“Every week we are going to see a good team,” said Head Coach Tom Tone. “If we play well, we will give ourselves a chance.”
Shawsheen Valley Technical was one of those good teams, the coach said. The Bucs raced to a 20-6 lead early in the second quarter last Saturday, then were outscored 24-6 the rest of the game to finish on the short end of a 30-26 score.
“They were definitely the better team on the field,” Tone said. “I thought we were outplayed pretty much the entire game. We played well, but they were better than we were.”
Newburyport, which defeated Masconomet 28-20 in its opener, will create the same kind of challenges, Tone said, with “great skill players.” The Clippers handed the Bucs their only regular-season loss a year ago.
Saturday at the Tech, BHS senior quarterback Eric Miles, in his first varsity start at the position, raced 35 yards for the first score on the fourth play of the game. The Rams used most of the rest of the quarter with a 16-play game-tying drive. Then the Bucs took the lead on a two-play series. Miles connected with senior Rich Fedele for the 72-yard touchdown pass play.
Early in the second quarter, Miles broke through the defense and ran 95 yards to the endzone – again on the second play from scrimmage. Xavier Ruiz’s kick put the Bucs ahead comfortably, 20-7.
But the rest of the game wasn’t comfortable. A touchdown pass midway through the period brought the Rams to within one score, and they tied it 16 seconds into the third quarter on a halfback option pass from Mavrick Biurdeau to Dyllon Pratt. Shawsheen took the lead with 4:19 to play in the period on a 30-year field goal.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Miles passed to Ruiz for a 25-yard touchdown pass and the Bucs regained the lead, 26-23. The Rams missed a 24-yard field goal try on their next possession, but three plays later Ryan Copson snagged a Miles pass and returned it to the 23. That set up what turned out to be the winning touchdown
Bedford was in position to win the game, thanks to a completed 50-yard pass and a pitch to Fedele – a “hook-and-lateral” — that brought the line of scrimmage to the 10. But a couple of penalties, two running plays, and an intercepted pass by Copson on a ball headed for the endzone – clinched the win for the Rams.
Tone said the heat was a factor, especially the way the game unfolded. “We scored very quickly early on and then ended up on defense fir a ton of plays. Then we scored in two plays. It was a weird kind of game — we had a lead but they possessed the ball for a long time” And all those pass rushes took their toll on Bedford’s big defenders as the game progressed.
Miles ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 210 with another two touchdowns.
Correction: A touchdown credited to Nick Tatarczuk was actually made by Xavier Ruiz. The Bedford Citizen regrets its error.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763