CONCORD — Bedford High football coach Zach Matthews said his team played well in spurts Friday night at Memorial Field, and that was good enough to earn a 16-0 victory over Division I North foe Concord.
Bedford (2-0), which is ranked No. 3 in this week’s Union Leader Power Poll, did not allow Concord (0-2) into the red zone and held the Crimson Tide to fewer than 150 yards of offense. The Bulldogs also saw their offense fumble the ball away twice and had what would have been a 37-yard touchdown pass negated by an illegal man downfield penalty.
“We’ve got kids in the right spots, we’re executing really well at times and then we go through a couple plays where we’re not hitting on all cylinders and we have people making mistakes,” Matthews said. “Our goal as a coaching staff right now is to clean those things up.”
Bedford led, 9-0, at halftime behind a safety and a Joseph Mikol touchdown pass.
The Bulldogs earned their first two points after a botched Concord punt attempt on the first play of the second quarter.
The snap went over the head of Concord punter Cortland Miller and Miller stepped out of bounds after collecting the ball, resulting in a safety.
The Bulldogs scored their first touchdown on their drive following the safety, marching 42 yards on five plays. Mikol, Bedford’s starting quarterback, capped the drive with a 10-yard touchdown slant pass over the middle to his backup, Aaron Skaling. Ryan Bobotas made the ensuing point-after kick to build Bedford’s 9-0 lead.
The Bulldogs capped the game’s scoring with 9:37 remaining, when Solomon Sanchez capped a seven-play, 92-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and Bobotas followed up with the extra point.
Stepping in for starting quarterback Trevor Smith, who was injured in the Queen City Jamboree, Ronan McGonigle was the focal point for the Concord offense. Normally a running back, McGonigle went 3 of 9 passing for 15 yards and ran for 52 yards on 21 carries. Concord sophomore running back Kody Rashed ran nine times for 27 yards.
The Crimson Tide offense moved the ball well at times but was plagued by costly penalties and high snaps that sailed over McGonigle’s head.
“Super proud of the way we hung in there,” Concord coach Eric Brown said. “We played really good defense at times — a couple big plays. We played really good offense at times and we shot ourselves in the foot. But (Bedford is) a good team and we just can’t afford to make mistakes like that against good teams like that.”
Mikol completed 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 157 yards. Sanchez ran four times for 14 yards and also recorded a game-high five receptions and 81 receiving yards. Tim Greene had four catches for 68 yards and Michael Akstin ran for a game-high 132 yards on 19 carries for the Bulldogs.
“I think we’ve got a really good football team here but we can’t let people hang around and we can’t beat ourselves and (Friday) I feel like we held ourselves back a little bit,” Matthews said.