Chelmsford defense pulls out the stops
ACTON - Chelmsford coach Bruce Rich was preparing his team to face a spread offense. When Acton-Boxboro came out in a Wing-T formation, he wasn’t sure what to expect.
Senior linebacker Tim Joy erased any doubts as he recorded 10 tackles as No. 16 Chelmsford blanked Acton-Boxboro, 26-0, at Leary Field last night.
“I liked the way our kids responded to the Wing-T,’’ Rich said. “It’s a different look.’’
It’s the third straight season Chelmsford has defeated Acton-Boxboro - a turn of the tides because A-B had won 12 straight.
“It’s awesome, growing up they beat us 12 years in a row from when I was 6 years old until I was in high school, and now I’m 3-0 against them,’’ Joy said. “I don’t worry about how many tackles I get. The only thing that matters is they didn’t score once and that’s what’s important. [Tonight], we played great as a team on defense - everybody just had a good night in general.’’
Chelmsford held the Colonials to 168 yards on offense, forced A-B to punt three times, and forced three turnovers on downs.
The pivotal play came in the second quarter as Chelmsford held a 13-0 lead with 8:35 remaining. Acton-Boxboro was riding a 9-play, 54-yard drive and threatening at Chelmsford’s 20-yard line.
Acton-Boxboro senior quarterback Ethan Dukes (8 of 19 passing, 60 yards), lobbed a pass for the 6-foot-4-inch Jake Pilecki, but senior defensive back Cody Nazzaro intercepted it.
“We have the best defense,’’ Chelmsford quarterback Colby Emanouil said. “That [interception] was perfect.’’
Emanouil carried the Chelmsford offense, rushing for 96 yards on six carries with two touchdowns.
The senior captain helped Chelmsford to a 13-0 halftime lead when he broke loose for a 46-yard score with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter, followed by a 32-yard run in the second quarter.
“They were designed pass plays, but I just scrambled out and ran for them,’’ Emanouil said. “I look for open guys, but if I have to think about it I’m just running for it.’’
Emanouil (6 for 9 passing, 67 yards) fired a 29-yard strike to senior Vinny Maniscalco (two catches, 58 yards) for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“He’s one of the fastest kids in the state, he’s going to be open,’’ Emanouil said. “I just threw it as far as I could. I’m only 5-8, so I can’t really throw it that far, but he’s always open.’’
Chelmsford senior Eddie Sheridan ran for 72 yards on 18 carries, and junior Connor Brimley ran for 55 yards and a touchdown on two carries. The score came with 49 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard run.