The Bedford High School Buccaneers needed 17 seconds to win their third game of the 2023 season on Friday.
Cian O’Donnell fielded the opening kickoff at the 10-yard line and handed it off to Ricky LaBoy as they crossed paths running east-west. LaBoy made a sharp left and accelerated along the right side with a dazzling 87-yard return to the end zone. Xavier Ruiz’s kick gave Bedford a 7-0 lead over Acton-Boxborough.
At the time, the Bucs didn’t know that the final score would be 49-0 against the Revolution. So just to make sure, they scored two more first-quarter touchdowns.
O’Donnell, a junior, fielded an A-B punt inside his 20 and returned it 51 yards to the 31. Bedford needed five plays – two completions from Ryan McGrath to LaBoy and three carries by junior back Drew Ciwik – the third for five yards and a TD – and the margin was 14 less than midway through the first quarter.
Punt returns, said Head Coach Tom Tone, was an area of focus over the past week of practice. “It’s an area where we thought we could grab an advantage,” he said.
LaBoy picked off a deflected pass on the Revs’ first play on their next series. Bedford set up 41 yards from the end zone, and McGrath completed throws for first downs to Nelson Crawford and Sam DeAngelis and a 15-yard touchdown pass to Mehki Volcy slanting from the left flank.
So, the Bucs led 21-0 after fewer than seven-and-a-half minutes and had yet to run a play in their own territory.
Bedford now hits the road for at least three games, beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at another familiar foe from the Dual County League – Newton South. The Lions, 3-2, had won three straight games until Friday’s 49-35 loss in a shootout with Concord-Carlisle.
“We are going to have to play hard to beat those guys,” Tone said.
The Bucs were ready to play vs. A-B, Tone acknowledged. The onslaught continued in the second and third quarters with scoring by McGrath, Gilbert Galman, LaBoy, and CJ Chung. Ruiz finished seven-for-seven on extra points.
“We dominated the line of scrimmage all night on both sides of the ball,” Tone observed. “We played a lot of different combinations with the offensive line.”
The Bucs amassed a respectable 260 yards on running and passing. A-B never reached the 40-yard line to begin a series. The Revolution managed two first downs and finished the night with negative rushing yards.
Bedford began six series on offense through the first three quarters, and four of them were in A-B territory. Each possession culminated with a touchdown.
The Bucs’ outstanding two-way senior lineman Dylan Lykins limped off the field in the first quarter. Tone says his availability is week-to-week.