Two weeks into the 2023 schoolboy football season, Bedford High School Head Coach Tom Tone said Friday night’s 20-13 win at Malden Catholic was “one of my favorite games since I’ve been here.”
Bedford broke a 13-13 tie with a minute-and-a-half remaining on a quick screen pass from Ryan McGrath to Melki Volcy that turned into a 72-yard touchdown. The Bucs are now 1-1.
“We were giving up a lot of size in that game at just about every position, but I thought we played really hard,” said Tone, whose team is now preparing to host Weston on Friday at 7 p.m.
The winning touchdown was a highlight during the dramatic closing minutes of the back-and-forth contest.
A Malden Catholic touchdown tied the score at 13, but Bedford blocked the extra-point try. Then the Lancers gained possession deep in Bedford territory, recovering a muffed kickoff return.
But the Bedford defense rose to the occasion, snuffing a third-and-two for no gain and then sacking the quarterback on fourth down.
Bedford took over on downs, and what turned out to be the winning play unfolded on a third-and-11. McGrath, with an empty backfield, took the snap and looked to his left just long enough to draw a commitment from both inside linebackers.
Then he turned and fired to his right flank where Volcy hauled it in. Nelson Crawford blocked a defender, Volcy broke a tackle, and the lanky sophomore headed for the endzone. Xavier Ruiz kicked his second extra point to make it 20-13.
Volcy, who plays both ways, has “been working hard all year,” Tone said. “He is strong and fast, and this is only his second year playing football. I expect him to get better every week.”
The Lancers still had three timeouts, but Cian O’Donnell put a big dent in their comeback plans when he intercepted a pass. And McGrath sealed the deal when he ran for a first down.
Senior Ricky Laboy scored the Bucs’ first touchdown in the first period, taking a direct snap at the six-yard line. Bedford grabbed a 13-7 lead in the third quarter on sophomore Gil Galman’s five-yard run around left end and a Ruiz kick.
Weston, entering this weekend’s game 0-2 after a tough loss vs. Gloucester, has some good skill players, Tone commented. “They play tight coverage and met a lot of pressure,” he said. “I’m excited to play them – there’s some history there.”