Offensive woes plague Northampton in 27-0 loss to Longmeadow
LONGMEADOW — The Northampton football team’s defense gave it a chance against Longmeadow. The team’s offense couldn’t come through as the Lancers pulled away late for a 27-0 victory Friday afternoon.
The Lancers started the game slow and steady, marching their way down the field in a conservative fashion. Running the ball with a mix of sweeps, pitches and inside handoffs, the Lancers took up more than half of the first quarter with their first possession, but the Blue Devils kept them off the scoreboard.
The defensive battle throughout the first half ensued as a succession of three-and-outs from both teams carried over in the second quarter.
The Lancers finally broke through at the six-minute mark of the second, when Max Chipouras scored the first touchdown on a dazzling 65-yard punt return.
Blue Devils running back Malik Renner was given the majority of the offensive workload, carrying the ball over 20 times, but Longmeadow’s defense was immovable.
Northampton’s first first down didn’t come until the four-minute mark of the second quarter, as the Blue Devils couldn’t move the ball with any efficiency against the stellar Longmeadow frontline.
“Offensively we just could not get anything started,” Northampton coach Pat Sledzieski said. “They sniffed out every play, they are well-coached, and (we) just had a very hard time running the ball.”
While the Blue Devils sideline was trying to figure out a way to move the ball down the field, Longmeadow took a 14-0 lead into halftime.
As a small drizzle began to fall, the offensive struggles continued for Northampton in the second half. At the five-minute mark in the third quarter, Longmeadow’s running back Kevin Pierce had a powerful run up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown, pushing the lead to 21-0.
Northampton quarterback Ben Davis only threw the ball three times, but he was intercepted twice, including one that was returned for a touchdown by Longmeadow defensive lineman Campbell Marchant.
“Defensively, I think we’ve played well enough to keep us in games,” Sledzieski said. “It’s more of an offensive issue.”
Northampton will host South Hadley Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m.
Longmeadow 27, Northampton 0
Longmeadow 0 14 13 0—27
Northampton 0 0 0 0—0
L-Max Chipouras 65-yard punt return (kick good), 6:47
L-Nick Crews 12 pass from Connor Ostrander (kick good), 0:48
L-Kevin Pierce 25 run (kick good), 5:36
L-Campbell Marchant interception return (kick failed), 1:40