ASHBURNHAM — For the better part of the 2023 season, the North Middlesex Regional football team steamrolled the competition, power through a 5-0 start.
The last two weeks, however, saw the Patriots struggle against a pair of perennially potent programs, skidding to back-to-back defeats. But on the road for the regular season finale, North Middlesex rebounded with a vengeance.
The visiting Patriots came out red-hot and stormed past Oakmont Regional, capturing a 41-6 victory at Arthur I. Hurd Memorial Field Friday night.
Corey Mills carried the ball 16 times for 66 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Michael Reardon Jr. Was excellent, completing 20 of 25 passes for 251 yards and three scores. Cade Callahan (10 catches, 138 yards) caught a pair of touchdown passes and Darien Crawford pulled in the final scoring strike from Reardon.
North Middlesex (6-2) scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters, all while shutting down Oakmont (3-5) to take a commanding 28-0 lead to halftime.
The Patriots set the tone early after forcing an Oakmont punt. Mills capped an eight-play, 77-yard drive by punching in a 3-yard run and Colin Taylor’s point after made it 7-0.
After another stalled Spartan drive, North Middlesex doubled its lead with 2:19 left in the first, again capping a drive with a 3-yard run to the end zone by Mills.
Callahan added a 1-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter before Mills punched in a touchdown from a yard out with 1:38 left in the half to give the visitors a 28-0 lead at the break.
Oakmont’s lone score came via a kickoff return. After Callahan’s second 1-yard touchdown reception of the night put the Patriots up 35-0, James Hamilton III returned the ensuing kick 82 yards for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 35-6 with 8:55 left in the third.
But North Middlesex never relented, added its final score on its next drive. After a 30-yard catch and run for a score by Crawford was negated by a hold, the senior tight end wouldn’t be denied on the next play. Crawford caught a 15-yard scoring strike from Reardon to cap the scoring with 5:14 left in the third.