Tag Archives: Ryan McCullough

North Reading reaches D5 Super Bowl after 31-14 win over Pentucket

Matt Guidebeck (8) and Ryan McCullough (7) celebrate a 4th quarter TD

(Lynn MA) North Reading has been averaging nearly forty points per game.

Ryan McCullough had two long punt returns

When they only had six points at halftime versus Pentucket tonight at Manning Field, you had to suspect that a scoring storm was coming.

And it did.

The Hornets (10-1) big second half gave them a, 31-14, win over Pentucket.  It also gave North Reading (#1 seed) a berth in the Division 5 Super Bowl against Swampscott (#2 seed) at Gillette Stadium in December.

Chase Dwight (4) scored twice

“I’m so happy to get a chance to play at Gillette,” said NR quarterback Alex Carucci afterwards.

Alex ran for one score and passed for another.

The Hornets had scored four times this season on their very first play from scrimmage.

Didn’t happen tonight.  However, the first time North Reading had the ball in the second half came on a punt return. 

Ryan McCullough (7) returned this punt for a 78-yard touchdown
Johnny Igoe (20) chased by Anthony Pino (79)

Ryan McCullough went seventy-eight yards with that return to give the Hornets the lead for good.

“I was just trying to take it to the house,” recalled Ryan.  “I thank my punt-return teammates.  There was a wall there.”

Pentucket (#4 seed) was still in this one early in the fourth quarter (17-14) after Chase Dwight’s second short-yardage touchdown.

The Sachems (8-3) were able to get the ball back with a chance to pull ahead.

Ryan McCullough and Paul Parachojuk battle

Credit the NR defense.  They forced another punt.

Ryan McCullough was again on the punt receiving end and again had good blocking.

“I nearly had a second touchdown but #11 (Paul Parachojuk) caught me,” said Ryan.

Ryan’s 42-yard return set up the Hornets at the Pentucket five. 

From there, quarterback Alex Carucci rolled left looking to pass.  Nothing there, so he crossed the field to the right side and connected with Matt Guidebeck for the score.

“It was a broken play,” said Alex.  “I just tried to make something happen. Fortunately, my receivers got open for me.”

Matt Guidebeck and John Jennings

“I was in the slot on the right,” recalled Matt Guidebeck.  “It was a scramble and we had worked all this week on what to do.  I moved around until a found a spot to stay.”

“Alex (Carucci) is a smart player,” said NR coach Ed Blum.  “When he’s had to scramble, he’s been able to make some plays.”

Matt Guidebeck’s touchdown reception and his kicking conversion put North Reading ahead, 24-14, with five minutes left in the game.

Craig Rubino’s interception ended Pentucket’s next possession and North Reading was home free.

Ryan McGuire (1) interception

Two second-half interceptions (Ryan McGuire & Craig Rubino) and Ryan McCullough’s two punt returns were keys to the win.

“A couple of big plays really swung it in the second half,” said Pentucket coach Dan Leary.  “North Reading makes you play all three phases of the game and defend the field.”

Not to be lost among all the “highlight” plays was the rushing of sophomore Will Batten (26 carries – 158 yards).

“Will put up some big numbers in the weight room last year,” said Coach Blum.  “He’s been huge for us in this run.”

Will scored his 20th touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Will Batten (6) scores
Alex Carucci scores after a fake handoff to Will Batten

North Reading scored first.  Pentucket got a heavy dose of Will Batten right down to their two-yard line.  A fake to Will by QB Alex Carucci allowed Alex to score unnoticed.

“Will is a great player and they were keying on him,” said Alex afterwards.  “I think they had eleven guys on him and no one on me.”

Pentucket answered with a touchdown greatly aided by a pass interference call.  Chase Dwight, who spent most of the game either passing or running, plunged across from a yard away.  Henry Hartford’s kick put Pentucket in front, 7-6.

Brandon Lee after a catch

The Sachems held that lead at halftime, but things changed in the second half.

“I told the team at halftime that they had to believe in everything they had done,” said Coach Blum.  “We knew that we would face some adversity.”

Coach Leary: “I was proud of our effort.”

Ryan McCullough: “It is an amazing feeling to finally get this done.  #4 (Chase Dwight) is a big, strong runner with a huge arm.”

Will Batten (6) breaks loose

Alex Carucci: “We were a little bit sloppy tonight.  I know that we can play a lot better.”

Coach Blum: “Ryan (McCullough) trusted the blockers and made some good cuts on those punt returns.”

Pentucket lost to North Reading eight weeks ago (September 24th), 20-0.

Both North Reading and Pentucket lost to Amesbury this season.

John Jennings (13) makes a tackle

Che Condon had four catches for 111 yards.

Matt Guidebeck kicked a 26-yard field goal in the third quarter.

The Hornets have now won five straight.

North Reading 0  6  11  14  – 31

Pentucket         0  7    0     7  – 14

(All the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Sam Morelli (52) and Teddy Suny (77) get after Chase Dwight (4)
Alex Carucci looks to pass to Ryan McCullough (7)
Chase Dwight (4) scores his first touchdown
Alex Carucci (5)

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Shorthanded North Reading defeats Newburyport 28-14

Jack Keller (3 TDs) uses a block by Ryan Kavanaugh (4)

Backup QB Ryan McCullough took a keeper 58 yards in the first quarter

(Newburyport MA) The Hornets starting quarterback Brian Heffernan was out with a sore back.

He already had ten touchdown passes in just three games.

Not to worry, sophomore fill-in Ryan McCullough was more than up for the job and North Reading continues undefeated after a Cape Ann League win (28-14) over Newburyport on Friday night.

“We had to simplify things,” said NR coach Ed Blum afterwards.  “He (Ryan) hasn’t had many QB reps but he’s an athlete and he did a good job.”

Ryan passed for a touchdown (Jack Keller) and ran for one, all in the first half.

The Clippers (2-2) were unaware that they would be facing a different quarterback.  It didn’t really matter to Newburyport coach Ben Smolski: “They ran what they ran on film and we defended as we taught them to.”

Walker Bartkiewicz (8) scored all of Newburyport’s points

The Clippers matched the Hornets (4-0) with two first-half touchdowns.  Both were by senior Walker Bartkiewicz.

Newburyport squandered a chance to take the lead early in the second half.  The NR punt receiver dropped the ball and Spencer Beane recovered setting the home team up on the NR 23.  But a Charlie Cahalane pass bounced off Walker Bartkiewicz’s hand and junior Jack Donohue had the interception near the goal-line.

Jacob Buontempo (20) turns a fumble into positive yardage

The Hornets turned the NHS turnover into a 94-yard march with Jack Keller finishing the final twenty-two yards on a sweep left with 3:16 to go in the third quarter.  Rob Tammario kicked the extra points just as he had done after the two first-half scores.  NR was now ahead, 21-14.

Jack Keller tallies the Hornets final touchdown

Turning point alert!  Next possession Newburyport started on their own 41 and moved to the NR 13 and had a 4th-and-2 from there as the seconds ticked off at the end of the 3rd quarter.  “There was a miscommunication between us and the refs over the time left on the play clock,” said Coach Smolski.  “We would have called a timeout but instead we ended up with a five-yard delay of game penalty.”  Now pushed back to the NR 18, there were still two options; go for the first down or kick a field goal.

“Walker (Bartkiewicz) was within his range but we wanted to tie the game and then put us in a position to win the game later on a field goal,” explained Coach Smolski.

The Clippers opted for a pass play and it might have worked for the important first down, but the toss was dropped by Trevor Ward.

Brayden Scribner had an interception for NR in the 4th quarter

Newburyport did get the ball back in the 4th quarter (7:54) with yet another chance to tie the score.  However, Brayden Scribner in the Hornets secondary picked off Charlie Cahalane’s pass attempt and returned the interception to the Newburyport 22 with 3:31 left in the game.

North Reading was now running the Wildcat with Jack Keller getting the direct snap.  Jack found a hole up the middle and went in untouched from eleven yards away to seal this one for the visitors.  This was Jack’s third TD of the contest.

This was the 4th time that the Hornets have pulled out a game in the second half.  “I wish we could play a better first twenty-four minutes,” said Coach Blum post-game.

Newburyport has now lost five straight times to North Reading.

In the last two games Walker Bartkiewicz has scored all the Clippers’ points.  He had sixteen last week against Ipswich.

Lovely evening with temps close to sixty with no wind.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Aidan Carucci (6) ends Newburyport’s last possession with an interception

Brayden Scribner had an interception in the 4th quarter

Charlie Cahalane looks for a receiver in the flat

Charlie Cahalane throws over Aidan Carucci

Coach Ed Blum

Gerry Callagy

Ryan McCullough

Tyler Foley (15) brings down Jack Keller

Walker Bartkiewicz (8) behind the defense after catching a pass

Walker Bartkiewicz tangles with Robert Tammario (10) trying to catch a pass

Ryan Kavanaugh (4) finds an opening

Ryan McCullough on his way to the end zone

Ryan McCullough runs for a first down

 

 

 

 

 

 

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