wing, ball-control offense. But they were in trouble because that offense isn’t designed to enable teams to overcome significant deficits.

“The ball bounced the right way for us early in the game and I think that gave us momentum,” said Feehan coach Curt Smith. “I think it’s tough in that offense when you fall behind to come back. That’s what we needed to do, get up early.

“That’s what we talked about all week, trying to get up early on them, and we were fortunate enough to do that.”

“Fortune” had little to do with the next touchdown scored by Feehan (6-4, 4-0) as opposed to execution.

On first and 10 from his 30 early in the second period, quarterback Andrew Murphy ran play action where he faked a handoff to Frye (13 carries, 117 yards) and threw a 69-yard scoring bomb to Flett for a 20-0 lead.

But fortune definitely played a role in in a score that gave Feehan a 27-0 lead. Murphy scrambled from his 30 and appeared to be en route to a sure touchdown –- until he fumbled the ball into the end zone, where the ball was smothered by teammate Jim Corbesero.

Feehan’s defense stopped Mike Garrant for zero yards on fourth-and-three from the Blue Raiders’ 38, and the Shamrocks converted that into a four-yard touchdown pass from Murphy to Zach Forget.

The Shamrocks completed their scoring on another well-executed play early in the third quarter when Murphy threw a screen pass to Christian Cooke, who broke it 50 yards to the end zone.

“We respect everybody,” added Smith. “We prepare and we assume that everyone is better than us. It doesn’t matter who it is. Records are thrown out the window.

“That’s the way we prepare.”

Good point.

Immovable objects: Against Somerset-Berkley, and throughout Feehan’s six-game winning streak, the Shamrocks’ defense has been rock-solid.

In their last five games, for example, Feehan’s allowed only 15 points –- eight on an 85-yard touchdown run, and seven when the Blue Raiders scored with 41 seconds left of the clock against the Shamrocks’ second- and third-stringers.

Or to put it another way, 68 of the 75 yards in total offense Somerset-Berkley amassed in the second half came on that last drive.

Smith was effusive in his praise of senior Ed Giles, senior Tim McMackin, junior Mitch Martin, junior Chris Barthe, Forget, Flett and senior John Labelle.

“They’ve put the ‘D’ in our defense,” said Smith. “Our defense has been playing well. The kids are disappointed because they wanted another shutout. But it’s not about that. It’s about playing well and doing the right thing.

“The seniors on defense have waited 365 days for this opportunity after last year (when the Raiders rang up 49 points against the Shamrocks) –- much like Somerset did last year. It’s a nice, little rivalry we’ve got going.”

Intestinal fortitude: After the Shamrocks lost their first four games they had every opportunity to mail in the rest of the season. Instead, they did a complete turn-around and won their last six.

“We played some tough teams in the beginning,” said Murphy. “We basically said we’re going to fight and do whatever we can to compete with those teams. Then, hopefully that would set us up to move through our EAC schedule and put us in a good position.

“We we’re in a similar situation last year. We came out and knew what we had to do. We knew we had to get the EAC and we came out and got it.”

SOM (4-6, 3-1) 0 - 0 - 0 - 7 --– 7
FEE (6-4, 4-0) 14 - 20 - 7 - 0 --– 41

First quarter
F – Cameron Frye 63 run (Matt Allen kick)
F – Frye 10 run (Allen kick)

Second quarter
F – Tom Flett 69 pass from Andrew Murphy (kick failed)
F – Jim Corbesero recovered fumble in end zone (Allen kick)
F – Zach Forget 4 pass from Murphy (Allen kick)

Third quarter
F – Christian Cooke 50 pass from Murphy (Allen kick)

Fourth quarter
S – Cole Stafford 4 run (T.J. Eisele kick)

No. 20 Somerset secures EAC title

November, 13, 2010

SOMERSET, Mass. – Somerset’s run to the 2010 Eastern Athletic Conference championship began last December.

“We were in there lifting from about two weeks after the end of last season,” Blue Raiders offensive and defensive tackle Ian Levesque said. “We were so close to winning the EAC last year that it was all we could think about.”

There were days when Levesque said his legs were so tired he could barely get up the steps to his front door. Yet, after enduing a fast-paced 49-28 shootout with defending EAC champion Bishop Feehan and running the gauntlet to a 10-0 record, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman seemed happy enough he could have levitated off the field having seen his hard work pay off.

“There was definitely an air of something different this week,” said head coach Nick Freitas, who led the No. 20 Blue Raiders to their first football league title in nearly three decades.

Freitas wasn’t about to let his team look past Feehan, which trudged an unlikely road to set up Friday’s winner-take-all matchup on County Street.

The Shamrocks lost their first five games out of the chute, but redeemed themselves with a four-game winning streak, including three conference games.

Freitas installed a sign reading “What did you do to beat Feehan today?” In the spirit of the Golden Domers, their opponents, it was a reminder not only to play like a champion, but practice like one.

“Their record doesn’t show how good of a team they are,” Levesque said. “They played a bunch of good teams early in the year. We knew we had to come to this game really focused, really prepared. [This week,] practices went a little bit longer, film sessions went a little bit longer. Everybody had to be on the ball and have that mentality to not give up at any point in the game.”

The Blue Raiders showed their resolve, embarking on a 14-play touchdown drive on their first possession with Seth DeMello punching in the first of his six touchdowns. The 17-yard score from Adam LeDoux saw the Somerset offense in a bit of a different light. Running back Jaron Spear also connected with DeMello on a passing play for a 42-yard score in the second quarter.

DeMello, who ran for 245 on 20 carries, added rushing touchdowns of 3, 39, 88 and 13 yards, respectively.

Alex Estrella also had a touchdown run of 11 yards in the second quarter.

The Shamrocks received stellar quarterback play from junior Andrew Murphy, who completed 13 of 21 pass attempts for 312 yards and three touchdowns.

"I didn't feel safe until it was down to point-six second left on the clock there," Freitas said.

By that time, Freitas had already been doused in a congratulatory water bath by his team. Nick Almeida finished the game with emphasis with the fifth Somerset sack of Murphy.

Then, and only then, could the celebration truly begin.

Bishop Feehan 0 14 7 7 -- 28
Somerset 7 21 7 14 -- 49

First quarter
Somerset Seth DeMello 17-yard pass from Adam LeDoux (T.J. Eisle kick)

Second quarter
Somerset DeMello 3-yard run (Eisle kick)
Bishop Feehan O'Brian McHayle 57-yard run (Matt Allen kick)
Somerset DeMello 42-yard pass from Jaron Spear (Eisle kick)
Somerset Alex Estrella 11-yard run (Eisle kick)
Bishop Feehan Brandon Cole 13-yard pass from Andrew Murphy (Allen kick)

Third quarter
Somerset DeMello 39-yard run (Eisle kick)
Bishop Feehan William Firth 24-yard pass from Murphy (Allen kick)

Fourth quarter
Somerset DeMello 88-yard run (Eisle kick)
Bishop Feehan O'Brian McHayle 56-yard pass from Murphy (Allen kick)
Somerset DeMello 13-yard run (Eisle kick)

Abington's Kelliher takes No. 200

September, 24, 2010
ABINGTON, Mass. -- If there’s any coach in the state that is familiar with the peaks and valleys of a given program, let alone a single game, it’s Abington’s Jim Kelliher.

“I had the 0-for-10s, and I have also come around and had some 10-0s,” said Kelliher, who became the 40th coach in state history Friday night to earn his 200th victory in his 37th year as head coach of the Green Wave. “But, at the same time, the most important thing is the kids themselves, how much they played each and every game.”

Abington’s 20-12 win over Bishop Feehan was emblematic of the up-and-down nature of the business, and Kelliher showed humility and gratitude after his team pulled out the victory.

“It’s exciting, I’m thrilled,” Kelliher said. “My coaching staff has been great. We’ve now been together for a long time. We know each other well. The kids respect them a lot. … They’ve certainly helped my cause getting to the 200 wins the last eight or nine years, because they’ve been a little bit better than the years beforehand.”

Indeed, since 2001, the Green Wave has won at least a share of seven South Shore League titles and two Super Bowls. Over the last five seasons, Abington is 52-8 and has not dropped a home game since 2004 (a 30-23 defeat to Cohasset).

That last streak looked to be in jeopardy late against Feehan, however. The Green Wave jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead on touchdown runs by seniors Dylan Pietrasik (79 yards rushing, 2 TDs) and John Lane (143 yards rushing, TD), only to see it nearly disappear in the fourth quarter as two Andrew Murphy-to-William Firth (119 yards receiving) touchdown connections cut the deficit to 14-12.

But Abington answered with a 14-play, 67-yard drive that chewed up almost eight minutes off the clock and ended with a Pietrasik 19-yard score on a draw play on third and 15. Feehan’s last drive stalled at the Abington 47-yard line, and Abington captains Ryan Southerland and Connor Fraser doused Kelliher with the Gatorade bucket moments later.

“He's been in it a long time, 37 years,” Lane said of Kelliher. “He's a great coach. We got it in for him, 200 wins. It's awesome.”

“I love being here. It’s my hometown,” Kelliher said. “I played on this field. I grew up in this area. I stayed here. I taught here.”

And after 37 years, Kelliher has endured both the 0-10s and 10-0s to achieve a rare milestone there.