Bedford Sports Talk
The Bedford Bulldogs battled the NH Wildcats in a contest at the NH Sportsplex. Bedford opened the game on defense and made life difficult for opposing ball carriers from the very first play. Led by Evan Dunker and Justin Chiras, the edge rush and onslaught of Evan Maslanka, Jack Petrosino, Zack Gilroy, Brody Cassidy and Brady Proulx, was uncontrollable. Strong linebacker play by Hudson Schmitt, Logan O’Connell, Caleb Goldstein and Wade Thompson produced several turnovers, including a timely fumble recovery by Dean Poltronieri. Aaron Chmielecki celebrated an early birthday by devouring several Wildcats.
On offense, it seemed the Bulldogs could move the ball at will, led by a punishing line, which featured John Martineau, Beau Boughter, Patrik Burke, Nolan Murphy, Carter Rick, Tristin Leck and Trenton Otero. As the injured Tyson Bolduc cheered from the sideline, the crowd was entertained by a trifecta of Bulldog touchdowns from Brady Doldo, Brady Jackson, and RJ Proulx, all playing in their final Tiny Mite game.
Mitey Mite Silver
It was tough to hear the roar of the crowd over the howling winds when the Bedford Silver Mitey Mite team finished their perfect season with a win over Manchester in the Spooky Bowl. Despite the arctic conditions with rain, wind and snow the battle hardened Bulldogs came ready to play football and show why they were the number one seed. Aiden O’Connell was able to score on the first series behind the line made up of Brady Martino, Johnny Kramer, Mike Biscornet, Gabe Tomkinson, Jacob Fall, Christian Morley and Jack Keegan. Sean Toscano barreled into the end zone on the very next series.
Parker Bromley dazzled the crowd with a brilliant 30-yard run covering the entire field. By the time he made it to the end zone the scene was that of a battle with defenders laying in agony all over the field. Ethan Flanagan was able to make it in for the point after. In the second half, Evan Cibotti turned a broken play into a touchdown with some hard nosed running. The final score came when Jackson Bolduc willed his way into the end zone after being stopped initially at the three yard line.
The true story of the day was the Bulldog defense which continued it’s dominance by not allowing a point. In fact, the bulldog defense held the Eagles to one first down all day. Eric Morgan, Nate Clark, Tyler Johnston, Alex Wafer, Danny Black, Joel Poltronieri, Ethan Chmielecki, Brady O’Connell and Colton Gooden all braved the adverse conditions to contribute to the defensive dominance put on display by the phenomenal Bulldog team. The Silver defenses had not allowed a score in three games and only one touchdown in the last five games. Since August these young athletes have absorbed and mastered all the skills required of champions and good sportsmen.
Junior Pee Wee Red
The season came to an end for the JPW Red football squad as it lost to the No 1 seed Merrimack Cardinals in the semifinal round of the state playoffs. This season, the Red squad introduced first-year players Seamus Balistreri, Ashton Ellis, Aiden Healy, Joey Piacentini, Chris Shoals and Mathew Vranich to the sport of football and they all had major contributions throughout the season.
Balistreri, Ellis, Healy and Vranich saw most of their time battling it out in the trenches on the interior of the offensive and defensive lines while Piacentini played tight end and outside linebacker. Shoals also played some tight end but eventually earned a starting spot at corner back on the vaunted gold defense because of his outstanding play. Dylan Bellerose, Cristhian Espaillat and Kasey Mahoney played huge roles as vital utility players and were plugged in at various positions on the offensive and defensive lines, running back, linebacker and defensive back as needed.
Grizzled veterans Ryan Ashburner, Colin Chandonnet, Russell Erwin, Hunter Fennessy, Connor Guibord, Cam Healey, Parker Henrichon, Andrew McGee, Tyler Merkle, Aidan Morley, Andrew Peicker and Thomas Rice led by example on and off the field throughout the season. As the backbone of the team, their hard work was the key to the team’s success on the field and their team spirit unified the entire squad as a single, cohesive unit resulting in a very successful season.
Junior Pee Wee Silver
The Bedford Jr. Bulldogs JPW Silver team advanced to the state final with a 19-12 overtime win against rival Amherst. The win puts JPW Silver at 7-1 facing Merrimack, whom it lost to in the regular season at Merrimack in double overtime. Trailing by two scores with nine minutes to go, TJ O’Connell took a kickoff back over 60 yards for a score behind great blocks by Aiden Landman and Ben Stuart.
After a failed extra point attempt, Joe Mikol made the first of two outstanding squib kicks, this one recovered by Ryan Cote. Cote went to work on a five-carry drive that was blocked outstandingly by guards Cam Cilley and Finn O’ Neil and tackles Ryan Allard and Zach Dion. Dion was forced to play out of position but was great as was Graham Frederick, William Scholl, Jack Cloutier and Phil Tuscano who all excelled in different spots due to injuries.
Cote scored on a tough run to tie the game up as Owen Umansky ran the offence flawlessly.
The secondary of Presley Trento, Willy Kramer and Josh Tobin didn’t allow any yards through the air all day and locked down the outside. In overtime, O’Connell bulled his way in for the score and extra point to take the lead. Amherst’s last drive was stopped by huge Evan Schmitt and Ryan Wallat tackles that sent the crowd wild and Bedford to the state finals.
Pee Wee Football
Bedford Pee Wee overcame numerous challenges and adversity from wind, rain, cold and injuries, including losing their two starting running backs early in the game due to injury to decisively beat the NH Wildcats 14-0 in the state semifinals. The Bulldogs’ offense, led by QB Nathaniel Frederick, consistently marched the offense up and down the cold and wet field with running back Joey Lupo sprinting for a long TD run before going out of the game with an injury.
That TD run was followed up by a strong extra point run by running back Michael Akstin, who also left the game with an injury. Conor Mullin and Alex Bleakly stepped up and joined Ethan Van Heerdan in the back field and without missing a beat, kept the offensive pressure on the Wildcats with aggressive running behind the powerful Bulldog offensive line units.
This included an exciting TD run by Ethan Van Heerdan and a precision pass to tight end Jack Jones by Frederick to secure the extra point.
The Bulldog offensive line was solid in providing run and pass blocking. This included great performances by Jack Lavoie, Scott Landies, Jack Grogan, Steven Watson, Jack Jones, Teagan Graham, Hayden Cheney and more. The Bulldog’s special teams consistently confounded the Wildcats with a focused performance including a fumble recovery and consistently putting the Wildcats in difficult field position.
The Bulldog defense was again tenacious in keeping the Wildcats out of the end zone. This included great defensive performance by Kevin Gagne who got his first sack, Gunner Grant, Will Detscher, Hunter Ducharme, Matt Peicker, Evan Dunn, Gabriel Fitzgerald, Nick Merchant, Aidan Wolfinger, Andrew Kemp, Damian Martineau and Caleb Boulard.
This victory places the 9-0 Bulldogs as the No. 1 seed against the Amherst Patriots in the upcoming state championships Sunday at Bedford High School.