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Pioneer Regional too much for Smith Vocational in 46-14 win

NORTHAMPTON — Pioneer Regional rebounded from two straight tough losses and returned to the win column with a 46-14 victory at Tri-County League foe Smith Vocational Friday night.

The Panthers (4-3, 4-2), who over the last two weeks were beaten soundly by Mohawk Regional and Turners Falls, put it all behind them and played a solid, focused game.

“We had a good week of practice, and I felt we brought our practice game to Friday night,” Pioneer head coach Glenn Wilson said. Quarterback “Cole Tognarelli played extremely well, and up front we gave him much better protection.”

Tognarelli, a junior, threw for 146 yards and five touchdowns, and picked up another 129 yards on the ground.

On the Panthers’ first possession of the game, it took only three plays for Tognarelli to find Jake Hale with a 36-yard scoring strike at the 7:35 mark of the first quarter. The two connected on the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

After the Vikings (0-7, 0-7) ran a long and time-consuming 16-play drive that moved the ball but failed to put up points, Tognarelli hit Zach Lambert for a 43-yard score with 7:29 remaining in the half.

The Pioneer defense then forced a three-and-out and took over at their own 9 after the punt.

The Panthers then marched down the field behind a 58-yard run by Tognarelli, who capped the drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Alex Tyson for a 24-0 halftime lead.

The third quarter began with a 10-play, 56-yard drive for Pioneer, highlighted by a fourth-and-8 from the Vikings’ 18-yard line that saw Tognarelli throw his fourth touchdown and second on the night to Hale. The 2-point conversion run failed, but the Panthers were up 30-0.

The Panthers finished their scoring on Tognarelli’s fifth touchdown, a 31-yarder to Kyle Wheeler with 54 seconds left in the game.

The Vikings (0-7 overall, 0-7) put together a couple of scoring drives in the fourth quarter, largely due to the hard running of back Sam Duffy and quarterback Jared Pease. Pease scored both touchdowns for Smith Voke on runs of 4 and 33 yards, respectively.

The five touchdowns by Tognarelli brought his season total to 20, with nine of those going to Hale.

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