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East Longmeadow airs it out, beats South Hadley 48-14

  • South Hadley football lost 48-14 to East Longmeadow in its home football opener Friday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF / KYLE GRABOWSKI



@kylegrbwsk
Friday, September 08, 2017

SOUTH HADLEY — East Longmeadow took to the skies.

The South Hadley football team had trouble getting off the ground.

Spartans quarterback Cameron Ottoson completed 4 of 6 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns, and East Longmeadow won 48-14 on Friday in South Hadley.

The Spartans (1-0) went deep on the first play of the game, as Ottoson found Jourdan Powell for 45 yards.

“Our secondary kind of underestimated them,” South Hadley junior Liam Dawson said. “We let them get behind us and that really killed us.”

Powell caught two passes for 101 yards. His second was a 56-yard touchdown that put East Longmeadow up 20-6 with 1 minute, 32 seconds left in the first quarter.

“They have a returning quarterback, they have athletes, I’d do the same thing if I was them,” South Hadley coach Scott Taylor said.

Ottoson also threw a 33-yard score to Hunter Mazza and a 23-yard pass to Elijah Johnson in the second quarter.

East Longmeadow didn’t need to throw much after that. The Spartans built their lead with the ground game, as well. After Ottoson’s opening shot to Powell, Mazza ran 8 yards for the score with 10:06 left in the opening frame. The Tigers blocked the extra point.

South Hadley (0-1) responded immediately. Dawson took the kickoff and weaved his way 80 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 6 with 9:51 in the first quarter.

“I just take it and go,” Dawson said.

He returned two other kickoffs to East Longmeadow’s side of the field. There were opportunities for him to do damage in the return game. The Spartans scored 26 straight points after Dawson’s touchdown to take a 32-6 lead into the half.

“We came out thinking ‘it’s 0-0, this needs to be our game, opening night on our field,’” South Hadley junior Hunter Borowski said. “We gotta come out and kick their butt.”

Dawson returned the opening kickoff of the second half to East Longmeadow’s 18. Tigers quarterback Ryan Pratt ran for 3 yards then found Ben Watkins for 2 on a short pass. Then Borowski took a jet sweep handoff moving left and took off for the corner. He dove and extended the ball for the pylon. Borowski didn’t hit it, but the referee raised both arms.

“I knew I could beat that corner,” Borowski said. “Our guard pulling made an amazing block.”

Watson ran in the 2-point conversion to cut East Longmeadow’s lead to 32-14 with 10:55 left in the third quarter.

“I thought the kids responded great,” Taylor said.

The Spartans didn’t entertain thoughts of a comeback. They embarked on an eight-play drive to the South Hadley 2-yard line on fourth down. Johnson scored with 5:34 to put East Longemadow up 40-14.

“This season we made a pact to never let up and never give up,” East Longmeadow coach Matt Sullivan said. “We want to keep these kids going and motivated.”

South Hadley wants to put Week 1 in the rearview. The Tigers travel to Mashpee next week for a 6 p.m. kickoff on Cape Cod. The defending state champion Falcons beat Bishop Connolly 42-0 in their opener.

“We’re young. We’ve got to get better every week so we can get to our league and play teams of our own size,” Taylor said. “That’s the plan going forward.”

East Longmeadow 48, South Hadley 14

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

@kylegrbwsk

First quarter

EL—Hunter Mazza 8 yard run (Kick failed), 10:06.

SH—Liam Dawson 80 kick return (Run failed), 9:51.

EL—Aiden Ward 20 run (Patrick Malmborg kick), 4:24.

EL—Jourdan Powell 56 pass from Cameron Ottoson (Malmborg kick) 1:32.

Second quarter

EL—Hunter Mazza 33 pass from Ottoson (Kick failed), 6:37.

EL—Elijah Johnson 8 run (Kick failed), 3:48.

Third quarter

SH—Hunter Borowski 13 run (Ben Watkins run), 10:55.

EL—Johnson 2 run (Johnson pass from Ottoson), 5:43.

Fourth quarter

EL—Gaetano Parisi 50 run (Ethan Johnson kick), 3;01.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—East Longmeadow–Ward (12-77), Mazza (5-55), Johnson (6-41), Parisi (1-50), Ottoson, 4-8, Adam McCarthy (1-3), Isaiah Thomas (1-(-5)). South Hadley–Borowski (5-32), Ben Watkins (5-13), Hunter Carey (5-10), James Couture (1-8), Kyle Johnson (1-2), Grady Provost (1-(-4)), Michael Pratt (7-(-8)), Liam Dawson 5-(-12)).

PASSING—East Longmeadow–Ottoson (4-6-157-0). South Hadley–Pratt (3-8-7-0)

RECEIVING—East Longmeadow–Powell (2-101), Mazza (1-33), Johnson (1-23). South Hadley–Watkins (2-5), Dawson (1-2).