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Easthampton running game too much for Turners in 46-21 win

EASTHAMPTON — Things didn’t start very well for the Easthampton High School football team against Turners Falls on Saturday.

The Eagles gave up an eight-minute, 15-play, 70-yard scoring drive to start the game. Running back Alec Perrone then fumbled on Easthampton’s second offensive play, giving the ball back to the Indians.

From there, everything got better. Easthampton’s defense became stingy, and the running game powered the Eagles to a 46-21 Intercounty League win at White Brook Middle School.

After the initial fumble, Perrone took his next carry and rumbled 71 yards for a touchdown.

“The first play wasn’t what I was expecting,” Perrone said. “They were trying to go for the ball. But I had to put that play in the past and make up for it. I couldn’t let it eat at me. I felt like I did that.”

Perrone finished with 14 carries and 225 yards. Backfield partner Lou Burrell ignited in the second half and finished with 14 carries for 139 yards and four touchdowns. Burrell had three carries for 23 yards in the first half.

“We know who we are,” Easthampton coach Joe Kocot said. “Our running game is tough. People say ‘you don’t throw.’ Why would we? That was an 11-man effort out there today.”

Including 2-point conversions, Burrell accounted for 26 points in the second half.

The Eagles (5-1, 4-1) have a league showdown at Greenfield (5-1, 4-1) next Friday.

“Big game for us,” Kocot said. “We’re both 5-1.”

Easthampton’s defense held Indians running back Trent Borbeau to 12 carries for 39 yards. Borbeau scored on a short run in the first quarter, but had to leave the game in the third due to injury.

“He dinged up his shoulder a bit,” Turners Falls coach Chris Lapointe said. “He’ll be fine.”

Colton Garelli was once again all over the field for the Eagles’ defense, racking up six tackles and shared a sack with Nouredine Diedhiou.

A second quarter interception by Easthampton’s Nick Batchelder set up Perrone’s first touchdown.

Hunter Leveille set up Easthampton on its second scoring drive, returning a punt 35 yards. After seven consecutive runs, Leveille finished the drive with a 5-yard score to make it 16-7 right before half.

Leveille took a toss on third-and-goal from the 5-yard line. The speedy sophomore beat the defense to the pylon for the touchdown.

The Indians (5-1, 4-1) ran 36 plays in the first half to Easthampton’s 12. Running back Brody Markol finished with seven catches for 70 yards. Markol added eight tackles on defense.

After a Burrell 15-yard score the Eagles led 24-7 in the third quarter. Facing a fourth-and-4 at their own 44, the Eagles tried a direct snap to Burrell from a punt formation. The play didn’t work and the Indians took over. Malcolm Smith (12 for 22, 131 yards) capped a 44-yard drive with a 9-yard score to Jalen Sanders to pull Turners within 24-13.

“That was a bonehead call,” Kocot said. “It’s all on me.”

The decision didn’t matter, as the Eagles defense sent the Indians backward almost 30 yards. The Eagles then answered with two scores from Burrell and it was 40-13 with 5:36 to play in the fourth quarter.

Smith found Melvin Moreno for a 16-yard touchdown with 2:57 to play.

A Burrell 22-yard touchdown with 43 seconds left ended the scoring.

Easthampton 46, Turners Falls 21

Turners Falls 7 0 6 8-21

Easthampton 0 16 8 22-46

Scoring summary

First quarter

TF- Trent Borbeau 1-yard run (kick good) 2:17

Second quarter

E-Alec Perrone 71 run (Lou Burrell run) 5:44

E-Hunter Leveille 5 rush (Burrell run) :27

Third quarter

E-Burrell 15 run (Perrone run) 7:15

TF-Malcolm Smith 9 pass to Jalen Sanders (pass failed) :57

Fourth quarter

E-Burrell 6 run (Perrone run) 9:55

E-Burrell 10 run (Burrell run) 5:36

TF-Smith 9 16 pass to Melvin Moreno (Smith pass to Brody Markol good) 2:57

E-Burrell 22 run (pass failed) :43

Statistics

Passing: TF-Smith 12-22-131; E-N/A

Receiving: TF-Markol 7-70, Sanders 4-45, Moreno 1-16. E-N/A

Rushing: TF-Borbeau 12-39, Smith 8-45, Markol 4-24, Doyle 2, -5. E-Perrone 14-225, Burrell 14-139, Leveille 2-4, Diedhiou 2-25.

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