BURLINGTON – For the first time since playing Stoneham four weeks ago, the Burlin-gton High football team faced an attacking juggernaut who was virtually unstoppable. And similar to that game where Stoneham scored on virtually every possessions, the Red Devils couldn’t stop an opposing attack once again.
With two big offensive weapons, Bedford scored touchdowns on his six possessions in the first half and the first two times with the ball in the second half.
The Red Devils have only been able to find the end zone three times.
It helped the Buccaneers secure a convincing 55-18 victory over Burlington in the Thanksgiving season finale for both teams at Varsity Field on Thursday.
Bedford’s two unstoppable weapons were running back Eric Miles, who ran for 198 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns, and quarterback Jake Morrison, who ran for 130 yards on 17 carries and three scores. Morrison also completed 11 of 20 passes for 160 yards.
Mike DeLia also added a touchdown run, while the Buccaneers defense limited the Red Devils to just 76 rushing yards the entire game.
The bright spots for the Red Devils were the efforts of senior quarterback Ronan Noke, who in his last game in high school completed 7 of 19 passes for 253 passing yards and two touchdowns, and the running back. senior Adam Eldeeb who ended his football career in high school. with 73 rushing yards on 15 carries and one score.
But Burlington’s defense fell short of Bedford’s virtually unstoppable running game and ended their season with a final overall record of 2-9.
“The Bedford runners and receivers were just too big and fast, and we just couldn’t stop them,” said Burlington coach Dan MacKay. “Bedford executed his offense better than us, when we couldn’t execute our offense the way we wanted for most of the game. We also committed penalties and turnovers and they didn’t.”
The Buccaneers gave an early indication that the Burlington defense was ready for a long day in game two, when, from their own 35-yard line, Miles made his first carry through the middle and all the way down the field for the score. The first of seven extra kicks for Nick Tatarczuk gave Bedford an early 7-0 lead.
The Red Devils responded on their first possession when, after moving the ball in four games to their own 43-yard line, Ronan Noke hit Sam Doherty with a high pass over the middle, and Doherty took him in. until the final score. for the score, to reduce Burlington’s deficit to 7-6.
The Buccaneers quickly hit back, taking just two games to score again. After Morrison passed 36 yards to DeLia to move the ball to the Burlington 18, Miles made his second postponement of the game until the end to pay the score, and Tatarxzuk’s kick extended the lead. from Bedford at 14-6.
The Red Devils responded to the very next play from their own 39-yard line, when Ronan Noke threw a pass to the straight sideline to his brother Aidan, who grabbed it and ran to the 61 sideline. yards for the score, which reduced Burlington’s deficit. at 14-12 less than five minutes into the contest.
But the Buccaneers, starting their next possession from their own 39-yard line, launched a 10-play, 61-yard campaign. Morrison first completed 11 and 15 yard passes to Charlie Naylor. After several short runs moved the ball to Burlington’s, Morrison directed it into the end zone which, along with Tatarczuk’s kick, increased Bedford’s lead to 21-12 with yet another just under four minutes to play in the first quarter.
The Red Devils moved the ball close to midfield on their next possession, before a pass from Ronan Noke was intercepted by DeLia, to give the ball back to Bedford on his own 41-yard line. This time it took the Buccaneers eight plays to go 59 yards in the second quarter for another score, capped off by a 36-yard touchdown from Morrison, who, with Tatarczuk’s kick, extended Bedford’s lead. at 28-12.
The Red Devils were only able to move the ball close to midfield on their next possession, before a sack from the quarterback forced Burlington on a fourth and 22 to kick the game’s only punt for either team. The Buccaneers then methodically amassed 56 yards on eight plays, evidenced by a 23-yard pass from Morrison to Rich Fedele. The practice was capped by a nine-yard touchdown from Miles, his third of the game, who, along with Tatarczuk’s kick, extended Bedford’s lead to 35-12.
“They were faster than us, they were stronger than us, they competed at a higher level than us and they were more disciplined than us,” said MacKay. “That’s what was going on there. But it’s a very good football team that we lost to today, and we haven’t seen a team like this since we lost to Stoneham. “
The Red Devils had a silver lining when, on the first play of their next possession, Noke completed a 51-yard pass to Doherty to advance the ball to Bedford’s 19-yard line. But four consecutive incomplete passes forced Burlington to give up the ball on the downs.
The Buccaneers then used their sixth possession to go 81 yards in 11 games, with a 40-yard pass from Morrison to Fedele moving the ball to the one-yard line. Morrison got his third touchdown the next game for Bedford’s sixth score, giving the Buccaneers a 41-12 halftime lead.
The Red Devils were only able to advance the ball to Bedford 47 during their first possession in the second half before giving up the ball on the downs. In the very first game after recovering the ball for the seventh time, Miles ran the ball to the center of 53 yards for Bedford’s seventh score.
To their credit, the Red Devils didn’t give up, as Eldeeb stepped up twice to help Burlington score a final point. First he caught a screen pass from Ronan Noke and ran 51 yards to Bedford’s seven-yard line, then two games later of the five ran the next carry over into the end zone for the touchdown to do it now 48-18.
“I felt Adam Eldeeb was one of our few players who played hard the entire game, while Aidan Noke was able to play and he played hard as always, and Ronan (Noke) threw the ball well today. ‘hui under a lot of pressure, “MacKay said. “But I was disappointed with how some of our other players played, and it just wasn’t our day.”
In their eighth possession of the game, the Buccaneers totaled 54 yards on 12 plays, topped by a six-yard touchdown from DeLia, for their eighth score on the opening play of the fourth quarter. It’s now 55-18 and, with the running time used the rest of the way, capped the game’s score.
As the late-season setback ended a disappointing two-win season for the Red Devils, MacKay expressed post-game appreciation for how his team continued to work hard after eight straight losses. This ultimately helped Burlington win two late-season games. But, overall mistakes and a lack of focus have kept Burlington from achieving more success this season.
“The kids showed up and trained hard every week, and in week 6 we really started working hard and being more focused,” MacKay said. “But for most of the season things just didn’t work out. We put in a good effort every game, but we made mistakes, committed penalties and weren’t focused all the time. . “