WESTON, Mass. -- George Craan was dynamic. He was tough. He was shifty. Of course, he was fast. And, by the looks of it, he was anything but unhealthy.
The junior running back for Concord-Carlisle plowed his way through Weston’s defense for 134 yards and four touchdowns, to carry the Patriots to a 25-0 win over the undefeated Wildcats. And with it, he gave the Patriots (6-2) control of the Dual Country Small league, as they remain undefeated in league play at 2-0.
It was Craan’s first game back since sitting out of last week’s win over Arlington. Patriots coach Mike Robichaud said Craan had been kept out of that game because of a foot injury.
Weston coach Bob Desaulniers said he thought Craan was being saved for Friday’s game.
Reporters asked Craan, had he overcome an injury to play this week against Wildcats? He smiled.
"Sort of," he said. "[Sitting out last week] was just a little bit of re-polishing."
Whether he was truly injured, or whether he was being saved for the important league game, he was well-rested at Weston and it showed. He ran wild against the Wildcats, which has proven to be no easy task this season. Before Friday’s game, Weston (7-1) had allowed a Division 2A-best 6.9 points per game.
"He's incredible," said Desaulniers. "We had several plays where we had two guys on him and it looked like he was down. He’s just so damn athletic, but determined as well. He doesn’t go down."
Determined as he was, on Craan’s first two scores of the game, he was nearly untouched.
On the Patriots’ first possession he sprinted through a gaping hole up the middle to score from 11 yards out. Ninety seconds later, after the ensuing kickoff was fumbled and recovered by Concord-Carlisle’s Andrew Della-Volpe, Craan ran around the right end and waltzed into pay dirt to put his team up two touchdowns just six minutes into the game.
"[The offensive linemen] have been tremendous," said Robichaud. "It doesn’t happen without those guys putting in the work up front. They’ve been tremendous for us, as have the other backs lead blocking for [Craan] and taking the pressure off. It’s been a great team effort and he’s benefiting."
Craan’s two quick strikes would prove to be more than enough for the Patriots as their defense held against every Wildcat threat.
In the first half, Weston drove to the Concord-Carlisle nine yard line before the Patriots forced a turnover on downs. On the Wildcats’ following possession, quarterback Jarrett Rowe was intercepted by the Patriots’ Tyler Koning at the C-C 22 yard line.
"Some games you just don’t feel like your calls are in sync or your game plan is right," said Desaulniers. "Your adjustments aren’t right, your kids aren’t playing the way they usually play, you put it all together against one of the best teams in the area and you get what you got there."
Three minutes into the second half, Weston had a chance to cut Concord-Carlisle’s lead in half and begin their climb back into the game. Jonathan Tamburro blocked a Patriots punt to give the Wildcats possession on the C-C 23-yard line.
But, put in a tough spot, Patriots held once again. They allowed just five yards on the series and forced another turnover on downs. The Patriots capitalized on offense, following with a 10-play, 78-yard drive. Craan punctuated the series with a gritty five-yard score.
The Patriots continued to bleed the clock on their next possession at the start of the fourth quarter.
After ten plays and nearly five minutes of possession, Craan had taken his 23rd carry of the game in for a 15-yard touchdown run.
"He’s just a workhorse," Robichaud said. "We probably put a little more on his odometer tonight so he’s probably going to need a little more rest this week. But it was good to get him some rest [last week] and he was ready to go tonight."
Concord Carlisle 25, Weston 0
C-C 13 0 6 6 –-- 25
WES 0 0 0 0 –-- 0
George Craan 11 run (kick failed)
Craan 15 run (Brendan Gay kick)
Craan 5 run (kick failed)
Craan 15 run (kick failed)