CHELMSFORD — Chelmsford jumped to a big early lead over rival Acton-Boxboro and the Lions didn’t look back, winning their home opener, 35-14.
The Lions stuck to their usual power-I offense, and it was effective as they scored five touchdowns against a Colonial defense that shut out Woburn last weekend.
“Everybody else seems to be running spread offense now and we stay with our routine and play with our power-I offense,’’ said Chelmsford coach Bruce Rich. “We vary from that once in a while but I think it’s tough for other teams when you see that different look.
“We are the different look now and we like that.”
The attack was led by senior quarterback Bobby Sullivan, who was 11 of 19 and threw the first three touchdown passes of his career. He also rushed 12 times for 75 yards.
“He’s a great athlete,’’ said Rich. “He is a national ski champion and I think that type of competition is carrying over to his football right now.”
After recovering a fumble at their 45-yard line three minutes in, the Lions drove into the end zone in four plays for the game’s opening score, a 12-yard run by Connor Brimley.
The Chelmsford defense followed by stopping Acton-Boxboro on fourth and 5 from the Chelmsford 25.
“We had a couple of fourth-down situations, a couple of third-and-shorts, and the kids held their own on the line,” said Rich. “I think that’s where it started tonight.”
The Lions then used 16 plays and more than eight minutes to go 75 yards for another score.
On second and goal from the 5-yard line, Sullivan rolled to his right and lofted a pass to the back of the end zone that found Joseph St. Hilaire, who kept a foot inbounds for the score.
Sullivan would add another TD toss, a 9-yarder to Eric Van Gelder with 45 seconds left in the first half.
The Colonials tried to steal some momentum, scoring on a 25-yard pass from Hunter Arnold to Joe Euele as the half expired.
Chelmsford stopped Acton-Boxboro on a fourth-and-short in the third quarter, and the Lions cashed in by driving 60 yards to score on a 3-yard run by running back Jeff D’Auria, his fifth of the season, to make it 28-7 with 10:21 left in the game. D’Auria didn’t get a touch until the second half, but had seven carries for 64 yards.
“Jeff comes in in the second half with the fresh legs and he gave us the lift that we needed,” said Rich.
The Colonials responded with a quick 78-yard drive capped by Thomas Saponaro’s 4-yard run, but Sullivan’s 8-yard toss to Gregory Johnson on the ensuing drive put the game away with 4:46 left.