Two 2-1 football teams are scheduled to clash at Sabourin Field at 7 p.m. on Friday in a key contest early in the 2023 season.
The Bedford High School Buccaneers will host the Newburyport High School Clippers in a series that over the years has featured a number of close contests. Newburyport has racked up lopsided wins over Essex Tech and Ipswich while losing to Lynnfield.
“We’ve played them four times since I’ve been here, and the home team has lost all four times,” noted BHS Head Coach Tom Tone. “We hope to change that this year.”
The Clippers are deep and talented, he said, and can go to either of two quarterbacks, which makes it more challenging to prepare.
Bedford followed an exciting 20-13 victory at Malden Catholic with last Friday’s 47-0 rout of Weston at home.
At first, it looked like it was going to be a challenge. The Weston Wildcats began Friday’s football match at Sabourin Field Friday on their 35-yard line, and in five plays, they were driving. But first they had to convert a fourth-and-one at the Bedford 42. There was no sign of the punt team.
And then came what turned out to be the turning point, just a little more than four minutes into the game. Bedford senior Nelson Crawford stopped Weston ball carrier Emilio Tanzi for a one-yard loss.
The Bucs needed just six plays and three minutes to score on a six-yard run by sophomore Gil Galman. Xavier Ruiz’s kick turned out to be the winning point.
Bedford scored five more times in the first half – a touchdown on every possession. Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ net yardage at the end of the half was 25 – and that included a 35-yard completion. The Wildcats had two first downs in the half.
Bedford led 41-0 at the break, and the entire second half was played with a running clock because of the point differential. Most of the Bedford starters spent the third and fourth quarters on the sideline.
“We got a lot better during the week on offense,” Tone said. “Our tempo was good really for the first time all year. We were able to line up and play fast.” He said Weston had a couple of effective defensive schemes, but because of the pace “they weren’t able to get set too often.”
Bedford junior quarterback Ryan McGrath completed all six of his passes for 117 yards, including touchdown throws to Crawford and Mekhi Volcy. McGrath also scored from the one-yard line. The other rushing TDs were a second one by Galman, Ricky LaBoy and, in the third quarter, reserve quarterback Sam DeAngelis.
LaBoy led the ground game with 72 yards; Galman finished with 71 yards. LaBoy added two catches for 38 yards. Volcy caught two throws for 25 yards. Ruiz (23), who kicked five points, and Crawford were the other pass-catchers.