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Late Chicopee touchdown sinks Easthampton, 21-17



For the Gazette
Saturday, November 11, 2017

EASTHAMPTON — The Easthampton football team was 38 seconds away from victory in frigid conditions Friday. Easthampton led by three until Jose Flores dove for the pylon in the final minute to propel Chicopee to a 21-17 victory at White Brook Middle School.

“We played really well,” Easthampton coach Matt Bean said. “We had a lot of young guys doing new things and I was very proud of the way we played tonight.”

The Eagles (5-5) started hot on the frozen field as Sopie Pek ran the first play from scrimmage 59 yards for a touchdown. Pek took the handoff from Nick Pellegrini, burst through a gaping hole in the Pacers defensive line, and sprinted into the end zone untouched. The 2-point conversion attempt failed on an incomplete pass.

With 1:58 left in the first quarter, Chicopee quarterback Dylan Conover snuck into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Ricky Elmer kicked the extra point through the uprights and the Pacers (5-5) led 7-6.

The teams traded punts before the Eagles took over on their own 37-yard line. On third down, Pek broke free for a 38-yard run to the Chicopee 12-yard line. Pellegrini found Damien Diluzio in the flat and Diluzio reached the ball out over the pylon for the touchdown. The PAT kick was no good, but the Eagles led 12-7.

On the Pacers’ first play after receiving the kickoff, Nathan Caldero ran 80 yards past the Eagles defense to put Chicopee back in front. Ricky Elmer’s kick was good again and the Pacers led 14-12 with 1:01 remaining in the half.

The Eagles received the kickoff with less than a minute left. Pellegrini aired it out 50 yards down the left sideline to Quintin Baker-Cisero to the Chicopee 10-yard line, but Easthampton was called for a block in the back on the next play to end the half.

Easthampton tied the game in the third quarter behind special teams. Following a three-and-out, Eagles punter Ben Landry pinned the Pacers inside their own 10-yard line. Easthampton stopped them three times, then blocked a punt. The Pacers recovered the ball in the end zone for a safety as the Eagles tied the game at 14 with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

Following the kickoff, Easthampton drove back down the field. Landry nailed a 22-yard field goal to thrust the Eagles into a 17-14 lead.

On the possession, Easthampton protected its lead by breaking up a deep throw by Chicopee on fourth down. But the Eagles went three and out and gave the ball back to the Pacers.

Chicopee started on its own 47 and marched to the 10 as the clock wound down. Flores took a handoff and raced to the outside, diving for the pylon and a touchdown with 38 seconds left.

Chicopee 21, Easthampton 17

Chicopee

6

6

2

3

—21

Easthampton

7

7

0

7

—17

First quarter

E—Sopie Pek 59 yard run (2 pt conversion no good), 10:55.

C— Dylan Conover 1 run (Ricky Elmer kick), 1:58

Second quarter

E—Damien Diluzio 12 pass from Nick Pellegrini (Kick failed), 1:45.

C—Nathan Caldero (Ricky Elmer kick), 1:01.

Third quarter

E—Safety, 0:24.

Fourth quarter

E—Ben Landry 22 kick, 9:15.

C— Jose Flores 10 run (Ricky Elmer kick), 0:38.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Easthampton–Pek 12-114, Pellegrini 4-10, Jacob Neumann 3-13, Ben Landry 3-2. Chicopee- Caldero 12-160, Conover 9-24, Flores 4-7.

PASSING—Easthampton–Pellegrini 5-13-71-0. Chicopee–Conover 7-10-65-0.

RECEIVING—Easthampton–Quintin Baker-Cisero 3-60, Damien Diluzio 1-12. Chicopee- Rodney Vasquez 2-34, Flores 5-50.