Amherst Regional’s season ends with 21-0 loss in Division 5 Super Bowl

Swampscott defense too tough as Big Blue takes advantage of short fields

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  • Amherst Regional fans cheer for their team during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills, top, gets tackled by a group of Swampscott defenders during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Amherst Regional team walks to the field at the start of the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Dan Block, center, of Amherst Regional, finds a hole in the Swampscott defense during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Amherst Regional team walks to the field at the start of the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Amherst Regional team walks to the field at the start of the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills, top, takes the snap behind linemen Tony Govan, Jr., from left, Cenai Collins and Owen Frenette during their game against Swampscott in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jack Nagy, of Amherst Regional, and other players, get ready for their game against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ethan Howard, center, of Amherst Regional, catches a pass against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Shane Robles, right, of Amherst Regional, carries the ball as Tony Govan Jr. blocks a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players get ready for their game against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players Jack Nagy, left, and Ethan Howard block Swampscott defenders as Dan Block carries behind them during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zayd Sadiq, left, of Amherst Regional, carries the ball against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zayd Sadiq, front, of Amherst Regional, carries the ball against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills, left, passes ahead of a rush by a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players get ready for their game against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills, left, looks for a receiver as Pierre Tillus, second from left, and Jack Nagy, right, handle a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Dan Block, left, of Amherst Regional, runs outside a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills, left, tries to evade a rush by a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • CJ Woodfine-Holmes, left, of Amherst Regional, catches a pass in front of a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills passes against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • CJ Woodfine-Holmes, top, passes against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • CJ Woodfine-Holmes, left, of Amherst Regional, runs against a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zayd Sadiq, right, of Amherst Regional, returns a kick-off by Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Dan Block, right, of Amherst Regional, carries the ball as Jack Nagy blocks a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Shane Robles, left, of Amherst Regional, reaches for a pass against a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. The pass was incomplete. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • An Amherst Regional fan drums as another cheers during the state Division 5 Super Bowl against Swampscott, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills warms up before the second half against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Dan Block, right, of Amherst Regional, carries the ball against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Dan Block, right, of Amherst Regional, tries to evade a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • JJ Block, left, of Amherst Regional, grabs the Swampscott quarterback as he passes the ball during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional coach Chris Ehorn Jr. talks to his team during the state Division 5 Super Bowl against Swampscott, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Tony Govan Jr., center, of Amherst Regional, tries to intercept a Swampscott pass during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. The pass was incomplete. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Josh Vecchio, right, of Amherst Regional, carries the ball against Swampscott during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional coach Chris Ehorn Jr. signals his team during the state Division 5 Super Bowl against Swampscott, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional defenders Nate Mills, from left, Dan Block and JJ Block gather to tackle a Swampscott player during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ethan Howard, left, of Amherst Regional, gets tackled by a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ethan Howard, left, of Amherst Regional, runs outside a Swampscott defender during the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players Joel Cruz-Rodriguez, from left, Cenai Collins and Geoffrey Doyle gather during the final minute of their team's loss to Swampscott in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills accepts the runner-up trophy after his team's loss in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players JB Mills, from left, Cenai Collins and Pierre Tillus gather in the final minute of their team's loss to Swampscott in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regioanl senior Jack Nagy endures his team's loss to Swampscott in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional coach Chris Ehorn Jr. consoles senior lineman Jack Nagy after their team's loss to Swampscott in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional quarterback JB Mills, right, shows the runner-up trophy to Cenai Collins after their team's loss in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional coach Chris Ehorn Jr. gathers with CJ Woodfine-Holmes, from left, Jack Nagy, Cenai Collins and JB Mills while accepting the runner-up trophy after their loss to Swampscott in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional senior Cenai Collins walks away with the runner-up trophy after his team's loss to Swampscott in the state Division 5 Super Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Gillette Stadium. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/7/2019 6:49:46 PM

FOXBOROUGH — Dylan January sprung a trap on the Division 5 Super Bowl’s first play.

Swampscott’s senior running back gashed Amherst Regional’s vaunted defense for 45 yards to the Hurricanes’ 6. The Big Blue ran a trap play, and the Hurricanes filled the gap it created with a backside linebacker. January read the linebacker vacating the space and cut back.

“We over pursued,” Amherst coach Chris Ehorn Jr. said. “I should have had our guys ready to do that a little better and rep that a little more because that’s a big play that they run.”

After Amherst stopped Swampscott’s next two plays, a holding penalty marched the Big Blue back to the 22. Swampscott quarterback Graham Inzana threw a tunnel screen to Andrew Augustin, who weaved through Amherst’s defense to score the opening touchdown 1 minute, 35 seconds in.

It was the first of three times the Big Blue capitalized on a short field after a big play, and Swampscott and beat Amherst, 21-0, at Gillette Stadium, Saturday. The Big Blue won their first Super Bowl since 2007 and ended the Hurricanes’ undefeated season.

“I’m still very proud of what we accomplished this year. I’m proud to be a part of this,” Amherst senior quarterback J.B. Mills said. “This isn’t the way we wanted this to end, but it was a great season.”

Amherst (11-1) struggled to jump-start its offense. The Hurricanes only gained 53 total yards. They were 1-for-12 on third-down conversions and were 1-for-5 on fourth down.

“They blitzed perfectly,” Amherst senior Shane Robles said. “I don’t think we were prepared for that blitz.”

Struggling on offense brought Robles out to punt often. He downed his first kick inside Swampscott’s 20, but the Big Blue rush and the wind complicated his subsequent attempts. Late in the first half, Amherst lined up to punt from its own 6. Robles’ kick only traveled 3 yards to set up the Big Blue 9 yards from the goal line.

“We were in the end zone so I was trying to get them off quick,” Robles said. “I didn’t get the spiral that I wanted, so the wind took it back. It wasn’t good.”

Following an Amherst encroachment, Inzana powered in for a 4-yard score to go up 14-0 with 4:02 to halftime.

The Hurricanes stalled on their next drive and lined up in a punt formation on fourth-and-11. Instead of kicking it, they snapped the ball to Josh Vecchio, who ran for the first down marker. He came up a yard short on the Amherst 40.

“Our running backs are tough guys. They were able to match that physicality,” Ehorn said. “That’s a very physical team - before and after the whistle.”

Amherst forced a punt after turning the ball over on downs when senior lineman Jack Nagy deflected a fourth-down pass with 1:17 to halftime. Mills (6 of 22, 102 yards) connected on a 10-yard pass to CJ Woodfine-Holmes to bring up fourth-and-1. Vecchio picked it up, and the Hurricanes called their last timeout of the half with 41 seconds left.

Zayd Sadiq burned Swampscott’s defense on a go route, and Mills lofted him a clean pass. But Swampscott’s defender grabbed him and drew a pass interference penalty to prevent the completion. It gained the Hurricanes 15 yards and put them into Swampscott territory for the first time. Four incomplete passes later – one by Woodfine-Holmes, the backup quarterback – Amherst gave the ball back to Swampscott to kneel out the first half.

“Sometimes with short fields it’s tough. Offense didn’t have the best day,” Nagy said. “Defense, we did all we could. I’m proud of the way we played.”

The teams traded turnovers on downs to begin the third quarter, then Swampscott committed back-to-back personal foul penalties to put the Hurricanes into Big Blue territory at the 40. Mills threw an interception on the next play, lofting a pass high into the end zone with no receiver to battle for it.

“That’s gonna haunt me the rest of my life, probably. CJ ran on late. It was kind of a miscommunication between me and him,” Mills said. “I can’t just throw it up for grabs like that. I thought I might have gotten it out of the back of the end zone, I was hoping that.”

Amherst’s defense held through the third quarter. The Hurricanes only gave up 185 total yards and held Swampscott to 1 of 9 on third down.

“Our defense is incredible,” Mills said. “For the most part they were the same guys they’ve been all year.

The Hurricanes offense just couldn’t generate any momentum with a big play. But they kept trying for them. Amherst faced a fourth-and-8 as the third quarter clock expired. Ehorn stuck to his high-risk, high-reward ethos and went for it. Mills threw a pass running to his right to Woodfine-Holmes in triple coverage. His receiver got his hands on the ball but couldn’t complete the catch.

Swampscott’s Zack Palmer took a touch pass 38 yards on the next play, setting up a 1-yard run by January to go up 21-0 with 9:38 left.

Despite a fourth-quarter fumble that set up Swampscott in Amherst territory, the Hurricanes’ defense didn’t allow any more points.

“I didn’t have any doubts all the way until the fourth quarter,” Vecchio said. “We have a magical team, something special could happen. It just didn’t this game.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.



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