Published in the October 25, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — Earlier this season, Lynnfield renewed acquaintances with former Dual County League foe Wayland. The Pioneers will enjoy another DCL reunion Friday night when they open the D5 North playoffs against Bedford.

Despite the loss to H-W, the Pioneers hung on to the top seed in the division by six-tenths of a point 111-110.4 over Somerville. That earned them a first-round matchup against the number eight seed Buccaneers (2-5).

Bedford’s record may be misleading since they played five of their seven games against teams in higher divisions. Their five losses have come against teams with a combined record of 22-12.

The Bucs lost 22-7 to D2 Newton South (6-1), 32-21 to D3 Oliver Ames (2-5), 41-13 to D4 Wilmington (4-3), and 41-18 to D4 Wayland (4-3), a team the Pioneers beat 28-26 in OT, and 30-6 to D6 Cardinal Spellman (4-2). The Bucs’ two wins have come against two winless teams, 30-0 over D4 Boston Latin (0-6) and 32-7 over D8 Atlantis Charter (0-6).

“They’re pretty good,” said Pioneer head coach Neal Weidman. “They’ve played some good teams. They play in the Dual County League and they’ve had a couple of tough losses there.”

Bedford is led by first-year head coach Tom Tone, former North Reading quarterback who was 2-1 against the Pioneers from 1998-2000. Tone has installed an up tempo spread offense similar to the Pioneers. The Bucs will bring in a young roster of eight seniors, 14 juniors, and 13 sophomores.

“They’ve played seven games now so they’ve definitely grown up,” said Weidman.

The Pioneers and Bucs met 13 times between 1960 and 1972 with Lynnfield holding an 8-4-1 edge. More recently, the two teams collided in the D4 North semi-finals in 2013 in one of the most physical games the Pioneers have played recently. The Pioneers led 7-0 in that one, but the Bucs scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to come back for a 14-7 win.

Game time at Pioneer Stadium is 7 p.m.