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High School Football Previews

Northampton at Central

Tonight, 5

Records: Blue Devils (5-1, 2-1 AA Conference); Golden Eagles (5-1, 2-0)

Last week: Northampton beat Holyoke 36-16; Central beat Longmeadow 21-14

Blue Devils Golden Eagles

Offense 26.5 Offense 28.2

Defense 15.8 Defense 15.8

Comments: Both teams are coming off key wins, but Central established itself as the top team in WMass for now with a victory over powerhouse Longmeadow. The Golden Eagles get quarterback Cody Williams back from a two-game suspension. Central is No. 1 in this week’s MIAA D-1 Power Rankings, while Northampton is No. 3.

Amherst at South Hadley

Tonight, 7

Records: Hurricanes (2-2, 1-1 Suburban); Tigers (5-1, 2-0)

Last week: Amherst lost to Chicopee Comp 16-14; South Hadley defeated Chicopee 35-15

Hurricanes Tigers

Offense 30.3 Offense 32.8

Defense 14.3 Defense 13.0

Comments: Two Division 2 teams seemingly headed in different directions square off here. The Hurricanes put their backs against the wall with their loss to the previously winless Colts and must get on a roll against a very difficult remaining schedule to have any postseason hopes. The Tigers, meanwhile, are coming off arguably their best win of the season and are in sole possession of the No. 1 spot in the MIAA D-2 Power Rankings.

Sci-Tech at Belchertown

Tonight, 7

Records: Cybercats (0-6, 0-5 Intercounty); Orioles (5-0, 4-0)

Last week: Sci-Tech lost to Athol 41-0; Belchertown defeated Mahar 35-7

Cybercats Orioles

Offense 3.0 Offense 22.6

Defense 32.0 Defense 7.0

Comments: The Orioles are No. 1 in the MIAA D-3 Power Rankings and face a potential trap game against an opponent that doesn’t stack up on paper, but shocked them last season in similar circumstances. Belchertown has a challenging remaining schedule after this week and can’t be caught looking ahead. The defense has been downright dominant, allowing just 34 points all season and only 20 in the last four games.

Commerce at Frontier Regional

Saturday, 1

Records: Red Raiders (3-3, 1-3 Intercounty); Red Hawks (2-2, 1-2)

Last week: Commerce defeated Taconic 6-0; Frontier lost to Turners Falls 34-0

Red Raiders Red Hawks

Offense 9.7 Offense 10.0

Defense 15.5 Defense 18.0

Comments: The Red Raiders are fighting an uphill battle to try to get into the postseason, entering the week fifth in D-2 behind South Hadley, Putnam, Wahconah and Hoosac Valley. Frontier, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going against the Indians and suffered their second straight loss. This is likely to be a low-scoring affair with two teams that usually lean heavily on their defenses.

Easthampton at Franklin Tech

Saturday, 1

Records: Easthampton (4-2, 4-0 Tri-County); Franklin Tech (2-4, 1-2)

Last week: Easthampton defeated Ludlow 36-24; Franklin Tech lost to Ware 7-6

Easthampton Franklin

Offense 26.2 Offense 10.0

Defense 19.8 Defense 13.8

Comments: Easthampton extended its winning streak to three, but it wasn’t without some tense moments. Still, it enters the week tied atop of the league standings and second in the MIAA D-4 Power Rankings. Shane Andrews and Lucious Burrell combined for nearly 400 yards rushing and five TDs last week for Easthampton.


Northampton football gets back to basics

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When penalties overwhelmed the Northampton football team’s 21-7 loss to Minnechaug on Oct. 5, the Blue Devils went back to basics. The team’s 10 penalties were drive-killers all night and coach Pat Sledzieski entered the following week of practices determined to fix the problem. “Taking nothing away from Minnechaug, because they are a great team, but we felt we aided …

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