In one play, all of the momentum shifted towards Concord-Carlisle’s direction.
Following a botched punt return by Oliver Ames – after forcing C-C to a three-and-out on its opening offensive possession – the Patriots took over with a second chance and great field possession. Three plays later, senior running back George Craan (18 carries, 122 yards) scored his first of three touchdowns from four yards out to give his team a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.
The quick touchdown helped the sixth ranked C-C football team cruise to a 42-9 victory in the Eastern Massachusetts Division 3 Super Bowl Saturday morning at Gillette Stadium.
“That gave us a lot of momentum,” Craan said about the Patriots’ start. “Our guys stayed focused. Everyone knew we had to help each other out and everyone had each other’s backs.
“We all had good chemistry so that resulted in a good effort and a good win.”
The OA turnover was one of four turnovers in the contest. Making their second straight trip to the Superbowl, the Concord-Carlisle Patriots made sure the opportunity didn’t go to waste by scoring 28 points off the Tigers’ miscues.
“We had what we thought was a great three and out on defense," explained OA coach Jim Artz. "Then we turn the ball over [on the punt] and it all kind of went downhill from there."
The dagger came towards the end of the first half when senior quarterback Ryan Hoey (3-of-4 41 yards) connected with senior captain Henry Bumpus (2 catches, 34 yards) on the first of two touchdown connections to extend the C-C lead to 21-3 at halftime. The touchdown was set up by an interception by freshman defensiveback, Will Blumenberg, putting the Patriots on OA’s 41-yard line.
Bumpus added an interception of his own in the third quarter – two plays after running back Tyquan Culbreath’s 35-yard touchdown – and on the next play caught a 14-yard pass from Hoey.
“The defense was well-prepared,” Craan said. “We knew we needed everyone to contribute from defense to offense and special teams. It was a total group effort.”
While Craan provided the bulk of the team's offense, the senior shared carries with Culbreath (10 carries, 81 yards) and Tim Badgley (6 carries, 91 yards). Craan, who wore No. 5 in honor of a fallen teammate, (instead of his usual No. 15) added two touchdown runs in the first (from 9 yards) and fourth quarter (12).
Spreading the ball around in the ground game was one of the keys to C-C’s victory according to head coach Mike Robichaud.
“That was a goal for us,” said Robichaud. “That’s what got us here was spreading it around a little bit running the ball. We could spread the ball around a little bit and keep Oliver Ames off balance for those guys who had a great day, particularly from George [Cramm] and Ty [Culbreath] who are seniors it was really special.”
OA senior running back Sam Langston (14 carries, 60 yards) scored the team’s only touchdown late in the fourth quarter from two yards.
The Tigers, who claimed the Davenport Division title of the Hockomock League, ended their season with a record of 7-5.
The Patriots, the champions of the Dual-County small league, end their season at 13-0.
“These guys have aced every test this year,” Robichaud said. “It’s unbelievable.”