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Frontier comeback falls short in 32-20 loss to Athol

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Jerry Parker threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns as Athol outlasted Frontier Regional 32-20 in an Intercounty League football game on Friday night.

It was Parker’s final touchdown pass that sealed the game for the Red Raiders. With Athol up 26-20 and facing a fourth-and-6 with 4 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the game, Parker found wide receiver Andrew Poor on a deep post in the back of the end zone, giving Athol the commanding 12-point lead and the victory.

Parker was sharp, completing 7-of-12 passes, while rushing for 69 yards and a score. He also recorded an interception on defense.

The Red Raiders (2-5, 2-3) jumped out to a 6-0 lead as Poor ran in a score from 11 yards out at the end of the first quarter.

From there Parker found Poor for a 39-yard score on the Red Raiders’ next possession, and later hit Todd Smith for a 14-yard score with 24 seconds left in the half to put Athol ahead 18-8 at the break.

Athol came out of halftime and extended its lead to 26-8 with Parker rushing in a score from 1 yard out midway through the third.

The Frontier offense then woke up behind solid play from junior Matt Ackerman. On the Red Hawks’ first possession following the Parker score, Ackerman racked up 37 yards on the ground and a touchdown to pull Frontier within 26-14 entering the fourth.

After Frontier (1-6, 1-6) forced Athol into a quick three-and-out to start the fourth, Ackerman led the Red Hawks on a five-play drive that covered 72 yards with the final play resulting in a touchdown run by Jack Hebert to pull the Red Hawks within a score.

But Parker led the Red Raiders on a 10-play drive that took five minutes off the clock and resulted in the touchdown to Poor.

Poor finished with 105 yards receiving and two touchdowns, while also rushing for a touchdown and recording an interception on defense.

Ackerman played well for the second straight week for Frontier. He gained 134 yards on 19 carries to go along with a score, and also threw the ball well in the second half filling in for injured quarterback Oliver Fox.

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