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Smith Vocational football shut out by undefeated McCann Tech

NORTHAMPTON — Before addressing his team after it defeated Smith Vocational 42-0 on Friday night, McCann Tech football coach Bob LeClair went to the Vikings’ huddle.

He wanted to let them know he was a fan.

So far this season, LeClair has seen the first-year program play live three times and watched the tape of another and he’s impressed with the improvement.

“They progressively have improved throughout the season and again” Friday, said LeClair, whose Hornets are 3-0 (2-0 Tri-County). “This is huge. This is a big challenge for them to come right in as varsity. You tip your hat to them that they want to do that.”

So, after speaking with Smith Voke coach Jeff Peterson for a few minutes after the game, LeClair walked over to the Vikings’ huddle.

“These guys keep working and working and no matter what the score is, I don’t see them tucking their heads down,” LeClair said. “I’ve seen a lot of teams around and I think that if they keep working like this they will beat somebody down the road. That’s what I wanted to say to them.”

The Vikings fell to 0-4 (0-4 Tri-County) with the loss.

The Hornets, who reached the program’s first-ever postseason in 2010, appear poised to get back there this year. They dominated the contest in the first half that included a safety, a free kick return for a touchdown, two punt blocks (one for a touchdown), a punt return for a score, two fumble recoveries and one interception.

“What’s killing us is open field tackling,” Peterson said. “We work on it all the time. It’s one of the hardest things in sports to do is open field tackling. That’s just something that comes with experience. They don’t break down. They don’t take good routes, but that’s just where we are right now.”

Still, Peterson said he was pleased with the way his team improved from last week’s 64-0 loss to Pathfinder.

“We just wanted to play better than we did last week and we did,” he said. “We played these guys tougher than we played Pathfinder last week. I say this all the time; our kids don’t quit. We are learning to play football and I’m very upbeat about the way we played today. I feel pretty good after this game.”

Quarterback Sam Duffy was the team’s leading rusher with 17 yards on nine carries. He also completed a 15-yard pass to Cullen Pike.

Smith Voke, which was held without a first down in the first half, had four in the second and twice moved the ball inside the McCann 20-yard line before the drive stalled out.

“The kids don’t quit,” Peterson said. “We started the season with 31 kids and today we have 41. Nobody has quit. Nobody has quit. They keep coming back. How can I be disappointed with that? In a couple of years, this is going to be a good football team.

“It’s the little things for me, we aren’t jumping offsides. We aren’t holding anybody. There are no penalties. We are playing good football. We just don’t know how to fire out, stick with blocks, the little things.”

Jim Pignatiello can be reached at jpignatiello@gazettenet.com.

Football

McCann Tech 42, Smith Vocational 0

at Smith Voke

McCann 15 27 0 0—42

Smith Voke 0 0 0 0—0

First quarter

M-Safety, 5:28

M-Dylan Darling 60 free kick (kick failed), 5:10

M-Darling 2 run (Dakota Bolte kick), 1:47

Second quarter

M-Cristian Montoya 31 punt block return (Bolte kick), 9:50

M-Brett Pecor 44 run (Bolte kick), 9:21

M-Billy Lincoln 56 pass from Nick Lincoln (kick failed), 6:35

M-Levi Lawson 65 punt return (Bolte kick), 3:56

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter

No scoring

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Passing: McCann-N. Lincoln 1-1-56-0; Bolte 0-2-0-1; Smith-Duffy 1-4-15-1; Pease 0-1-0-0

Rushing: McCann-Heller 3-48; Pecor 2-47; N. Lillie 9-43; Darling 3-29; Montoya 1-0; Bolte 1-(-3); Smith-Duffy 9-17; Salaam 4-10; Pike 1-7; Perez 4-6; Van Buren 3-5; Hewes 4-4

Receiving: McCann-B. Lincoln 1-56; Smith-Pike 1-15

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