Patriots Come Up Short in Westford, 41-27 

By Bill Sones  Correspondent
October 19, 2023

The Westford Gray Ghosts (4-2, 2-0 Dual County League) continued their winning ways against the Concord-Carlisle High School Patriots (3-3, 2-1 DCL) last Friday night with a convincing 41-27 win at Westford. The Gray Ghosts offense was in high gear with 497 total yards of offense and the Patriots did not force a punt in the game. Although the Pats fought hard throughout the contest, a second half comeback fell short. 

Westford came out flying in this game. After a 32-yard kickoff return put the Gray Ghosts in good field position, Westford proceeded to march 56 yards on eight plays with an 11-yard touchdown pass opening the scoring for Westford. After the ensuring Patriots drive stalled near midfield, the Gray Ghosts again marched deep into C-C territory.  

The Patriots looked poised to “bend but not break” when senior defense end Aengus Wilson sacked Westford quarterback Jake Cullen for an 18-yard loss back to the C-C 30.  

But Cullen (10 for 14 for 152 yards and 3 touchdowns passing and 19 carries for 134 yards with 4 TDs rushing on the game) hit Gray Ghosts Wide Receiver Evan Pasters for a 30-yard touchdown on the next play to extend the Westford lead to 14-0, which is how the first quarter ended. 

The Patriots offense was on the move when the second quarter opened, and C-C got on the board with a 12-yard scamper by senior running back Ryan DeMayo, cutting Westford’s lead to 14-6. As was the case all night long, the Westford offense immediately responded with a crisp eight-play, 57-yard drive, and a Cullen one-yard plunge extended the Gray Ghosts’ lead to 20-7.  

C-C’s offense followed the Westford score with one of their best drives of the season, covering 80 yards in only seven plays as the C-C offensive line got to work. Senior quarterback Ryan Fivek had three carries for 28 yards on the drive (Fivek finished the game with 99 yards rushing to lead C-C), and DeMayo again rumbled into the end zone, this time from seven yards out, to cut the lead to 20-12.  

It took only one play in Westford’s next drive for C-C to draw even as Junior Defensive Back Will Hoover picked off a Cullen pass and sprinted to tie the game at 20-20 after Fivek connected with Hoover for the two-point conversion, which is how the first half ended. 

The third quarter was all Westford. After C-C’s first play stalled, the Gray Ghosts took only five plays to go 80 yards to retake the lead at 27-20. Four minutes later, the Gray Ghosts extended the lead to 34-20 on a Cullen three-yard run that was sparked by a 60-yard run for running back Alex Wilson (204 yards rushing and one touchdown on the evening).  

But the Patriots were not ready to give up and opened the game’s final quarter on the move. A twelve-play, 59-yard drive culminated in a three-yard Fivek score to cut the lead to 34-27 after Junior Kicker Taylor Ladd’s extra point. Westford put the game out of reach with a 29-yard TD pass on their next drive to make the final score 41-27 Gray Ghosts. 

On October 20, the Patriots return home to host long-time Dual County League rival Lincoln-Sudbury (7 p.m. start at Memorial Field). The Warriors (5-1, 2-0 DCL) will prove to be a tough foe, as they went into their game vs. A-B last Friday night as the second-ranked team in the MIAA Division 1 power rankings.