Amherst can’t hold on to late lead, falls 36-24 to Chicopee Comp
CHICOPEE — The Amherst Regional football team took the lead with 9 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the game Friday, but couldn’t hold it as Chicopee Comp dropped Amherst, 36-24, in a meeting of the Suburban League’s two winless teams.
“This is a four quarter game. You’ve got to play all four quarters and we only played three,” Amherst coach David Thompson said. “Once we thought the game was out of reach, we let up.”
Trailing by three, quarterback Donovan Riley Robinson scampered in from 21 yards out to give the Hurricanes (0-7) an 18-15 lead with 9:21 remaining in the fourth, but Chicopee Comp (1-5) scored with 5:47 remaining on a 10-yard run by Mason Labonte to claim the lead for good.
That score opened the flood gates as the Colts added twice more touchdowns to put the game away. Michael Whitsett, who sat out most of the first half for disciplinary reasons, intercepted Riley Robinson to halt the Hurricanes’ attempt to come back, then scored on a 3-yard keeper on the Colts’ ensuing possession. Cam Kagan returned an interception on a desperation heave by Riley Robinson 60 yards for another score late in the game.
Labonte’s fourth quarter run was Chicopee Comp’s first offensive touchdown of the game. Prior to that, the Colts’ scores came on a pair of Amherst special teams breakdowns.
After Amherst grabbed a 12-0 lead on a 39-yard jaunt by Brandon Rivera and a 61-yard bomb from Riley Robinson to Taj-Amir Torres, Comp’s Mike Bombard scored his first of two special teams touchdowns, blowing past Amherst’s kick coverage on his way to a 92-yard return.
The Colts then took the lead 15-12 in the third quarter when Bombard picked up a blocked field goal try and returned it 81 yards for a score.
The block came on Amherst’s second attempt to widen a 12-8 third quarter lead. Nikolai Wright missed a 33-yard attempt, but the Colts were assessed a penalty for running into the kicker, giving the Hurricanes another shot. On Wright’s next try, a Colt lineman got a hand on the ball, sending it spinning toward the Comp sideline where Bombard picked it up and bolted downfield.
“There were a lot of little things that went wrong, especially on special teams,” Thompson said. “If we play better on special teams and they don’t score those two touchdowns, this game would have been ours.”
Riley Robinson, the team’s third quarterback, was pressed into service under center due to injuries. He completed 9-of-20 attempts for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another score. He also threw three interceptions.
“He’s a good kid and he has a nice arm, but reading defenses, he’s still learning that part of the game,” Thompson said. “He’s growing.”
Rivera finished with 133 yards rushing on 17 carries. Torres caught three balls for 65 yards, while Mak Rodgers added three catches for 65 yards, including a Riley Robinson touchdown pass with 37 seconds remaining in the game.
Chicopee Comp 36, Amherst 24
at Chicopee Comp
Amherst 12 0 0 12—24
Comp 8 0 7 21—36
A-Brandon Rivera 39-yard run (kick failed), 6:15
A-Taj-Amir Torres 61 pass from Donovan Riley Robinson (pass failed), n/a
C-Mike Bombard 92 kick return (Michael Whitsett run), n/a
C-Bombard 81 kick block return (Tyler Velois kick), n/a
A-Riley Robinson 21 run (pass failed), 9:21
C-Mason Labonte 10 run (Velois kick), 5:47
C-Whitsett 3 run (Velois kick), 1:54
C-Cam Kagan 60 interception return (Velois kick), 1:28
A–Mak Rodgers 29 pass from Riley Robinson (pass failed), 0:37
Passing: Amherst: Riley Robinson 9-20-167-3, Torres 1-1-7-0; Chicopee Comp: Whitsett 8-14-97-0 Buxton 3-10-25-0
Rushing: Amherst: Rivera 17-133, Torres 6-22, Riley Robinson 5-15; Chicopee Comp: Labonte 12-34, Whitsett 8-58, Kagan 7-31, Derek Anderson 2-5, Buxton 1-(-5)
Receiving: Amherst: Torres 3-65, Rodgers 3-65, Rivera 2-26, Traester 1-12, Gibson 1-6; Chicopee Comp: Bombard 4-62, Kagan 3-42, Pedraza 2-11, Silver 1-5, Buxton 1-2