Dracut C Football squad, the undefeated Merrimack Valley League champions, headed up north to take on the Bedford, N.H., Bulldogs in a highly anticipated game between two great lineups.
The Middies knew this match would be a tough one and a good Eastern MA pre playoff game since the Bulldogs were the defending N.H. state title holders as well as the Pop Warner New England champs.
Dracut's interior five of center Michael Tusa, guards Kyle Proulx and Anthony Marquez as well as tackles Nathan Ripley and Michael Canney set the tone in this heavyweight bout, using their strength, size and smarts to power the Middies to a 29-0 win over Bedford. These offensive linemen got outstanding pushes against the Bulldog defenders while opening holes and picking off linebackers. Reinforcements Javier Faria, Tyler Middlemiss, Max Barton, Alex Reis and Jared Fahey established Dracut's potent ground game with more than 270 rushing yards while winning the battles in the trenches.
Several penalties in the first quarter held back the Middies on offense as both teams battled hard to advance the ball. Though the period ended in a scoreless tie, Dracut had two touchdowns called back because of infractions.
Lincoln Lessard's crushing hit and fumble recovery early in the second quarter set up a 26-yard touchdown run by Aise Pream (more than 200 rushing yards) to put the Middies up 6-0. Pream went in for the extra point to make the score 7-0.
Bedford started the second half with the ball, but a quick Devin Lambert fumble recovery at the 48-yard-line put the Middies in fine field position. Dracut moved the ball with three good inside runs to set up a 30-yard touchdown reception by Devin Lambert, who streaked to the end zone after a nice throw by Pream.
The Bulldogs started to pound the middle and drove to Dracut's 33-yard-line but Gilbert Ruiz, Jacob Nadreau, Ethan Holt, Jacob Beaulieu, Yan Gonzalez, Denis Bourassa and Charlie Kefauver refused to bend. The Middies held strong to force Bedford to turn the ball over on downs with another outstanding fourth-down stand as the third quarter ended with Dracut leading 14-0.
The Middies were content to run time off the clock to start the fourth quarter before a turnover gave the ball back to Bedford. Down by 14 and forced to throw, the Bulldogs tried to open their passing attack but Dracut's cornerbacks and safeties, Eric Ariosus, Matt Rossetti, Matthew Simpson, Lucas Ibarguen and Peter Sawyer, blanketed Bedford's receivers and shut them down.
Pream then dashed in from 46 yards and added an extra point to up Dracut's lead to 21-0. Dracut's defense came up with another excellent series to force a four and out by Bedford. Lessard's 40-yard outside sweep added another 6 points for Dracut before Peter Sawyer's two-point kick made the final score 29-0 for the 7-0 Middies.