H.S. Football: Amherst can’t hang with high-powered Westfield in 44-0 loss

For the Gazette
Published: 9/10/2021 11:04:38 PM

WESTFIELD — Nineteen seconds into Friday night's season opener, Amherst already found itself down by a touchdown, and the picture didn't improve much from that point forward for the visitors.

The Hurricanes managed to stabilize matters temporarily by forcing and recovering a pair of fumbles, but Westfield then piled up three touchdowns in the final seven minutes of the half to build a commanding lead and romped to a 44-0 victory at Billy Bullens Field.

For first-year Amherst head coach Mike Dublin, though, the fight he saw in his team was the most encouraging outcome of the evening.

“We got to the half struggling a little bit, and I told the kids that they had a conscious decision to make,” said Dublin. “Either they could sit down and let it happen, or they could stand up and continue to battle. I know what kind of team I have, and that's a team that no matter what's going on is going to battle and fight.”

Ryan Cimini got Westfield (1-0) on the board on the first offensive play from scrimmage, breaking off a 68-yard touchdown run for an immediate 6-0 lead. That was the start of a 214-yard, two-TD rushing night for Cimini.

Quarterback Matt Adamites got into the act by completing 10-of-12 passes, all in the first half, good for 115 yards and three scores. He hit Andrew Scott for a 19-yard touchdown, then Michael Collins from eight yards out and a 40-yarder to Scott with just under a minute before halftime, boosting the Bombers into a 24-0 lead.

Westfield then possessed the ball only three times in the second half, but each culminated in a touchdown. Cimini snapped off a 43-yard scoring run, freshman Lucas Guay added a 12-yard run as part of his 73-yard effort for the evening, and Josiah Alvalle tacked on a 15-yard touchdown as the entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

Amherst (0-1) managed only three first downs, all coming as a result of Westfield penalties, and simply couldn't generate any offense against a physically bigger and quicker Bomber squad. The Hurricanes punted nine times and lost a pair of fumbles in their 12 possessions. Quarterback Jameson Dion and tailback Neil Cunniffe, both sophomores, had by far the most offensive touches, but were thrown for 52 yards in losses on 28 total carries.

“Jameson really continued to fly around, didn't really care what the situation was. His play never stopped from the first snap to triple zeroes at the end. (Lineman) Nolan Klaes really leads this team with a quiet confidence and showing by example. I don't think 'stop' is in the kid. We had some guys playing out of position due to injuries, and they really stepped up to fill up gaps,” said Dublin.

The Hurricanes next travel west to Pittsfield Friday for a 7 p.m. game.

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