CONCORD, Mass. -- Streaks are meant to be broken, and Concord-Carlisle broke a 2-1/2 decade-long winless streak over Acton-Boxborough with a 35-12 win on Friday night.
Defense and a strong ground game powered Concord-Carlisle to their seventh consecutive win to start the 2011 season.
“The flow so far this year has been that the offense has been a little ahead of the defense,” said Concord-Carlisle Head Coach Mike Robichaud. “The defense was just huge for us tonight. I think we were really well prepared and our Defensive Coordinator Tom Dalicandro is phenomenal. They (A-B) never stop with all the formations and showed that in the third quarter comeback but our defense was enormous.”
C-C was led offensively by senior running back George Craan, who ran for 244 yards, three touchdowns and one 2-point conversion on the night.
C-C also got touchdown runs from junior Tim Badgley and senior Tyquan Culbreath. Badgley provided the game’s first score on 21-yard burst through the line and Culbreath provided the game’s final score on the night’s prettiest run. The senior shed tackles and danced around others on his way to a 37-yard touchdown run.
C-C led from start to finish and took a 22-2 lead into the half. A-B came out of the half and put together a patient and effective 4:21 drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Matt Brogie. A Jack Perry extra point made it 22-9.
A-B would then drop a squib-like onside kick on the ensuing kickoff that they would recover to turn the momentum in the game. A-B drove down field and came away with a Perry 27-yard field goal to cut the lead to 22-12 in the third quarter.
C-C and A-B would exchange possessions and C-C would grind it out down the stretch with Craan and Culbreath scoring fourth quarter touchdown runs in the win.
“George and Tyquan were huge for us tonight, “said Robichaud.
Jackson Finigan (2 pass break ups), Evan Boynton (1 INT), and Tyler Koning (6 tackles) also had strong defensive games for the Patriots.
Jake Pilecki (two catches for 67 yards) and Mike Duggan (nine tackles and blocked PAT) played well for the Colonials on the night.
Bumpus shines: Henry Bumpus made his presence felt all night as he had his hand on a few deflected balls, made two big tackles for loss and helped open huge holes for the C-C running backs to run through all night.
“Henry Bumpus is one of the best blocking tight ends I have ever seen at the high school level,” said Robichaud. “He has been doing this for us for three years now. On defense teams cannot run at him at this point. He just does a great job and plays the entire game for us.”
The 6-foot-6 senior defensive end is also an Dual County League All-Star basketball player as well as a star defenseman on the Concord-Carlisle
“I was really proud of our defense,” said Bumpus. “That is a very good offensive football team and we did a good job stepping up tonight. On offense we have five of six returners back on the line and we are really focused on getting back to where we were last year. We are blocking well right now and the backs are hitting the holes well so it is all coming together for us.”
West crushes momentum: A-B stopped Craan on a fourth down run early in the fourth quarter and got the ball back trailing by just 10 points. As A-B quarterback Hunter Arnold rolled out to his right he was met by a monster hit from C-C defensive back Anthony West. The hit knocked the ball free and C-C ‘s Jack Donovan recovered at the A-B 33 yard line. The turnover proved to be the difference maker in the game as C-C would score on the next possession to pull away.
The road ahead: Both teams get back to league play next week as Concord-Carlisle travels to Weston on Friday night. C-C plays three straight games on the road with Wayland and Lincoln-Sudbury following Weston. C-C concludes their regular season with their final home game against Bedford on Thanksgiving Day this year.
Acton-Boxborough plays their next three games at home as they begin with Waltham next Saturday afternoon. L-S and Newton South follow on the next two Friday nights before A-B finishes their regular season on Thanksgiving Day at rival Westford Academy.
CONCORD-CARLISLE 35, ACTON-BOXBOROUGH 12
C-C (7-0) --- 14 8 0 13 --- 35
A-B (4-3) --- 2 0 10 0 --- 7
C – Tim Badgley 21 run (kick blocked)
A – Billy Jackman blocked PAT return
C – George Craan 22 run (Craan run)
C – Craan 6 run (Jason Finigan pass from Ryan Hoey)
A-B – Matt Brogie 2 run (Jack Perry kick)
A-B – Perry 27 Field Goal
C – Craan 18 run (kick failed)
C – Tyquan Culbreath 37 run (Evan Boynton kick)