The Concord-Carlisle Patriots (2-1) outlasted a pesky Waltham Hawks (0-3) squad 48-36 last Friday night to earn the Pats’ first Dual County League win of the season. The victory played out in front of a strong visiting crowd for CC’s annual Tackles for Cancer game, in support of the Kicks for Cancer weekend, at Waltham’s newly renovated Leary Field.
The CC offense steamrolled their way through the Hawks defense all night long — totaling a season-high 431 yards of total offense. The Patriots scored on all seven offensive possessions, with Waltham only forcing one fourth down (which turned into a 22-yard TD strike from senior quarterback Ryan Fivek to junior wide receiver/defensive back Will Hoover).
CC came out of the gate quickly, going 74 yards on four plays after senior running back/linebacker Ryan DeMayo (220 yards of rushing on the night with three touchdowns) rumbled 40 yards through the Hawks secondary for the game’s opening score. Behind an efficient passing offense (20 for 28 for 194 yards of passing on the evening), Waltham answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ate up almost six minutes of the opening quarter and culminated in a two-yard plunge to tie the game at 7-7.
But DeMayo answered quickly, this time with a 56-yard jaunt. Sophomore kicker/defensive back/quarterback Sam Griswold kicked the point after touchdown through the uprights to push the Pats’ lead to 14-7. The quarter ended with the Pats defense forcing a Hawks punt after sophomore defensive end/tight end Shawn Grace and senior defensive end/tight end Aengus Wilson combined on a sack and sophomore linebacker Eric Nick stuffed the Hawks on 3rd down.
The second quarter started with the Pats again on the move with Fivek again finding Hoover in the end zone, this time from 14 yards out to push the Pats lead to 20-7. But again, Waltham responded with a long touchdown drive and a Hawks 15-yard touchdown pass cut the CC lead to 20-13.
On the ensuing Patriots drive, the CC offensive line, anchored by seniors Addison McIntyre and Demitri Baldoumas and junior Noah Getchell, asserted themselves as the Pats marched 71 yards in a season-high 17 plays the ended with a Fivek 1-yard quarterback sneak (his 3rd rushing touchdown of the season) that pushed the Patriots lead to 26-14, which is how the first half ended.
But the Hawks refused to go away and opened the second half with a four-yard touchdown run to cut the CC lead to 26-20. The Pats again answered the threat with a quick strike as Hoover turned a short Fivek slant pass into a 58-yard gallop through the Hawks secondary for a 34-20 CC lead after Fivek’s two-point conversion run. The pesky Waltham offense again proved to be stubborn and answered the CC score with a nine-play, 57-yard touchdown drive that made the game a one possession game at 34-28 as we headed to the final quarter.
The CC offense again pushed the Patriots’ lead back to two scores early in the 4th with DeMayo’s third touchdown of the game (and fifth rushing touchdown of the season) pushing the lead to 42-28. The Patriots defense then started to assert themselves with several big plays down the stretch. Nick (six tackles), junior defensive back/running back Connor Sones (a team-leading seven tackles), and seniors Jayson DaRosa and Ramir Dardy all made big plays as the defense started to tighten up late in the game.
The Patriots pushed the lead to 48-28 with the third Fivek to Hoover touchdown connection of the game late in the fourth (the duo may be onto something special, as this was the sixth time in the early stages of the ’23 campaign that Fivek has hit Hoover for a touchdown).
Waltham pushed across a late touchdown to make the final score 48-36 Patriots.