Boston High School: Chris Barthe

Recap: Bishop Feehan 49, D-R 7

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
1:39
AM ET
TAUNTON, Mass. -- In last night’s Division 3A semifinal Dighton-Rehoboth senior Michael Mello electrified the Falcons’ faithful with a 70-yard gallop through the snow to jump up early over Bishop Feehan.

Then the Shamrocks shut off the Falcons’ power and destroyed the transformer.

The Feehan rushing attack, led by junior Matth Allen, piled 341 yards in the first half en route to a 49-7 thrashing at Taunton High to advance to Saturday’s title game against Lynnfield.

“They’ve been waiting for this and they let it rip,” Bishop Feehan coach Curt Smith said. “The ironic thing is that we talked about that very play [the big early run] with that very player yesterday in practice. The little guy, behind that heap of humanity, if you go nowhere he’s going to wiggle out. We talked about squeezing those piles in and staying square. I told the kids don’t worry about it, it’s early in the football game, there’s a lot of time; we’ll get the ball back.”

Once the Shamrocks got the rock, it was all over. On their second snap Allen scampered for 41 of his 194 yards (189 in the first half) down the D-R sideline to set up a red zone situation which senior quarterback Nick Romero would finish five plays later with a one-yard touchdown plunge. Romero finished the game with 32 yards rushing.

Sophomore Matt Glebus rushed for 46 yards, and senior co-captain Matthew Pisano rushed for 28 yards and a pair for touchdowns.

The next Feehan drive Allen scored from eight yards out to give the Shamrocks the lead.

“It was awesome,” Allen said. “My line was awesome today; the holes I ran through were huge. They were massive. You never expect a blowout in the playoffs and I did not expect this at all.”

Allen turned on the spectacular midway through the second quarter with touchdown runs of 39 and 53 yards on consecutive touches to balloon the lead to 28-7. Allen also converted all seven extra points for the Shamrocks to make his total points haul 25.

“We had way too many missed tackles,” Dighton-Rehoboth coach Dave Driscoll said. “Football is a game of blocking and tackling and they blocked better than we did and they tackled better than we did.”

Defensively the Shamrocks made life a nightmare for Falcons sophomore quarterback Nathan Kowalski. Kowalski, who threw for over 1,300 yards during the regular season, was held to a paltry eight yards on 1-15 passing and took numerous hits.

Driscoll credited Feehan’s speed and athleticism for causing headaches for his offense.

“Our O-line had a hard time creating holes, and they’re so athletic at the linebacker position and the secondary position that even when guys were open they had the closing speed to deflect passes,” Driscoll said. “The secondary made nice plays. We tried everything; they had their way. I congratulate them and wish them luck in the next round.”

DOMINANCE IN THE TRENCHES
There are no exceptionally large players on Bishop Feehan’s lines. No one is over 6-foot-1 and there are no 300-pounders, but it is an exceptionally intelligent and physical bunch that asserted its dominance over the Falcons’ line, including 6-foot-7, 315-pound Chuddy Nwachukwu, early.

“You’ve got to stay strong and drive them off the ball,” sophomore Chris Barthe said. "There’s nothing else to it. You’ve got to stay physical and more tough, mentally and physically.”

Defensively the Shamrocks were able to beat D-R to the point of attack, get into the backfield, and cause chaos. Smith credits that to simple, yet effective coaching and execution.

“We keep it very, very simple; we find we can be much more successful in a one-gap technique,” Smith said. “We play one gap, you hold gap, and everyone fits together in our scheme. Everyone has a responsibility and they take that very seriously and buy in. You’d be surprised how easy that is.”

For Barthe, the payoff is seeing his teammates in the backfield hit the holes he, and the line, create and get to the end zone.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Barthe said. “I got to give all the respect to the running backs holding onto the ball in this weather. We’ve been doing this all year.”

FEEHAN’S JACK OF ALL TRADES
Isaiah Douglas is a football player. The Feehan junior isn’t classified by one position and he played like it last night.

Douglas ran for 97 yards, including a smooth 50-yard touchdown run, and locked down Dighton-Rehoboth’s top receiver, Paul Costa.

“It feels good,” Douglas said. “. I’ve been trying every day and working hard. All week we’ve been preparing for D-R and coach had me lock out [Costa]; focus on him, lockout on him, study his moves and everything.”

Kowalski’s 1-15 passing line was due in large part to Douglas who was able to close quickly on Costa and bat a handful of balls away at the last minute.

Offensively, Douglas benefited from being part of the tailback committee that the Shamrocks were able to rotate in throughout the game and stay fresh.

“Just ran hard,” Douglas said. “Coach told me to run hard and lower my shoulder and it’ll come.”

Smith was quick to praise Douglas for his skill, leadership, and love of the game.

“He’s an extraordinary player,” Smith said. “He’s our only junior on defense. He loves football; he eat, sleeps, and drinks football. We challenged him. We said it was going to be quite a challenge; we told him how they liked to throw the ball and if they had a big play you’d have to have a short memory and you’ve got to get over it. He rose to the occasion.”

Recap: Bishop Feehan 24, No. 16 S-B 7

November, 11, 2012
11/11/12
12:49
AM ET
[+] EnlargeIsaiah Douglas
Brendan Hall/ESPNBoston.comIsaiah Douglas' goal line interception early in the fourth quarter helped cement Bishop Feehan's second straight EAC crown.
SOMERSET, Mass. -- For as long as we can remember, the Eastern Athletic Conference title always runs through Bishop Feehan. And for the third straight year, the crown fell into the hands of today's matchup between those Shamrocks and the Blue Raiders of Somerset-Berkley.

And for the second straight year, the Shamrocks emerged victorious, though it wasn't nearly the 41-7 blowout they delivered a year ago. In this one, the Shamrocks rattled off 24 unanswered points, en route to a 24-7 victory on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Somerset.

With the win, Feehan clinches at least a share of the EAC crown. But even if they were to lose to Bishop Stang on Thanksgiving, the Shamrocks would still be the conference's Div. 3A playoff representative based on head-to-head with S-B.

The Shamrocks will face South Coast Conference champ Dighton-Rehoboth on Nov. 27 in a Divison 3A playoff.

"I watched my brother win a Super Bowl," said quarterback Nick Romero. "I watched Nick Schwieger, all the greats play and win Super Bowls. That's what we've been working all season for. We've got one more, then we've got D-R, just like in 2009."

Somerset got on board first, an eight-yard toss sweep from Mikey Garrant, to go up 7-0, and the Blue Raiders took a 7-6 lead into the half. But momentum swung to the Shamrocks' favor with two key sequences of events.

First, Feehan opened up its first series of the second half running midline option out of its tried and true Wing-T scheme, with two big gains out of up-back Matt Glebus (15 carries, 123 yards). He took his first carry of the drive 53 yards, bursting up the middle then cutting to his left twice, pushed out of bounds some 53 yards later. The gain was negated 20 yards thanks to a downfield block in the back, but one play later Glebus was at it again, this time just bulling straight up the middle for a 39-yard gain that put the ball at the S-B 1 yard line.

Two plays later, Romero followed his left guard over the goal line to punched it in from a yard out and give the Shamrocks their first lead of the game, 12-7 advantage.

[+] EnlargeBishop Feehan Matt Allen
Brendan Hall/ESPNBoston.comMatt Allen's two fourth-quarter touchdowns put the finishing touches on Feehan's comeback victory.
"Nicky stepped up today," said running back Matt Allen (11 carries, 76 yards, two total TD). "He really read it nice. All season, that's what we do, we practice the option. We knew it was there, their linebackers kind filled slow, so he took it. Glebus, by the way, he stepped up. He went off today."

S-B's ensuing drive moved deep into Feehan territory, aided by a 41-yard pass completion from Jack Aramantes to Garrant,but after two failed dives found itself facing fourth and goal from the Shamrocks' five. Out of a timeout, Aramantes took a few steps to his right, threw across his body to the near pylon, and watched as safety Isaiah Douglas crashed from over the top and took the pass 60 yards the other way.

"I just knew it was coming," Douglas said. "I could tell that he was coming to the back corner."

That led to a five-play 40-yard scoring drive capped with a 14-yard screen pass from Romero to Allen, for an 18-7 lead with 6:07 to go. Allen added another score late for good measure.

Setting the edge: The Shamrocks are no stranger to S-B's vaunted double wing attack by now, and head coach Curt Smith stressed the outside gaps in practice this week. With Chris Barthe, Mitch Martin and Zach Forget

"Win the C and D gap battle," Smith said. "If we can control the off-tackle and outside, when you take that away it's all play action passes. That's it. You can't sit back and read it and hope for it. You've got to smack them in the mouth in the C and D gap, and play the play action passes. That formula so far has worked for us. It's the only way I know, and it's worked so far."

Plenty to boot: In the box score, Allen will go down as 0-for-2 on point after kicks. But as is the case every now and then, stats can be misleading.

One of the most underrated angles in the Shamrocks' surge over the final three quarters was Allen's booming blasts on kickoffs. Allen recorded three touchbacks on the day, including two in the fourth quarter. The Raiders' offense isn't always built to score quick when playing from behind, so with 80 yards to go o their final two drives of the game, it was an added layer to what was an uphill battle.

BISHOP FEEHAN 24, SOMERSET-BERKLEY 7

BF (7-2, 3-0) 0 6 6 12 --- 24
SB (9-1, 3-1) 0 7 0 0 --- 7


Second Quarter
S - Mikey Garrant 8 run (T.J. Eisele kick) 5:42
B - Isaiah Douglas 17 run (kick failed) 3:03

Third Quarter
B - Nick Romero 1 run (rush failed) 3:51

Fourth Quarter
B - Matt Allen 14 pass from Romero (pass failed) 6:07
B - Allen 4 run (kick failed) 3:23

ESPN Boston Week 10 football picks

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
1:42
AM ET
NO. 5 WALPOLE (9-0) AT NO. 21 NATICK (8-1)
The Skinny: The most anticipated regular-season matchup is finally upon us. A swelling crowd is expected to turn out for this one, as the Bay State Conference’s Herget division title is on the line. Natick is looking to bounce back after coming up on the wrong side of one of the year’s biggest upsets (a 40-34 loss to Wellesley), but Troy Flutie, Brian Dunlap and co. will have to do it against one of the state’s stingiest defenses. Walpole hasn’t allowed a point since Sept. 28, and hasn’t allowed a touchdown since Week 3.

Scott Barboza: I’m shudder to think that we might not have any questions to answer during our Sunday night chat this week now that we’re finally about to give our picks on this game. Walpole, 27-21.

Brendan Hall: I’m sure the primary topic of discussion in this Sunday night’s Top 25 chat will be “What’s your prediction for Natick-Walpole in 2013?” Walpole, 20-17.

NO. 17 NAUSET (9-0) AT PLYMOUTH SOUTH (6-3)
The Skinny: Raise your hand if you thought this would be the de facto Atlantic Coast League championship back in August. South’s Dylan Oxsen leads the state in rushing touchdowns (28), doing so behind a uniquely modified pistol attack that gets the hard-charging junior downhill in a hurry. Written off a month ago, the Panthers are suddenly in prime position for their first postseason berth here, but they’ll have to find a way to neutralize all the chicanery that comes with Nauset’s single wing attack, led by running back Jimmy Sullivan.

Barboza: It’s time we start considering Oxsen as a serious candidate for our Offensive Player of the Year Award. Plymouth South, 13-7.

Hall: If you know me, you know I’m a fiend for the ground-and-pound. For that reason, can’t go wrong with either team, but I’m sticking with my preseason pick. Nauset, 28-21.

NO. 23 ABINGTON (9-0) AT EAST BRIDGEWATER (6-3)
The Skinny: Abington can clinch the South Shore League title with a win over the Vikings, and are the favorites here behind a dynamic offense led by Babila Fonkem, Pat Dwyer and Brandon Cawley. Defensively, the Green Wave are allowing just under seven points a game the last three weeks, but they figure to have their hands full trying to slow down quarterback Andrew Benson in the option game.

Barboza: I’m going to mention Brandon Cawley’s name again just because the other night on Twitter he’s said I only mention the running backs. JK guys, JK. Abington, 32-24.

Hall: If this is truly Abington coach Jim Kelliher’s last season, then you can’t find a more fitting farewell. Abington, 31-20.

SHARON (7-2) AT FOXBOROUGH (7-2)
The Skinny: Is the clock about to strike midnight on Sharon? The Eagles remain unbeaten in the Hockomock’s Davenport division, but still have two big league games on the slate. The first one is Friday night, where they will attempt to contain tailback Kiivone Howard, who leads the Hockomock in rushing yardage (1,405).

Barboza: Foxborough quarterback Mike Slaby could be the difference-maker. Foxborough, 23-17.

Hall: What would a Hockomock League berth be without a little bit of mathematics? Foxborough, 21-7.

MARBLEHEAD (8-1) AT BEVERLY (9-0)
The Skinny: The Magicians claimed the CAL/NEC Tier 2 title last season with a senior-laden team. However, Marblehead’s in the mix again, even after a surprise loss to Salem a few weeks back. Meanwhile, the Panthers can clinch the league crown with a win on Saturday. The vaunted Panthers offense (averaging 38 points per game) and its rushing attack is closing in on 3,000 combined rushing yards on the season, led by a backfield of Brendan Flaherty and Kenny Pierce. The Magicians have relied on 1,000-yard passer Ian Maag (13 touchdowns) for a bulk of their offense.

Barboza: It’s been a nice bounce back run for Marblehead in an attempt at a repeat title, but, after all, this is the #yearofthepanther. Beverly, 28-14.

Hall: We love Jim Rudloff’s mind games as much as the next guy, but the Magicians are simply overmatched here against one of the state’s best rushing attacks. Beverly, 35-21.

BISHOP FEEHAN (6-2) AT SOMERSET-BERKLEY (9-0)
The Skinny: As in each of the last three seasons, the Eastern Athletic Conference title will be determined in a matchup between the Shamrocks and Blue Raiders. Feehan came away with a decisive victory last year, but Somerset-Berkley is looking to lay claim to its second crown in the last three years. The Blue Raiders are led by a dynamic back field of Garrett Carlos and Mike Garrant, but they’ll encounter a physical Feehan front seven anchored by linemen Chris Barthe, Seamus Cuddy and Mitch Matrin.

Barboza: Nick Freitas escapes with EAC title No. 2. Somerset-Berkley, 27-20.

Hall: In terms of EAC supremacy, Feehan had the 2000’s. And now, Somerset has the 2010’s. Somerset-Berkley, 24-17.

FRANKLIN (7-2) AT MANSFIELD (6-3)
The Skinny: The Panthers get back into Hockomock Kelley-Rex play after a startling loss to Taunton two weeks ago. If Franklin is to hold out hope of hanging around in the division race, they’ll need a win at Mansfield on Saturday. The Hornets are in a similar situation having dropped a close decision to North Attleborough two weeks ago. Look for the Hornets, led by Robbie Rapoza, to pound the ball on the ground and play some ball control in trying to keep the Panthers’ spread attack on the sideline. Franklin junior quarterback Nick Zucco has been a revelation this year, but the Panthers can also run the ball behind Kyle Finamore. The Mansfield defense has been bolstered by junior linebacker Alex Ruddy, who currently leads the team in tackles.

Barboza: As predicted a couple weeks back, the Kelley-Rex picture is only obfuscated more. Expect another wild finish. And, of course, another prediction my friends in Mansfield will relish. Franklin, 38-36.

Hall: If the Hornets can establish the run game early, they can do just enough to hold off a furious Franklin rally. Mansfield, 27-24.

KING PHILIP (8-1) AT NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH (6-3)
The Skinny: Another pair of Kelley-Rex teams with one division loss meet in this rivalry game. The Red Rocketeers have cobbled together a three-game winning streak, following a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season. The better news yet for North in recent weeks its improving health, seeing several key contributors return to the field in recent weeks. Meanwhile, King Philip has rolled through Attleboro and Oliver Ames by a combined 75-21 margin since its loss to Mansfield.

Barboza: I find myself simply rooting for another chaotic finish to the Kelley-Rex division race, but I’m sticking with my preseason pick. KP, 24-21.

Hall: This is a new team with Sean Peters and Alex Jette both healthy. I’m looking at a return to early September form down the stretch for the Big Red. North, 30-23.

Recap: Bishop Feehan 41, Somerset-Berkley 7

November, 11, 2011
11/11/11
10:55
PM ET
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.”

FEEHAN 41, SOMERSET BERKLEY 7
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)

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