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Mistakes doom Amherst Regional football team in loss to Holyoke

The Hurricanes committed 15 accepted penalties, including three flags for personal fouls, and turned the ball over twice as concentration and composure were left by the wayside in a 27-18 loss to Holyoke at the Roberts Sports Complex Sunday.

“I think we came in and thought we had (the win) without actually working for it and earning it,” Amherst coach David Thompson said. “I told them that we gave one away today and we’re not going to give another one away for the rest of the season. We’ve got work to do and we’ll get to work to prepare for Cathedral next week.”

Holyoke grabbed the lead quickly and did not relinquish it, scoring on its first two possessions of the game on passes of 22 and 23 yards from Justin White to Brandon Brown and Endy Sanchez, respectively.

Amherst started the second quarter with an 85-yard scoring drive, capped by a 35-yard pass from quarterback Justin Carey to Austin Cunningham and had a chance to tie the game late in the half, getting the ball down to the Holyoke 32-yard line before getting stopped on a fourth-down conversion attempt as Carey was sacked.

Holyoke snatched the momentum and marched down the field with less than two minutes remaining and took control of the game on a 2-yard keeper by White as time expired to put the Hurricanes in a 20-6 hole heading into the break.

Unable to score to open the third quarter despite marching down to the Holyoke 19, Amherst again gave up a long scoring drive resulting in a 14-yard touchdown run for Matt Wojnar and a 27-6 advantage for the Purple Knights.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Hurricanes showed real signs of life. After the defense forced a Holyoke three-and-out, Carey needed just four plays to move the ball 51 yards for his second touchdown of the game, a 19-yard pass to Cunningham.

On the ensuing Holyoke possession, the Hurricanes recovered a fumble and once again Carey put them on the move. The senior completed all five of his passes on the drive, including a 21-yard pass to Taj Amir-Torres, who caught the pass about 5 yards out and pushed through a host of would-be tacklers for the touchdown with 4:02 remaining in the game.

Needing to convert a 2-point conversion to make it a one-score game, Carey couldn’t hook up with Cunningham on a pass and Holyoke ran down the clock until the 0:52 mark when a single flash of lightning and clap of thunder ended the game prematurely.

Carey was strong the loss, completing 18 of his 27 pass attempts for 275 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was 10 for 14 for 192 yards and two scores in the second half as the Hurricanes attempted the late comeback. He also ran five times for 43 yards.

“I think that we showed that if we can come out and keep Carey upright, good things can happen,” Thompson said. “We have got some of the best receivers in the area and that shows.”

Cunningham caught five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns while Amir-Torres recorded a game-high six passes for 58 yards and a score.

Holyoke 27, Amherst 18

at Holyoke

Amherst 0 6 0 12—18

Holyoke 13 7 7 0—27

First quarter

H – Brandon Brown 22 pass from Justin White (Matt Wojnar kick), 6:37

H – Endy Sanchez 23 pass from White (kick failed), 1:00

Second quarter

A – Austin Cunningham 35 pass from Justin Carey (kick failed), 4:02

H – White 2 run (Wojnar kick), 0:00

Third quarter

Wojnar 14 run (Wojnar kick), 3:27

Fourth quarter

A – Cunningham 19 pass from Carey (pass failed), 6:20

A – Hazzard-Torres 21 pass from Carey (pass failed), 4:02


Passing: Amherst: Carey 18-27-275-3-2; Holyoke: White 10-19-189-2-1

Rushing: Amherst: B. Rivera 9-59, Carey 5-43; Presley 5-9; M. Rivera 1-7; Holyoke: Wojnar 17-114, White 8-29, Ye 3-minus 5, Arturet 2-21

Receiving: Amherst: Hazzard-Torres 6-58, Cunningham 5-146, Davis-Toledo 5-32, Presley 2-39; Holyoke: Arturet 4-75, Provost 3-36, Brown 2-42, Sanchez 2-30

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