CCHS Patriots’ comeback falls short at Quincy 

By Bill Sones, correspondent 
September 21, 2023

Just off a convincing 41-8 win in the opener against Shepherd Hill, the Patriots came out confident and ready to play in a showdown with the Quincy Presidents at Quincy’s Veterans Stadium. 

Concord-Carlisle High School’s defense forced Quincy’s high-powered offense to turn the ball over on downs on their first possession last Thursday night after Jr. Defensive end Shawn Grace made a clutch open field on Quincy quarterback Nate Goff. The CC offense wasted little time in taking advantage of the strong field position.  On the third play of the drive, senior quarterback Ryan Fivek hit Junior wide receiver Will Hoover with a deep strike and the Pats were on the board with an early 7-0 lead after sophomore Sam Griswold’s point after touchdown.    

The defense got to work again on Quincy’s second drive, forcing a 4th and long after junior running back/defensive back Matt Carleton broke up a deep Quincy pass. CC found themselves deep in Presidents’ territory after the ensuing punt snap went over the punter’s head. Senior linebacker, tight end Jayson DaRosa jumped on the loose ball at the Presidents’ 9-yard line. One play later, senior running back/line back Ryan DeMayo rumbled in from 9 yards out and the Patriots were up 13-0 halfway through the opening quarter. However, the Presidents took only three plays to respond as Goff hit junior wide receiver Alex Martinez on a 58-yard catch and run to cut the CC lead to 13-7, which is how the quarter ended. 

CC was on the move as the second quarter opened with an 8 play that went deep into Quincy territory. In a key point in the game, the Presidents’ defense held and then responded with an impressive 10 play, 83-yard drive that culminated in a 14-13 Quincy lead. CC again fought back with yet another deep drive into Presidents’ territory. But Quincy’s defense held yet again and time ran out on the Patriots on the Quincy 17-yard line. 

In a scoreless third quarter, both defenses stepped up. Sophomore line back Eric Nick (a team-leading 12 tackles), senior linebacker Jayson DaRosa (8 tackles) and senior defensive line Ramir Dardy (7 tackles) all made key plays to help hold the CC deficit to one point. This set the stage for a wild fourth quarter. 

After a defensive stop to open the final frame, the Patriots’ offense got to work with senior tight end/defense end Aengus Wilson carrying several Quincy tacklers for a 26-yard rumble into Quincy territory. But the Quincy defense held firm and CC turned the ball over on downs after a Fivek-to-DaRosa pass fell incomplete. Quincy took six plays to drive deep into CC territory, but the Pats held firm as Hoover nabbed a Goff pass in the end zone. The interception set the Pats up at their own 1 with under five minutes left in the game. Things started to look bleak after a Fivek pass on 4th down was deflected and Quincy scored two plays later on a 6-yard scamper to go up 21-13. But CC was still within a score.  

On the ensuing kickoff, senior wide receiver/cornerback Khaleil Niles-Butler gave the Patriots the spark they needed with a 38-yard return.  A Quincy personal foul tacked on another 15 yards, and the Pats were in business.  

Five plays later, Fivek connected on a 16-yard strike to Carleton at the Quincy 1 yard line.  Ryan DeMayo followed up the Carleton catch with a 1-yard plunge to cut the deficit to two with only 1:11 left in the contest. With the Pats needing a 2-point conversion to tie the game, Fivek rolled right on a quarterback keeper which came up just feet short of the end zone.  

The CC onside kick failed and the Presidents were able to close out the game and preserve their 21-19 win to go to 2-0 while the Patriots fell back to .500 at 1-1.   

Although the Patriots came up short, the team battled until the end and almost pulled off an improbable comeback on the road against a tough team.