High School Football Previews
Longmeadow at Northampton
Records: Lancers (6-2, 3-1 AA Conference); Blue Devils (5-3, 2-3)
Last week: Longmeadow beat Westfield 32-18; Northampton lost to East Longmeadow 38-28
Lancers Blue Devils
Offense 32.9 Offense 23.4
Defense 14.8 Defense 21.0
Comments: If you are Northampton, this isn’t the matchup you want if you are trying to pull out of a two-game skid. The Lancers — No. 2 in the MIAA Power Rankings — are the regional superpower and they rarely have off nights. Northampton, meanwhile, is clinging to the fourth and final D-1 spot, just ahead of Chicopee.
Amherst Regional at Chicopee
Records: Hurricanes (3-3, 2-2 Suburban); Pacers (4-3, 3-1)
Last week: Amherst beat Putnam 28-20; Chicopee did not play
Offense 26.0 Offense 26.4
Defense 21.0 Defense 23.6
Comments: The Hurricanes — No. 7 in the power rankings — kept their D-2 postseason hopes alive with last week’s win and could take a big step forward here. Each team picked up a win over Putnam in its last game, which also served as both teams’ best victories to date. A rare week when rival Northampton is rooting hard for Amherst.
Belchertown at Athol
Records: Orioles (7-0, 6-0 Intercounty); Red Raiders (5-3, 3-2)
Last week: Belchertown beat Frontier 25-8; Athol lost to Greenfield 26-8
Orioles Red Raiders
Offense 25.3 Offense 25.3
Defense 6.1 Defense 15.6
Comments: The Orioles open the challenging part of their schedule on the road against an Athol team — No. 5 in the power rankings — that probably has to win out to qualify for the D-3 postseason. The No. 1 Orioles then face undefeated Greenfield (No. 2 in D-3) and undefeated Pathfinder (No. 1 in D-4) to finish their regular season.
Greenfield at Frontier
Records: Green Wave (7-0, 5-0 Intercounty); Red Hawks (2-4, 1-4)
Last week: Greenfield beat Athol 26-8; Frontier lost to Belchertown 25-8
Green Wave Red Hawks
Offense 32.3 Offense 8.0
Defense 10.6 Defense 19.8
Comments: The Red Hawks have a tough draw if they are to snap a four-game losing streak. The Frontier defense will have its hands full with Greenfield quarterback Zach Bartak, who has thrown for more than 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns, and run for 898 and 12 scores. He has established himself as one of the most valuable players in the region.
Pathfinder at Easthampton
White Brook Middle School, Saturday, 1:30
Records: Pioneers (8-0, 6-0 Tri-County); Eagles (6-2, 6-0)
Last week: Pathfinder beat Ware 22-0; Easthampton beat Pioneer Regional 26-22
Offense 28.6 Offense 24.9
Defense 6.8 Defense 19.5
Comments: This game will almost certainly determine both the Tri-County title and the No. 1 seed in Division 4. Pathfinder is No. 1 in the power rankings with Easthampton second. Pathfinder has been more dominant this season, but the Eagles have challenged themselves more. Their two losses have come to likely D-3 tourney teams Belchertown and St. Joseph’s.