High School Football Previews
Minnechaug at Northampton
Records: Falcons (3-1, 0-0 AA); Blue Devils (4-0, 1-0)
Last week: Minnechaug lost to Marblehead 28-0; Northampton defeated Wahconah 17-12
Falcons Blue Devils
Offense 29.0 Offense 29.0
Defense 20.0 Defense 14.5
Comments: Northampton is the last Division 1 undefeated team after Minnechaug’s loss last week and is No. 1 in the latest MIAA D-1 Power Rankings. These two teams have scored the same numbers of points, but in much different ways. The Falcons will throw more times on one drive than the Blue Devils have all season. Quarterback Alan McDonald has thrown for 600 yards and four touchdowns this season, while Benjamin Sheehan has rushed for 486 yards and six scores on 52 carries.
Cathedral at Amherst Regional
Records: Panthers (1-3, 0-1 Suburban); Hurricanes (1-1, 0-0)
Last week: Cathedral lost to Agawam 46-22; Amherst lost to Holyoke 27-18
Offense 20.0 Offense 32.0
Defense 31.5 Defense 20.5
Comments: The Hurricanes finally get into the groove of playing back-to-back weeks and look to bounce back from last week’s lightning-shortened loss. Justin Carey has thrown for nearly 500 yards and six TDs this season and is surrounded by a host of weapons on offense, including Austin Cunningham, who had a monster game (five receptions, 146 yards, two TDs) against Holyoke. The Panthers have lost three straight since beating Ludlow to open the season.
Commerce at Belchertown
Records: Red Raiders (2-2, 1-2 Intercounty); Orioles (3-0, 2-0)
Last week: Commerce lost to Athol 20-0; Belchertown defeated Turners Falls 20-8
Red Raiders Orioles
Offense 11.5 Offense 19.0
Defense 18.0 Defense 7.3
Comments: The Orioles enter the week tied with Greenfield atop the MIAA D-3 Power Rankings. Quarterback Nick Leduc is coming off his best all-around game of the season (73 yards rushing, 120 yards passing, two TDs). Commerce is led by UConn commit Sha-ki Holines at linebacker, but the offense hasn’t found its groove. D’Vonte Sewell (25 carries, 249 yards rushing) is the team’s top runner.
Easthampton at McCann Tech
Records: Eagles (2-2, 2-0 Tri-County); Hornets (1-3, 1-2)
Last week: Easthampton defeated Ware 25-22; McCann Tech lost to Franklin Tech 14-8
Offense 20.8 Offense 9.5
Defense 19.3 Defense 21.8
Comments: The Eagles are coming off a nail-biting win that came when Mitchell Ouimette booted a 21-yard field goal with no time left. Shane Andrews is coming off his best game of the year after a 164-yard performance and Easthampton hopes to put together its first winning streak of the year. McCann appears to be in rebuilding mode after the best year in program history last season, when it posted a 10-2 record and went 8-0 in the Tri-County to win its first-ever league title.
Ludlow at South Hadley
Records: Lions (0-4); Falcons (3-1)
Last week: Ludlow lost to Pathfinder 27-0; South Hadley defeated East Longmeadow 31-28
Offense 20.0 Offense 28.3
Defense 30.3 Defense 15.8
Comments: The Tigers enter their final nonleague game of the season ranked No. 2 in the MIAA D-2 Power Rankings, just behind Wahconah. South Hadley continues to impress with its depth throughout the roster, including at running back, where the Tigers utilized four rushers to combine for 252 yards on the ground last week. The matchup is a tough one for winless Ludlow, as South Hadley will almost surely be the best team it faces this year.
Frontier Regional at Mahar
Records: Red Hawks (2-0, 1-0 Intercounty); Senators (1-3, 0-1)
Last week: Frontier defeated Sci-Tech 16-6; Mahar lost to Greenfield 30-6
Red Hawks Senators
Offense 14.0 Offense 12.5
Defense 6.0 Defense 28.0
Comments: The Red Hawks overcame a 20-day layoff to win last week and are the No. 4 team in the MIAA D-3 Power Rankings despite having only played two games. Frontier’s defense has been terrific in its first two games, allowing six points in each game. Mahar entered the season having gone 20-2 in its last 22 league games, but is entering must-win territory to have any chance at the postseason.