AUBURN — The Cheverus Stags quickly figured out weaknesses in Edward Little’s eight-man front and force-fed the Red Eddies with endless images of Joe Fitzpatrick rushing up field in a Class A Football game Friday night.
Any time Fitzpatrick was hit, he rolled off an EL defender and rushed toward the end zone. The senior tailback did this 31 times, rushed for a whopping 328 yards and scored four touchdowns in Cheverus’ 41-7 victory over Edward Little.
“Our line did a great job blocking, especially on outside sweeps. I think overall we a great first half and had a great tempo in the second half, ” Fitzpatrick said. “I don’t really pay attention to yardage. I look at us as a whole.”
The Cheverus tailback certainly got Edward Little’s attention and the Red Eddies were hard pressed to keep Fitzpatrick out of the end zone.
“Yeah, he had a good day. He is a very good player,” Cheverus coach John Wolfgram said. “He plays hard. We came to play physically and control the line of scrimmage.”
The Stags hopped out to a 13-0 lead in the first half when Fitzpatrick gave EL a preview of things to come. He broke free on a 60-yard rush and scored. Later in the quarter, quarterback Isaac Dunn reeled off an 8-yard pass to Zordan Holman and Pat Mourmoura made the extra point.
In the second quarter, Fitzpatrick was off and running again, scoring on a 52-yard rush and Cheverus was sitting pretty with a 20-0 lead.
Edward Little tried to stop the bleeding, but eventually gave up three costly fumbles.
But the Red Eddies did find the end zone on a stop-and-go series. Matthew Verrill connected with Drew Lashua for 2-yard touchdown pass. Charles Cedre’s kick split the uprights, but EL wouldn’t see the end zone again.
The Stags came right back and scored again to make it a 34-7 game when Justin Johnson dove into the end zone for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick capped off the Stags’ scoring in the third quarter, scoring on a 20-yard rush, before he was pulled from the backfield for the rest of the second half.
“We did some good things in the first half, but we have a lot to do to become a better football team,” EL football coach Dave Sterling said.