“A massive, inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path.”
If you find that dictionary definition of “juggernaut,” don’t be surprised to see a drawing of a blue Buccaneer with a football alongside. Since coming from behind to defeat Oliver Ames on Sept. 24, BHS has been a juggernaut, winning all five games by a combined score of 226 to 30.
And the last four weren’t even that close, with sub-varsity players on the field anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of the game. Indeed, the Bucs scored seven touchdowns against Boston Latin in less than 16 minutes Friday, and Coach Tom Tone rested his starters the rest of the way. The final score as 62-6.
But just how good is this team? There will be an opportunity to find out next Friday beginning at 7 in the opening round of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 4 statewide playoffs.
As of Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t clear where and against whom the game will be. The MIAA is employing a complex ranking system for seedings, and not all the variables were recorded.
It appears the Bucs will be somewhere around the 12th seed because strength of schedule counts along with wins. That means next Friday’s game will be on the road—perhaps at Tewksbury, or Grafton, or even Middleborough down in Bristol County.
Tone knows that, whoever the opponent turns out to be, “It will be fun. We can make a name for ourselves.” The coach noted that “it’s not unique. Most teams that are really good don’t get tested until the playoffs.”
Images in the gallery are all (c) Jennifer Naylor, 2021 all rights reserved ~ Click each to view the full-sized image
This won’t be a different week leading up to a game, the coach said, because “we practice pretty hard. We’re always trying to get better.”
Friday night the Bucs knew they had to beat Boston Latin by 14 to qualify under the ranking formula. No one expected the margin of victory to be 56. “We got a lot of kids playing time,” the coach pointed out.
Bedford scored five times in the first quarter, all of them on offense. No one remembers that happening before – it’s really almost impossible when you think about it. But Tone’s teams run a high-tempo attack; there are no huddles. As soon as the official sets the ball, the offense is ready. “We’ve been pretty good jumping up on teams,” Tone observed.
This game was over after one play. Eric Miles, the junior tailback whose game combines speed, agility, and power, took the handoff in the shotgun from quarterback Jake Morrison, blasted through the defensive line, and dashed 53 yards to the endzone. The kick was wide.
OK, so technically Boston Latin did score six points – in the second quarter, after allowing seven touchdowns, against the second-sting defense. So technically, it took two scores to lock up the win, That was covered by senior Charlie Naylor, a step ahead of the coverage, led perfectly by Morrison to the right corner of the endzone for 25 yards. Nick Tatarczuk kicked the first of six extra points.
That drive took three plays. The next one took two plays: a 16-yard pass to Jayvon Williams followed by a 27-yard explosion by Miles through a ginormous hole in the left side.
After keeping the Wolfpack out of the endzone on four tries from inside the 10, the Bucs worked the ball to the 15 and then Miles carried 85 yards untouched for his 21st TD of the 2021 fall season. There were still 69 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and Bedford actually scored again, with Morrison speeding 45 yards.
Bedford scored twice more in the first three minutes and 46 seconds of the second quarter – a 44-yard run by senior Mikey DeLia on the first play of the series, and later a 40-yard run by Morrison on the second play. Leading 47-0, Coach Tone gave the starters the rest of the night off.
If you like statistics (even if you don’t), Bedford ran 15 plays in the first 15:44 and gained 372 offensive yards, all but 41 on the ground.
Sophomore James Naylor, the backup quarterback, scored the other two touchdowns, racing 53 yards in the second quarter and another 70 in the fourth. Drew Siwik, a freshman, rushed the points to conclude the scoring.
Tone applauded the play of the offensive line. “It’s always the running back and the quarterback, but there are guys blocking for them.” Besides the interior line, tight ends Richie Fedele and Aiden Pompi are also keys to ground attack with their blocking, he said.
The coach cited all of the athletes who rotate on both the offensive and defensive interior lines – Ely Almonte, Ryan Cohen, Sam DiNitto, Dylan Lykins, Dan Petetsky, Chris Puglielli.
Assistant Coach Mike Schreiber works with the linemen during the week. “They’re practicing most of the time off by themselves – they’re probably working harder than anybody else,” the head coach said.
Junior Jamie Buchannan is also an offensive lineman and anchors the defense as a middle linebacker. Buchannan missed the first four games recovering from a pre-season injury; “from a toughness and leadership perspective, it’s great having him back,” Tone commented.
The coach said sophomore Nelson Crawford got some valuable experience filling in for Buchannan and still sees important minutes. Fedele and Miles are “fantastic” as outside linebackers.
The defensive back rotate, depending on the offensive they’re facing, Tone said – Delia, both Naylors, Jayvon Williams, and Nick Tatarczuk, “who doesn’t come out of the game too much – a really smart player.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 781-983-1763