Football: Jameson Dion & Amherst overpower Easthampton

  • Amherst’s Jameson Dion tackles Easthampton receiver BB Tauscher for a loss during Thursday's football game at Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst’s Max Frenette hoists Frederick Alfaro Leiva up after he recovered an onside kick against Easthampton during Thursday's football game at Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst’s Jameson Dion tackles Easthampton receiver BB Tauscher for a loss during Thursday's football game at Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Easthampton’s BB Tauscher carreis the ball against Amherst during Thursday's football game at Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst’s Matt Hockman carries the ball against Easthampton during Thursday's football game at Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst’s Mattt Hockman flips the ball after scoring a touchdown against Easthampton during Thursday's football game at Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst’s Taylor Jensen attempts to break a tackle against Easthampton during Thursday's football game at Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

For the Gazette
Published: 9/22/2022 10:27:37 PM

HOLYOKE — Ten touchdowns make a great season for many players. Amherst Regional junior running back Jameson Dion has now piled up 10 touchdowns in two weeks.

For the second straight week, Dion racked up five scores and 237 rushing yards, as Amherst dominated Easthampton, 45-12 in nonleague football Thursday night at a neutral site, Holyoke High School’s Roberts Complex.

“Working with the double-wing (offense), it’s been successful so far,” Dion said. “The line gave a good push, moving to the second level was great (Thursday). It’s been different this year. This group has clicked right from the beginning of the season.”

Matt Hockman aided and abetted Dion nicely with 110 rushing yards of his own and a score.

Shea Healy threw for both Easthampton touchdowns, one to Tommy O’Connor and the other to BB Tauscher on the final play of the night.

“Jameson is a great player, but without our (offensive) line, this is something he wouldn’t be able to do,” said Hurricanes coach Vinnie Guiel, whose team improved to 2-1. “We were winning the battle up front, which made it easier for Jameson and Matt. Our line opened up big holes all night, from the first snap.”

The Hurricanes didn’t complete a single pass and finished with 354 total yards.

Amherst took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in nine plays, capped by Dion’s 31-yard scoring run and two-point conversion just 4 minutes, 25 seconds in. An Easthampton punt set up the Hurricanes at their own 46, and eight plays later, Dion was back in the end zone after a 4-yard run. Junior Ramsey added the conversion run to put Amherst in charge, 16-0, with 2:31 left in the quarter.

Easthampton (1-2) recovered a squibbed kickoff near midfield and drove for Healy’s 9-yard scoring flip to O’Connor in the back left corner of the end zone to pull within 16-6 with 11:05 to play in the half.

Before the break, though, Amherst hit back with TD runs of 5 yards by Hockman and 41 yards by Dion to go up 30-6. At the half, the Hurricanes had outgained the Eagles 267-40.

In the third quarter, Amherst pushed the game into blowout territory thanks to scoring runs of 8 and 12 yards by Dion to lead 45-6.

Emotions began to boil over late in the third quarter when a skirmish at the Amherst 2-yard line led to matching personal fouls and one player ejected from both sides.

Amherst kept Easthampton out of the end zone on a diving interception by Hockman, after teammate Taylor Alfaro Leiva deflected Healy’s pass high in the air.

With running time in effect, Easthampton managed to beat the clock before the end, cashing in fourth-and-goal from the Amherst 3 when Healy hit Tauscher in the left corner of the end zone.

Healy completed 9-of-18 passes for 90 yards with two scores and one interception, while also rushing for 30 yards. Tauscher led the Eagle ground gainers with 43 yards and O’Connor caught three passes for 48 yards.

“Going into the league, our kids have just gotta keep their heads up,” Easthampton coach Matt Bean said. “Right now, I’ve got five kids out that start on both sides of the ball. We got hit hard by injuries early. The good news is we’re going to get some of them back.”

Amherst heads to Agawam Friday for its Suburban League South opener, while Easthampton begins Intercounty League South play Friday at Hoosac Valley.


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