Displaying two-way talent and physical and mental toughness in horrendous football conditions, the Bedford High School Buccaneers defeated Waltham High late Friday afternoon, 27-7.
Coach Tom Tone’s team finishes the first Fall II season next Friday at Weston, and a win would mean a record of 5-2.
The weather was the biggest factor for both teams Friday, with windswept rain raking across Sabourin Field for all 48 minutes.
Thanks to the monsoon, the two teams were two-dimensional. One dimension was running the ball; the other was taking care of the ball. Miraculously there were no turnovers, but Waltham was repeatedly victimized by bad snaps from center. A Waltham punt caught by the wind netted three yards; the Bucs didn’t punt at all. There were five completed passes, four by Bedford, but none for more than five yards.
“Once we knew the wind was going to be a big deal, we had a lot of heavy run sets,” Tone said. “We had to grind it three yards at a time in the first half. Once we went up two scores that felt really big.”
Bedford took a 12-0 halftime lead with two touchdowns by quarterback Jake Morrison in the last five minutes of the second period. His one-yard push was on a fourth-down play against a stubborn Hawk defense. But the following 11-yard run was easier, especially since the drive began at the 21 after the short punt.
“We didn’t want to punt. We knew if we could force them to punt into the wind it would be really good for us,” the coach said. “Our plan going in was if we had to punt into the wind, we would try a low line drive on third down.”
Bedford put the game away in the third period. First, the defense tackled a Waltham ball carrier in the endzone for a two-point safety. On the second play of the ensuing possession, sophomore Eric Miles (15 carries, 138 yards) broke through and outran the defense for a 73-yard touchdown, with classmate Nick Tatarczuk adding the point to make it 21-0.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Senior Zackery Poor surged into the endzone from the 14 early in the period, and later, against the Bedford reserved, WHS quarterback Ty Connolly ran 53 yards to the endzone.
School vacation week is now also the last week of football practice, and Tone said he is glad to begin on a high note. He said he is especially meaningful for the team’s seniors, whose football experience was delayed by several months to ensure a safe experience during the pandemic.
“It was frustrating, but I’m really glad the way things happened. That gave the seniors a chance to play,” Tone asserted. “We want the seniors to enjoy their last week of practice, and after next week, it’s a short turnaround as we build to next year.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763