Saturday, September 21, 2013

Concord Stomps Merrimack 55-0 #BlowoutCity

In case you haven't heard by now, the Concord High football team is really good. In their first 3 games they've outscored their opponents 142-19. Included in that is last Friday night's 55-0 drubbing of Merrimack, a team that going into this game was 2-0 and scored a state best 100 points through 2 games.

"This year we're more mature as a team, everyone is doing their job" said Ndi, who prior to this season was used primarily on defense but has now emerged as one of the top 2-way players in the state. "The defense did a good job, and so the offense got to see the ball a lot. We spent a lot of time watching film to see where their weaknesses were."

Concord had 7 possessions in the 1st half - they scored touchdowns on 6 of them. They led 42-0 at halftime, and for the entire 2nd half it was running time with both teams resting their starters. In Merrimack's defense they were playing without injured starter Joe Giampetro, who had 118 yards rushing in the Tomahawk's week 2 win over Memorial.

Still, Merrimack's biggest problem wasn't running the ball (Jeff Genet rushed for 43 yards in the 1st half), it was on defense. They simply had no answer for the explosive Concord offense. Senior RB Wally Ndi rushed for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 5 carries. Sophomore RB Leo Sudieh had 93 yards on the ground and 2 TDs on just 10 carries and Marc Gaudet had 40 yards rushing and 1 TD on just 3 carries. Between those 3 players they averaged a whopping 15.7 yards per carry. Plus junior QB Robbie Law was 7/11 passing for 116 yards and 1 TD, and senior WR Seimou Smith caught 3 passes for 90 yards and a score. All of that was in just one half of football!

The touchdowns came early and often for the Crimson. Merrimack had the ball first, and Genet ran for 20 yards out of the wildcat formation. But then the drive stalled and the Tomahawks were forced to punt. Concord got possession, and on their first play from scrimmage Law completed a pass to Smith in the flat. Smith ran 69 yards after the catch, going virtually untouched on his way to the end zone. It was a combination of good speed and athletic moves by Smith and poor tackling by Merrimack. Just 2:17 into the game it was already 7-0 Tide.

The teams traded punts for for the next few minutes before Concord would strike again. They started the drive on their own 19 yard line, but then Ndi made a burst through the middle of the Merrimack defense for 57 yards. It would have been a 67 yard TD run, but Adam Floyd made a shoe string tackle at the 10 yard line to (momentarily) save the touchdown. A couple plays later Sudeih ran it in from 1 yard out. 14-0 Concord, 2:06 left 1st quarter.

Just minutes later the Tide would put another score on the board. Sudieh ran for 14 yards, then Law completed a 15 yard pass to Smith. Then Ndi went off tackle to the left side and sprinted in for a 24 yard TD run. Once again, he went virtually untouched through the Tomahawk's 'D' - it was too easy! 21-0 Concord, 10:3 left 2nd quarter.

Then Concord surprised Merrimack by going for an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. It was perfectly executed, and the Crimson recovered it. That gave them the ball bear midfield, and then Ndi took it to the house for a 45 yard TD. 28-0 Concord, 9:9 left 2nd quarter.

"We have been waiting for the right time to go for the onside kick" said Concord head coach Eric Brown. "I want to give other teams lots of things to watch out for."

After yet another Merrimack punt, Concord got the ball back and Gaudet rushed for a 34 yard gain off tackle. He then punched it for a 1 yard TD. 35-0 Concord, 7:17 left 2nd quarter.

The Tomahawks punted it away once again, giving the Crimson possession again and a chance to really break this thing open. Here is when Concord would score 3 touchdowns - on the same drive! First Law hit Walter Szulc for a 48 yard TD pass. Again, it was just too easy for the Tide to score. However the TD was called back due to holding on Concord. Then Sudieh (did I mention this kid's only a sophomore?) turned on the jets and ran for a 57 yard score. But yes, this one too was called back due to holding by the Tide. Then Sudieh ran for a 30 yard gain down to the Merrimack 19 yard line. A couple plays later he scored from 6 yards out. 42-0 Concord, 10:1 seconds left 2nd quarter.

Concord's been getting a lot of hype, and deservedly so. Not only are they really good, but it is nice to see them have this kind of success considering this is a program has struggled for the past several years and hasn't made the playoffs in quite some time. Still, everybody just seems to be talking about this team's explosive playmakers Law, Sudieh, Ndi and Smith. What is getting lost is how well the defense has played so far.

Leading the defense in Friday night's win was Gaudet, Ndi, Dylan Naylor, Logan Lamoreaux, Brandon Barrett, Kevin Condict, Diego Hebra and Smith.

"Our defense is definitely flying under the radar" said Coach Brown. "We forced 3 turnovers in the Central game. Tonight we were well prepared on 'D'. We knew they were quick so we had Wally and Gaudet utilize their speed rushing in from the edge."

Between Ndi and Gaudet rushing from the edge, Smith and Ndi flying around hitting people in the secondary, Hebra providing strong coverage on deep pass attempts, Naylor dominating the line of scrimmage and Lamoreaux, Barrett and Condict delivering bone crushing hits for little to no gain it is a defense with excellent speed, toughness and decent size.

Oh yeah, and there's that offense which is pretty good too.

And no, that's not a typo. I really did use a hashtag in the title of this article. I've never been one who's afraid to stray from the norm. Welcome to the year 2013, folks. #TrendSetter

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