By Ryan Lanigan
FOXBOROUGH, MA – Concord-Carlisle had hopes of raising the Super Bowl plaque last year, but fell short of their goal. They haven’t lost since.
The Patriots, led by senior running back George Craan’s 122 yards and three touchdowns, routed Oliver Ames, 42-9, to win the Division III Eastern Massachusetts Super Bowl and complete their perfect season.
“We’ve always talked about wins and losses being the report card of the homework you do all week long at practice and these guys have aced every test,” Concord-Carlisle coach Mike Robichaud said. “It’s just been unbelievable and it underscores the great work of this senior class.”
Oliver Ames came out strong, forcing the Patriots to go three-and-out and punt. But on the ensuing punt, the Tigers fumbled the kick, allowing Concord-Carlisle to take over at the OA 34.
Four plays later, senior George Craan ran from four yards out to put Concord-Carlisle up 7-0. The Patriots never looked back, nor surrendered their only lead of the game.
“They did a good job of shutting us down on some things early on,” said Robichaud. “Our guys were really determined and we were able to get back to a main menu of things we were doing a little earlier in the season more consistently.[There] was some really good execution from the guys up front.”
After an OA field goal on their first possession from Ryan McGrath, the Patriots came back with a seven play, 76-yard drive, which was capped off by a nine-yard Craan run.
“He’s just a great kid. He made it to his mission when he came to the high school to get here as a senior,” Robichaud continued. “He got here ahead of schedule last year as a junior and weren’t able to close it out. He was one of the most determined kids we’ve got to make it happen. It was huge in the playoff games.”
“We just knew we had to execute,” said Craan. “Obviously we were happy we were here but we had a mission ahead of us. Our guys had to stay to focused to accomplish that mission.”
The Patriot defense forced a total of four turnovers and limited the Tigers to just complete 4-of-11 third downs.
“The defense is well prepared by [assistant] coach Dalicandro,” continued Craan. “Those guys work their butts off at practices. We knew everyone had to help each other out; from defense to offense to special teams, it was a whole group effort.“
Concord-Carlisle senior Henry Bumpus had a “redemption” game according to Robichaud. After dropping a pass last year in the Super Bowl, Bumpus came back to catch two touchdowns and snatch one interception.
“We’ve been waiting to get here. He was sick as a dog [about last year],” Robichaud said. “To come back here and to do what he did was extra special. It was definitely redemption and a wonderful day for a kid who has put so much work into becoming a better football player.”
For Oliver Ames, senior back Sam Langston led the way with 60 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was the final play of an 80-yard drive, capped off by the three-yard Langston run.
“Sam’s a fantastic football player,” said Oliver Ames head coach Jim Artz. “I wanted to get him in the end zone at the end just to try and say thank you for all the hard work he’s given us. He’s just been an outstanding back. Whether he’s catching the ball out of the backfield or running with the ball. He’ll be hard to replace.”
Concord-Carlisle will graduate 19 seniors while Oliver Ames will graduate 20.