Boston High School: Mike Robichaud

D2 boys' lax: C-C claims 4th state title

June, 16, 2012

WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Concord-Carlisle boys' lacrosse team wrote a new page in their long and storied history book on Friday night as they defeated Algonquin 13-3 to win the school’s fourth state championship and first since 1998.

The undefeated Patriots saved one of their strongest efforts for last as they struck early and often and played some of their best team defense of the season in the Division 2 state championship game.

“We have never had a season where we have played up to or beyond our potential every single game,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said. “It is amazing.”

Concord Carlisle (22-0) got all the offense they would need in the first quarter as senior midfielder Jackson Finigan set the tone early by netting the games first two goals on strong individual efforts. Finigan and freshman midfielder Will Blumenberg would each net hat tricks in the opening quarter to give C-C a 6-0 lead after one.

Finigan would add his fourth goal of the game with 4:36 remaining in the second quarter to give C-C a 7-0 lead heading into the half.

Concord-Carlisle All-American goalie Doug Gouchoe made five of his nine saves in the first half and the C-C defense held the talented and high-scoring Algonquin attack of Conor Healey, Mike Wood and Keegan Gillis scoreless in the half.

Algonquin (22-2) got on the board with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter as Wood scored the first of his two goals on the night. Blumenberg would answer for C-C with his fourth of the game a minute later.

C-C closed out the quarter with three more tallies to Algonquin’s one score to take a 12-2 lead into the final quarter of play.

Wood and Finigan would exchange goals in the final quarter as C-C controlled possession to seal the win.

Finigan finished the game with six goals and Blumenberg added five goals and two assists to lead the C-C offensive attack.

“It was a team effort,” Finigan said. “Everything that I did would not have happened without the guys on the field out there.”

Senior Leadership: “The seniors on the team this year are the hardest workers we have,” Dalicandro said.

Finigan, Gouchoe, All-American long pole Henry Bumpus and midfielder Mike O’Brien (1 Goal) were the C-C captains this year.

Finigan will do a postgraduate year at Deerfield before heading to the University of Delaware to play lacrosse in 2013.

Gouchoe will head to the Air Force Academy where he will continue playing lacrosse.

“Doug has been unbelievable,” Dalicandro said with a smile on his face. “We are going to miss him next season along with all of the seniors.”

Bumpus, who missed the Shriners All-Star football game at Gillette Stadium on Friday to play in the state championship, will play football at Brown University next fall with his brother John and C-C football teammate Andrew VanderWilden.

O’Brien, an All-American soccer player, will head to the University of Pennsylvania next fall as a member of prestigious the Wharton School.

Refuse to Lose: Concord-Carlisle senior lacrosse players Bumpus, Finigan, Tyler Koning and Anthony West were also members of the Concord-Carlisle football team that went 13-0 and won the Division 3 Super Bowl under head coach Mike Robichaud.

“Going undefeated in two sports and winning two state championships are some really great memories that we will leave behind,” Finigan said.

The Futures: Blumenberg, who also starts at defensive back on the football team and guard on the basketball team, is a unique talent at Concord-Carlisle. The freshman was a top scorer this season while playing attack and midfield for the Patriots.

With top long pole Evan Boynton returning for his senior year along with Sam Barrett, Javier Flores and Blaine Taylor, the C-C defense should again be one of the top in the state.

Algonquin also returns many key components next year at attack with Gillis and Wood, in addition to midfielder Davis Kraft and goalie Giles Ober.

Recap: Concord-Carlisle 42, Oliver Ames 9

December, 3, 2011
Robert KraftRyan Kilian/ Patriots owner Robert Kraft dropped by the Concord-Carlisle sideline.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Concord-Carlisle made their second consecutive trip to Gillette Stadium a successful one as they defeated Oliver Ames (7-5) 42-9 to win the Eastern Massachusetts Division 3 Super Bowl.

The game plan for C-C was to run the football, just as they had done in each of their previous 12 victories this season. C-C pounded the ball for 298 total rushing yards behind their veteran offensive line and three-headed backfield of seniors George Craan, Tyquan Culbreath, and junior Tim Badgley.

“For those guys to have a great day, particularly George and Ty as seniors, that makes it special,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Mike Robichaud said.

When Concord-Carlisle (13-0) went to the air they also converted as C-C quarterback Ryan Hoey found tight end Henry Bumpus on two separate occasions for touchdown strikes.

“It was a complete team effort,” said Robichaud. “I could not have been more proud of our team today.”

Oliver Ames could never get any sustainable drives going on the day despite solid games from quarterback Jared Schneider (11-22 passing for 123 yards and 2 INT) and running back Sam Langston (14 rushes for 60 yards and one touchdown).

Bumpus rebounds and stars: Bumpus had a strong junior season for C-C last year but had a dropped ball in the end zone that would have been a score for Concord-Carlisle in their Super Bowl loss at Gillette Stadium to Duxbury last year.

“Last year was the worst day of my life,” Bumpus said. “I dropped a big catch that I should have had so this year I knew I had to make up for it. I think I did that today and it feels so good to get that off my back.”

The Dual County League MVP had the biggest game of his career on the biggest stage as the 6-foot-6 defensive end/ tight end had two catches for 34 yards and two touchdowns to go along with an interception where he leaped up and picked off a Schneider pass and returned it deep into Oliver Ames territory.

Bumpus is also the captain of the C-C basketball team as well as a starting defenseman for the Patriots lacrosse squad. He will attend Brown University next season along with teammate and two time DCL lineman of the year Andrew VanderWilden. Together they will team with Henry’s older brother John who was a 2009 captain for Concord-Carlisle.

Right time to shine: Craan has put together one of the all-time great careers for any running back in the history of the Dual County League. This season Craan stepped his game up at the right time for the Patriots as the senior ran for 342 yards (122 in today’s Super Bowl win) and seven touchdowns in C-C’s two playoff wins.

“I remember when I came in as a little cocky freshman, I told my coach we were going to win the state championship before we left here,” Craan said. “We did it and it feels real good to finish big.”

History repeats itself for the Robichaud family: The last time Concord-Carlisle won the Super Bowl was 1978 at Nickerson Field in Boston and the head coach was the legendary Al Robichaud, who manned the Patriots’ sidelines from 1972-1990. Al, a member of the Massachusetts Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, is the father of current head coach Mike Robichaud. He was on hand to witness the championship game and share an emotional moment with his family after the game.

“My dad is my role model,” Robichaud said. “I am just proud of the kids to get this done. It is just a great honor to be in the profession he was in. It was not always about the wins and losses as much as it was the impact that he had on so many kids lives.”

Seniors go out in style: “We got together as freshman and collectively said that we wanted to be the best,” Bumpus said. “I love all these kids and this is the greatest team I have been on.”

The senior class has made it to three straight playoff games, improving each year to win one more game.

“A perfect season feels good,” said Craan. “We all put in the hard work, we all worked out together in the offseason, we had good chemistry and we did it. We are a family. We are more than just a team off the field. Brothers look out for each other and that is what we did today.”

“They were the first class I connected with as sophomores,” Robichaud said. “To execute this way and to end on a perfect season is not just something they deserved or were entitled to. They worked for it. I am just really happy I was able to be a part of it and to spend these lat years with these kids. I am really proud of them.”

C-C (13-0) - 13 - 8 - 14 - 7 --- 42
OA (7-5) - 3 - 0 - 0 - 6 --- 9

1st Quarter
C – George Craan 4 run (Evan Boynton kick)
O – Ryan McGrath 26 field goal
C – Craan 9 run (kick failed)

2nd Quarter
C – Bumpus 20 pass from Ryan Hoey (Craan run)

3rd Quarter
C – Tyquan Culbreath 35 run (Boynton kick)
C – Bumpus 14 pass from Hoey (Boynton kick)

4th Quarter
C – Craan 12 run (Boynton kick)
O – Sam Langston 3 run (kick failed)

Ryan remembered in C-C Super Bowl victory

December, 3, 2011

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On April 28, 2010, the world lost a shining star in Tyler W. Ryan.

The loss was felt throughout Concord-Carlisle Regional High community as well as the football team, where Ryan wore No. 5 and played for the Patriots.

Since his passing, the No. 5 jersey had not been worn until Saturday morning when C-C running and defensive back George Craan slipped it on. The Patriots’ ran to a 42-9 victory, capturing the MIAA Division 3 Eastern Mass. Super Bowl.

For the next year, the jersey will be showcased at the Hall at Patriot Place, where Ryan's number will be displayed along with championship teams from across New England.

Margaret (Marty) Ryan, Tyler’s mother, was at the game wearing her own replica No. 5 C-C jersey. She felt a flood of emotions after the game, but they were all good.

“I am elated, I am touched, I am happy for the guys," Mrs. Ryan said. "I am happy for my son who I felt was out there today."

The tribute by Craan was all Craan’s doing -- albeit, it was partially by mistake.

While preparing for Tuesday’s playoff game, Craan could not find his jersey. Concord-Carlisle athletic director Barry Haley put it plain and simple to Craan: "If you don’t find the jersey, you can’t play."

"You should have seen the look on his face,” joked Haley, who was amused at Craan’s mimed response.

There was some discussion about what jersey Craan would wear in the place of his own jersey, No. 15, and the No. 5 jersey was the closest match they had that a running back could wear. Craan discussed the potential of sporting Ryan’s number with Mrs. Ryan and shortly thereafter, the matter was settled.

Craan would pay homage to his former teammate at Gillette in the Super Bowl by playing in the jersey.

“I'm feeling really proud, I know he’s looking down on us today,” said Craan, donning the jersey after the game with “5” written over the tape on his right wrist and “R.I.P TyRy” across the tape on the left wrist. “We wanted this ever since freshman year and all of us have been together. We talked about it. Our motto is conceive, believe achieve… hard work pays off.”

“Tyler was a great kid,” C-C head coach Mike Robichaud said. “It’s a wonderful tribute and made it extra special that we could actually pull it off with a win today. It says a lot about George, a lot about Tyler. The kids love him so much and honor his memory.

For Robichaud, the victory was bittersweet as well.

In October of 2007, Coach Robichaud lost his mother, Mrs. Carol Marie Robichaud, and said that she was on his mind during the game and after.

“We know that that she’s looking down and she is really happy for all of us,” Robichaud said.

Joining him in his post game interview were his son, Will, who is also the team’s water boy, and his dad, legendary C-C coach Al Robichaud. Although he will always be called coach, the elder Robichaud wore his varsity jacket and held a camera taking pictures of his son, the same as every other proud parent in the crowd.

“He’s the greatest,” said Al of his son in response to Mike sharing the same sentiment for his father. “He means everything to me, he’s my role model. I’m so proud to be in the profession that he was in for so many years, to try to follow in his footsteps, it’s an honor to be doing this today.”

Keeping the legacy of her son alive, Mrs. Ryan relayed what Tyler would say were he on the concourse at Gillette Stadium about his former team's victory:

“It’s wonderful, it’s a game, but the most important thing in life is kindness to everybody else.”

Unheralded linemen help lead No. 6 C-C

November, 22, 2011
CONCORD, Mass. -- They may not be the most appealing bunch of football players in Massachusetts, but these three seniors know how to get the job done with the game on the line.

While star running back George Craan may get most of the publicity on No. 6 Concord-Carlisle Patriots, along with backfield sidekicks Tyquan Culbreath and Tim Badgley, it's the guys in the trenches that have kept this dynamic rushing attack well-oiled. Senior captains Andrew VanderWilden, Henry Bumpus, and Thomas Kleyn have been critical in helping the team gut out wins, both on defense and on the offensive line.

VanderWilden, the back-to-back Dual County League lineman of the year and a 220-pound behemoth at center, has anchored one of the best offensive lines in the state and cleared the way for C-C’s talented backs all season long. He serves as the unquestioned leader of a line that includes five seniors and four returning starters, and has been crucial in helping execute the Patriots’ Wing-T offense to the tune of 35.2 points per game this fall.

“Andrew has been a really solid performer for us for three years now,” Patriots head coach Mike Robichaud said. “He’s a really fundamentally sound player, and very, very smart. He knows his assignment, and he’s worked very hard to become a lot bigger, faster, and stronger”

[+] EnlargeConcord-Carlisle
Eitan Tye for ESPN.comSenior captains Thomas Kleyn, Henry Bumpus and Andrew VanderWilden are three of the unheralded players who make No. 6 Concord-Carlisle's high-powered offense go.
Meanwhile Bumpus -- a towering presence at 6-foot-6, and the 2011 DCL MVP -- has made significant contributions on both sides of the ball, starring at both end spots. The three-sport standout remains one of C-C’s most lethal weapons on defense, sealing a big September game against Lexington with a decisive sack and interception, and also serves as the Patriots’ most reliable receiver at tight end.

“Henry has a lot of physical tools. He’s very tall and long, and at the positions he plays, he really uses that length and strength to his advantage. He’s very skilled for his size,” Robichaud said. “He’s deceptively fast and has great reflexes, which comes across both offensively and defensively.”

While Kleyn may lack the size and speed of his teammates, the 2010 DCL All-Star and team's defensive player of the year supplants any physical shortcomings with firm leadership and an immense knowledge of the game. The 5-foot-11 middle linebacker directs a defense that is currently giving up just 8.9 points per game, and shut out the league's long-time powerhouse, No. 16 Lincoln-Sudbury (9-1) on November 11.

Robichaud pointed out that while Kleyn may not be “the biggest guy going [or] the fastest guy going, he has tremendous heart and is really smart and fundamentally sound."

"He’s really been a key to holding our defense together,” Robichaud said. “He’s a kid who out on the field knows what’s going on and is able to make a lot of our calls on the fly; he literally is like having another coach out there.”

Although C-C’s gifted rushing attack of Craan, Culbreath, Badgley and Evan Boynton have gained most of the yards and scores in the Patriots’ offense, Robichaud maintained that above all else, senior leadership and control of the line of scrimmage have been key to the team’s success this season. And no three players have exemplified the coach’s words more than VanderWilden, Bumpus, and Kleyn.

“In the game of football, experience really does count for consistency,” Robichaud said. “[VanderWilden, Bumpus, and Kleyn] took their lumps, and weren’t great players as sophomores, but they got better and better. Their work ethic- how they approach the game and how they prepare- has really helped not just their senior peers, but the underclassmen as well.”

The coach also underlined his captains’ humbleness, and stressed their sole dedication to victory over any form of credit or acknowledgment. While Craan has been featured in numerous articles in the Boston media, and has been a mainstay on ESPN Boston's Mr. Football Watch List for much of the season, his blockers have continued to linger in the relative anonymity of small-town Concord.

Nevertheless, VanderWilden insisted that he would rather have it that way.

"The offensive line has played really well, but we don’t need all the recognition,” he said. “George and Tyquan are having great years, and we know when the running backs are playing well, it means that we are doing our jobs too.”

“These guys don’t care about who gets the recognition as long as the end result is a win,” Robichaud added.

When asked to explicate the team’s 10-0 start, VanderWilden emphasized familiarity with the game and team chemistry.

“We’ve all been playing together since Pop Warner and we really count on each other to execute everyone’s blocks,” he said. “We are all very confident in each other to get the job done.”

Bumpus, however, highlighted the Patriots’ success in the trenches, explaining, “Our blocking has really helped us seal the edge so we can run in the middle, outside, whatever; so we can have really good success on offense.”

Kleyn, undoubtedly the most intense and cerebral of the three, simply pointed to the team’s aggressive approach to games.

“Our mindset is to be relentless in all our basic plays and execute them to perfection,” the linebacker said.

Although any fan happening upon Walden Street on a Friday night could plainly see the enormous passion that VanderWilden, Bumpus, and Kleyn exhibit on the field, football is not the only arena in which the three captains excel.

“Going to Concord-Carlisle, the importance of academics has always been drilled into us,” said Kleyn, who will be suiting up for Amherst College next fall.

VanderWilden and Bumpus also value their education and classroom achievements highly, and both will be playing for Brown University next September.

Bumpus explained that his decision was slightly more difficult, choosing between Brown, Dartmouth, and University of Pennsylvania, institutions known more for producing Rhodes Scholars and Nobel Laureates than NFL prospects. Nevertheless, Bumpus pointed out how Brown’s experienced coaching staff, coupled with advice from his brother John, who plays defensive end for the Bears, made the choice easier.

“Ultimately, I really liked the players and the team,” he said. “Coach [Phil] Estes has a great staff who have been together for a long time, and I really like the way they coach. Going into high school, I knew I wanted to excel in academics and worked really hard to keep my grades up so I would have opportunities like this in the future.”

This week, though, the focus is all on Thursday afternoon. With a mammoth game coming up against league-rival Bedford, a Thanksgiving win is all that separates the Patriots from a playoff spot and a likely return to the D2 Super Bowl. While Concord residents are buzzing with excitement, anticipating an easy win over the 6-4 Buccaneers and salivating over the team’s championship possibilities, the players remain committed to the task at hand.

Offering a Belichickian response when queried on C-C’s postseason chances, VanderWilden declared, “All we’re worried about is Thanksgiving. We know what’s at stake, and we’re going to put a great effort out there on Thursday.”

And as if on queue, Kleyn added, “this is just another week for us, and we’ve been preparing just like we do for every team.”

The captains’ refusal to divulge any information or speculate on their team’s future hints at their supreme maturity and intellect, and their beaming coach was clearly telling the truth when he pronounced them “great leaders [and] great kids to coach.”

Recap: No. 8 C-C 35, A-B 12

October, 22, 2011
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.

C-C (7-0) --- 14 8 0 13 --- 35
A-B (4-3) --- 2 0 10 0 --- 7

First Quarter
C – Tim Badgley 21 run (kick blocked)
A – Billy Jackman blocked PAT return
C – George Craan 22 run (Craan run)

Second Quarter
C – Craan 6 run (Jason Finigan pass from Ryan Hoey)

Third Quarter
A-B – Matt Brogie 2 run (Jack Perry kick)
A-B – Perry 27 Field Goal

Fourth Quarter
C – Craan 18 run (kick failed)
C – Tyquan Culbreath 37 run (Evan Boynton kick)

Recap: No. 8 Concord-Carlisle 61, Westford 14

October, 15, 2011
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.

[+] EnlargeTyquan Culbreath
Jon Mahoney for ESPNBoston.comRunning back Tyquan Culbreath had two touchdowns on his first three carries for Concord-Carlisle during Friday night's 61-14 rout of Westford Academy.
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.”

C-C (6-0) 20 15 19 7 -- 61
WA (3-3) 0 14 0 0 -- 14

1st quarter

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)

2nd quarter
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)

3rd quarter
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)

4th quarter
C-C - Flores 73-yard run (kick good)

Recap: No. 9 C-C 35, Boston Latin 7

October, 7, 2011
CONCORD, Mass. -- Concord-Carlisle scored early and often on its way to a convincing 35-7 win over Boston Latin on Thursday afternoon. The win moved C-C (5-0, 1-0) into an early first place lead in the Dual County League Small, as Boston Latin fell to 3-2, 0-2.

C-C led 35-0 at the half, with each of their five first half touchdowns coming by way of the “big play”. The Patriots struck first early in the opening quarter as senior quarterback Ryan Hoey found classmate Jackson Finigan on a 47-yard touchdown strike.

“That was all (Ryan) Hoey,” said Finigan. “We actually had a run play called but Ryan checked to the fade and threw a perfect ball that I caught and it was all grass from there on.”

Hoey looked sharp all day controlling the C-C offense, and has been a steadying factor in his first year under center for the Patriots.

“Offensively we did a good job,” said Concord-Carlisle head coach Mike Robichaud. “We talked about the trenches and the edges and I think we did a good job there. We have some running backs that can make things happen if we get to the second level so we were pleased with that.”

C-C star running back George Craan scored the next two touchdowns on long runs of 71 and 55 yards respectively. The senior totaled 156 yards on the day, on only five carries

Junior tailback Tim Badgley got into the scoring action as well, with a 65-yard burst through the middle of the Boston Latin defense midway through the second quarter.

Senior tailback Tyquan Culbreath concluded the first half scoring barrage with a 44-yard scamper through the Wolfpack defense.

C-C has come out of the locker room the last two games and put their opponents away early with big opening first halves.

“It is a credit to these captains and a credit to these seniors,” said C-C head coach Mike Robichaud of his team’s early game execution and focus. “They take a lot of pride in coming out and being real good on first downs and early in the game.”

Boston Latin’s lone score on the afternoon came with 2:59 remaining in the third quarter, as junior Mike Surdek plunged in from two yards out to break up the shutout.

Latin was also playing without injured junior quarterback Miles Wright who was present on the sidelines sporting a hard cast on his right arm. Junior Cal Cahill took the snaps for the Wolfpack on the day.

Huge holes: “The offensive line are all big fast guys,” said Craan. “They do a good job conditioning and at practice and the coaching staff does a great job preparing them.”

The C-C veteran offensive line led by seniors Andrew vanderWilden, Trevor Castrichini, Owen Guattaduaro, Tom Gregory and Thomas Kleyn opened up some monster holes for the C-C running backs to run through.

“The offensive line did a great job,” said Robichaud. “It is a senior group and these guys have played with each other in some tight situations.”

Seniors step up: The C-C senior class has experienced success having advanced to the post season the past two years including a Division 2A Super Bowl appearance last season where they lost to Duxbury 35-13 at Gillette Stadium.

Whether it was captain Henry Bumpus’ big fourth down sack in the first half or the aggressive pursuit tackling of defensive backs Tyler Koning, Anthony West and linebacker Kleyn the C-C defense was up to the task.

“Our defense is led by a strong senior group,” said Finigan. “We have a bunch of hard hitting kids and we are doing a good job stopping the run and pass and whatever is called.”

Hoey, Finigan, Craan, Culbreath and the veteran offense line all led the way for the offense.

Finigan factors in: Finigan was all over the field for C-C. The senior caught a touchdown, returned punts, threw some key blocks to spring the running backs and was a big factor in containing the edge from his defensive back position.

“Probably the guy that is most unsung in our running game is Jackson Finigan,” said Robichaud. “He does a tremendous job of making blocks downfield. When you have good backs half our touchdowns are because Jackson has gotten on someone down field and what was a 30-yard run becomes a 50-yard touchdown. We don’t throw the ball a whole lot but he has just been huge for us the past three years.”


CC (5-0) --- 14 21 0 0 - 35
BL (3-2) --- 0 0 7 0 - 7

First Quarter
C – Jackson Finigan 47 pass from Ryan Hoey (kick failed)
C – George Craan 71 run (Craan run)

Second Quarter
C – Craan 55 run (Evan Boynton kick)
C – Tim Badgley 65-yard run (Boynton kick)
C – Tyquan Culbreath 44-yard run (Boynton kick)

Fourth Quarter
B – Mike Surdek 2-yard run (Jake Hardy kick)

Craan, No. 16 C-C taking next step forward

August, 26, 2011
CONCORD, Mass. -- Things are on the rise with Concord-Carlisle football.

A few years ago, a young Patriots team took their lumps. But those learning experiences translated into a historic season in 2010, when C-C made its first Super Bowl appearance since 1978. Although the Patriots fell short of their ultimate goal, taking a thumping at the hands of Duxbury, 35-13, C-C is reloaded for 2011 with 14 starters returning from the squad that walked off the Gillette Stadium field.

"In the offseason, guys were really working hard," C-C head coach Mike Robichaud said. "I think it's a pretty dutiful and a focused group. It starts with our three senior captains, too. They're good kids, they're good students and they're good players. I think it's a group that still feels that there's something to prove. I don't think they're about to put the cart before the horse."

The commitment to finishing off what they started last season has been enforced by the Patriots' three senior captains -- Henry Bumpus, George Craan and Thomas Kleyn.

Craan, for one, committed himself to an extensive offseason training program that should scare DCL Small defenders from Arlington to Weston. The running back has put on an additional 15 pounds to his 5-foot, 11-inch frame and plans to play at around 210 pounds.

"I want to top last year," said Craan, who led all of Division 2A with 24 touchdowns in 2010. "Last year's in the past, it's history. But I just want to have a better year. I'm bigger, faster … Hopefully, that'll help."

The Metco student from Boston spent his offseason working out with his C-C teammates, bulking up and looking to improve on his 1,914-yard performance last year. A lofty goal, certainly, but Craan's also hoping to alter his running style some.

"He was more of a buzz downfield type of runner," Robichaud said, "but now he wants to run some people over this year and take it up to the next level."

Not only has Craan upped his focus, he will be running behind an experienced line. Six-foot, 245-pound center Andrew VanderWilden is the catalyst for the line that also returns Trevor Castrichini, Tom Gregory, Owen Guttaduaro and Kleyn, in addition to Bumpus at tight end.

"Our linemen are fast," said Craan, who has received interest from BC and UConn in addition to a host of FCS schools, "we don't have any fat, slow guys. We have linemen who can get out and move. We have big, experienced, smart, fast guys. And they're aggressive."

All that's left is to get out on the field and do it, although that sometimes can be a problem for the excitable Craan, who's known around C-C as much for his chronic forgetfulness as his highlight-reel runs.

"He's a ready-fire-aim-type guy sometimes," said Robichaud, laughing about Craan's absent-mindedness. "But, in all seriousness, he's a terrific kid and some of his forgetfulness is really kind of endearing. He's such an excited, enthusiastic kid that sometimes, literally, he'll forget where his helmet is on the way out to practice."

Rest assured, he'll be ready for the Patriots' opening challenge against Beverly, the defending Division 3 Super Bowl champions.

"We just have to do it out on the field," Craan said.

Coach: Mike Robichaud (3rd season, 18-7)
Last Year: 10-3 (Lost to Duxbury in Division 2A Super Bowl)
Key Returnees: George Craan, Sr. RB/DB, 5-11, 210; Henry Bumpus, Sr. TE/DE, 6-6, 200; Andrew VanderWilden, Sr. C/DL, 6-0, 245; Thomas Kleyn, Sr. OL/ILB, 5-10, 200; Evan Boynton, Sr. E/OLB, 6-0, 175; Jackson Finigan, Sr. SE/DB, 6-1, 175.
Strengths: Running game, run defensed.
Weaknesses: Passing game, pass defense.
Outlook: Robichaud is straight forward when assessing the Patriots' strengths and weaknesses. And they would be apparent to anybody who watched C-C in last year's D2A Super Bowl against Duxbury. While the Patriots were able to move the ball on the ground with Craan, they were simply overmatched defensively by the Dragons' sophisticated aerial attack. This year, Robichaud said his staff has taken upon themselves to mix things up on offense and make sure their responsibilities are covered against the pass. "It's up to me to make sure that we're addressing those things during the week," Robichaud said. "I'm a little more conservative by nature, so I have to have a little bit more trust in our guys that we can go to the pass in some situations that we haven't in the past." Don't be surprised even to see Craan flexed out of the backfield in some passing situations. Senior Ryan Hoey goes under center, taking over for Peter George. The Patriots will again be strong in the trenches with nose tackle Jack Donovan returning. Bumpus is primed to have a huge season at defensive end after hanging some extra weight on his 6-6 frame. Fellow tri-captain, Kleyn, is the defensive quarterback at inside linebacker. "We want to take pride in the fact that we won our league and won a playoff game for the first time in a long time," Robichaud said. "But we want to get back to that place."

Duxbury perfect in Division 2A

December, 4, 2010

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In preparing for Saturday’s EMass 2A championship game, Duxbury’s seniors -- how many few there are on a youthful roster of nearly 80 -- spoke of one thing.

“Let’s be perfect,” senior Kane Haffey said, "let’s be perfect.”

The Green Dragons are. It’s because Haffey and fellow quarterback Matt O’Keefe nearly were.

Following its strong-armed duo to big play after big play, Duxbury buried Concord-Carlisle in the second half of a 35-13 victory, throwing to all corners of Gillette Stadium for their third Super Bowl title and 13-0 season in six years.

Following their usual formula under center, Haffey and O’Keefe alternated turns slicing up a vaunted Patriots defense that entered allowing fewer than 13 points per game. Haffey completed 7-of-11 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and O’Keefe, a junior, also threw for two scores on 5-of-8 passing for 124 yards.

At one point, they combined to complete 8-of-9 passes between the second and third quarters, throwing seven straight times and connecting on three scores in that span. The two biggest ones came in the third after Concord-Carlisle’s Max Barrett pulled in a six-yard touchdown pass with 4:55 left to slice Duxbury’s lead to 14-13.

On the ensuing drive, Haffey completed three straight passes of 13, 33 and 14 yards, respectively, the last going for a touchdown 39 seconds after Concord-Carlisle had scored. After the Patriots (10-3) turned it over on downs, O’Keefe then completed two of three passes himself, including a 40-yard run-and-catch touchdown to Don Webber with 2:07 left in the quarter.

A two-point conversion to Seamus Connelly pushed Duxbury’s lead to 16 and all but deflated Concord-Carlisle in what felt like only moments.

“I was talking in our locker room at halftime with our running back Harry Buonagurio, (and) he was saying, ‘You’ve got 20 minutes left as a high school football player. Take this team on your back, take it down next drive we get the ball and put it in the end zone,’” Haffey said. “I was just having fun. I wanted to have fun in my last high school football game.”

Duxbury made it look fun. Webber finished with 124 receiving yards on four caches, Reilly Naton recovered the Dragons’ first touchdown on a blocked punt by Denis Maguire and Duxbury’s quarterbacks did the rest.

“They’re both great leaders and they understand the offense, they understand what we’re trying to accomplish when we’re out there, and they execute,” Duxbury coach David Maimaron said. “ It speaks to the character of the kid because most places, you couldn’t alternate kids at that position without egos getting in the way, and those two kids are just perfect gentleman and support each other the entire season. That’s why it works.”

The final score doesn’t show how close Concord-Carlisle came to making it a game. The Patriots gained 326 yards to Duxbury’s 373, converted more third downs (7-3) and actually finished with more first downs (15-13).

But despite George Craan’s 149 rushing yards on 32 carries, Concord-Carlisle couldn’t solve Duxbury’s defense late in drives, four times stalling inside the Dragons’ 35-yard line. Four Concord-Carlisle drives also ended on downs.

“It’s a credit to Duxbury,” Patriots coach Mike Robichaud. “What we haven’t seen really all year was kind of the overall speed. … Against many teams, this year -- not that they weren’t good teams --- but they didn’t have the overall quickness of the football (of Duxbury). They were obviously really well prepared.”

Still, Concord-Carlisle often responded.

After Denis Maguire burst through the line untouched to block the punt that Naton jumped on in the end zone with 8:39 left in the second, Peter George connected with Evan Boynton on a 37-yard strike. Craan carried the load from there, rushing the ball five straight times and capping it with a 14-yard sweep to the left pylon.

O’Keefe connected with Andrew Buron on a 9-yard pass to put Duxbury back up. The Patriots responded, setting up an excellent chance to tie it before halftime after Tim Badgley’s 60-yard run put them on the Duxbury 30-yard line. But Henry Bumpus couldn’t handle a 11-yard throw inside the end zone, and the junior nearly hauled in a touchdown on the next play but was hit as he caught it, forcing the ball loose as the quarter expired.

Concord-Carlisle got that score on their first drive of the third, but only before Duxbury scored 21 unanswered points to end it.

Even scarier, just 13 Green Dragons graduate from this team.

“We’re going to have some great leadership again,” Haffey said. “I think being here this year for them is going to be great learning experience for them next year. I think they’re going to want it just as much.”

Duxbury 0 14 15 6 -- 35
Concord-Car. 0 7 6 0 -- 13

Second quarter

D -- Reilly Naton recovered blocked punt (Tucker Hannon kick).
CC -- George Craan 14-yard run (Evan Boynton kick).
D -- Andrew Buron 17-yard pass from Matt O’Keefe (Hannon kick).

Third quarter
CC -- Max Barrett 6-yard pass from Peter George (pass fail).
D -- Matt Hallisey 14-yard pass from Kane Haffey (Hannon kick).
D -- Don Webber 40-yard pass from O’Keefe (Seamus Connelly pass from Hannon).

Fourth quarter
D -- Webber 39-yard pas from Haffey (kick blocked).

Records: D 13-0; CC 10-3.

C-C fumbles start, recovers to beat N. Andover

December, 1, 2010
LOWELL, Mass. -- It certainly wasn't the start Concord-Carlisle coach Mike Robichaud envisioned.

The Patriots fumbled the ball away on their first two possessions and spotted North Andover a 10-point lead in Tuesday night's playoff game at Cawley Stadium. It was all Concord-Carlisle after that, however.

The Patriots scored on each of their next five possessions and earned a spot in Saturday's Division 2A Super Bowl by posting a 35-16 victory.

"It's not really one of reprimand," Robichaud said when he asked what message he sent to his players when they were facing a 10-point deficit. "The kids - they're not trying to turn the ball over. I think those were good hits and those things happen.

"Obviously there was a lot riding on this playoff game, so we really talk more about confidence than we do correction. Just try to keep the guys up, play your game and don't turn it over again. Fortunately we didn't."

Junior running back George Craan rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He entered the contest with 1,521 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns this season.

"Basically in the first quarter they punched us in the mouth," Craan said. "The big question was, 'How are we going to respond?' I thought my team responded tremendously. We executed."

The Patriots, who raised their record to 10-2, also received 109 yards rushing on five carries from sophomore Tim Badgley. Concord-Carlisle quarterback Peter George scored on a 1-yard run, and completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Max Barrett.

Robichaud said the offensive line deserved most of the credit for his team's 35-point performance.

"They are very much the underappreciated group on this team," Robichaud said. "George Craan and other backs have been very successful, but it's been because of what's going on up front."

North Andover trailed 20-10 at halftime, and any hope for a comeback evaporated when Concord-Carlisle linebacker Evan Boynton intercepted a Brandon Walsh pass in the end zone with 4:33 left in the third quarter. The interception came on the 16th play of a North Andover drive that moved the ball from its own 26-yard line to the Concord Carlisle 15.

It was the first time a Walsh pass had been intercepted this season.

Four plays later Concord-Carlisle increased its lead when George scored from the 1. The big play in the drive was Badgley's 72-yard run.

Walsh was intercepted again on North Andover's next possession. The Patriots cashed in on that turnover when Craan scored his third touchdown on a 2-yard run. George added the two-point conversion, which gave the Patriots a 35-10 lead with 3:11 to play.

Walsh, who entered the contest with 20 touchdown passes in 10 games, completed 12 of 24 passes for 102 yards. He scored North Andover's first touchdown on a 5-yard run.

The Scarlet Knights also received a 29-yard field goal from John Hufziger, and a 39-yard touchdown run from Jack Murphy. Murphy gained 101 yards on 16 carries.

North Andover, which had won 10 games in a row since opening with a loss to Andover, completed its season with a 10-2 record.

Duxbury is up next for Concord-Carlisle. Duxbury reached the Super Bowl by beating Dennis-Yarmouth, 19-7, Tuesday night.

"We don't really know anything about them, other than their reputation, which is as a very, very solid program," Robichaud said. "We'll start that work tonight as best we can. We'll find out about the X's and O's and go from there."

CC 0 20 7 8 --- 35
NA 10 0 0 6 --- 16

First quarter

N - Brandon Walsh 5 run (John Hufziger kick)
N - FG Hufziger 29

Second quarter
C - George Craan 1 run (Evan Boynton kick)
C - Craan 6 run (Boynton kick)
C -Max Barrett 14 pass from Peter George (kick blocked)

Third quarter
C - George 1 run (Boynton kick)

Fourth quarter
C - Craan 2 run (George rush)
N - Jack Murphy 39 run (rush failed)

Craan runs wild over Weston to lead C-C

October, 30, 2010
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

First quarter
George Craan 11 run (kick failed)
Craan 15 run (Brendan Gay kick)

Third quarter
Craan 5 run (kick failed)

Fourth quarter
Craan 15 run (kick failed)