CONCORD, Mass. -- Not even thunder and lightning could stop the No. 8 Concord-Carlisle ground attack Friday. It ran all over Westford Academy, propelling the Patriots to a 61-14 victory in front of its home crowd.
Tyquan Culbreath got things going for CC (6-0) early and often. After his team forced Westford (3-3) to punt on its opening drive, Culbreath scored a 10-yard rushing touchdown when he took the option handoff straight through the heart of the Westford defense.
Minutes later, on his teams next offensive possession, he broke two tackles in a 50-yard touchdown run to put his team up by two scores.
In the second quarter, he added a 26-yard touchdown and a 4-yard touchdown on a reverse 5.5 seconds before the end of the half. It was his ability to break multiple tackles that made his performance so memorable in the game.
“We see those kinds of things in practice that only we see,” C-C head coach Mike Robichaud said. “He’s a special kid who really works hard. He’s very quiet and has really improved this year as a blocker. I think he’s really bought in to being a complete back, so it’s really nice to see him get the ball and just make some unbelievable plays.
“I wish I could say it was a great scheme and all the right blocks, but he just made a lot of great things happen. It’s great to see for him.”
Culbreath ended the game with six carries for 130 yards and four touchdowns.
His fellow running backs would not let him have all the fun, however.
In the third quarter, Tim Badgley scored on an 85-yard run, giving him four carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. George Craan had a 28-yard touchdown run of his own. He ended the game with 10 carries for 102 yards and the touchdown.
“We’re really proud of all the backs because of the way that they practice and the way they push each other,” Robichaud said. “They really challenge each other during the week."
They, as well as the rest of the team, will have to keep challenging themselves if they want to keep up their undefeated record.
-- The game was forced into a half-hour delay when thunder and lightning rolled into the area. With 1:02 left in the first half, the teams were told to head into the locker rooms and wait out the storm. The teams made the decision that when they came back from the break halftime would be treated like a quarter, with a shorter break rather than another long one. With time in the locker room so close to the half, Robichaud treated it like the real thing. “We had other things that we were talking about, so it was less about game-planning, it was a little more about leadership during that break,” he said. “The guys did a great job of putting things behind them and playing the way we know that we can play. It was a little bit different, but it was no big deal. It’s a pretty mature group of guys and they rolled with it.
-- The leadership issues Robichaud was addressing was his team’s willingness to take what some coaches would call retaliation penalties in the first half. On more than one occasion, his players were flagged after engaging a Westford player. The penalties came at costly times, keeping Westford drives alive when C-C needed to make stops. “We had what, I think, were maturity issues in the first half,” he said. “We had a number of penalties we discussed during the lightning break and we really challenged the seniors to snap out of it and be the leaders we know they are.”
-- While its offense will get the most attention attention in the scorebook, the C-C defense also came to play Friday. Collectively, it intercepted the Westford quarterbacks four times, including Tyler Koning’s interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. It also came up with a crucial 3-and-out in the second quarter when Westford was driving to potentially make it a one-score game. “This year, the offense has been a little ahead of the defense developmentally, personel-wise, things like that,” Robichaud said. “We made some adjustments during the week and the kids really responded to that. I think we really showed the way we can play on defense. It wasn’t a perfect game, but I was really pleased with our pass coverage. This was a great team we played. The kids were really looking forward to the game and I think they did a good job of just executing what the defensive coaches set them up to do. We have to get ready for [Acton-Boxborough] now.”
NO. 8 CONCORD-CARLISLE 61, WESTFORD ACADEMY14
C-C (6-0) 20 15 19 7 -- 61
WA (3-3) 0 14 0 0 -- 14
C-C - Tyquan Culbreath 10-yard run (Evan Boynton kick good)
C-C - Culbreath 50-yard run (Boynton kick good)
C-C - Ben Aley interception return (Boynton kick failed)
W - Alex Eaton 11-yard run (Alex Locker kick good)
W - Justin Mount 1-yard run (Locker kick good)
C-C - Culbreath 26-yard run (2-pt conversion good- Ryan Hoey pass to Evan Boynton)
C-C - Culbreath 4-yard run (Boynton kick good)
C-C - George Craan 28-yard run (Boynton kick blocked)
C-C - Tim Badgley 85-yard run (Boynton kick wide right)
C-C - Javier Flores 6-yard run (Boynton kick good)
C-C - Flores 73-yard run (kick good)