East Longmeadow has ‘upper hand’ in 48-22 win over Amherst in Division 5 semifinals

For the Gazette
Published: 11/3/2018 12:58:46 AM

EAST LONGMEADOW — Amherst Regional was faced with a fourth-and-14 inside its own 20-yard line during the waning minutes of the first quarter.

Normally, that situation would call for a punt, but the Hurricanes tried to catch the Spartans off guard. It didn’t work as quarterback J.B. Mills’ pass fell incomplete, giving East Longmeadow excellent field position.

Top-seeded East Longmeadow took full advantage, scoring its second touchdown of the quarter en route to a 48-22 triumph over No. 4 Amherst Friday night in a Western Massachusetts Division 5 football semifinal.

Amherst (6-3), which qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season — the first time in program history it accomplished that feat — fell to 6-3 with one game remaining.

“We played as hard as we could,” wideout Steven Steele said. “We played good, but East Longmeadow had the upper hand.”

Amherst came into the game knowing full well it was an underdog. But the Hurricanes ignored that and played aggressive.

The Hurricanes had their moments. Mills stood tall and had touchdown passes of 77, 81 and 23 yards.

His second was a beautiful 81-yard scoring strike to a streaking Isaiah Moyston. Mills hit Steele with the conversion to make it a one-score game with East Longmeadow leading, 20-14.

But the Hurricanes could not hold the Spartans late in the first half. Hunter Mazza scored his third touchdown of the game to provide East Longmeadow with a 28-14 lead.

Mazza led all rushers with 114 yards.

The Hurricane defensive line was impressive at times, stopping Mazza and the Spartans on several drives. But East Longmeadow was relentless and stuck to its game plan of running the football.

Amherst never could get its ground game going and had to rely on the strong arm of Mills. The quarterback finished with 287 yards passing on 14 of 25 attempts.

East Longmeadow opened the scoring when Mazza scored on a 13-yard run with 4:34 left in the first half.

John Davitt scored on a 1-yard run with 2:11 left in the quarter for a 14-0 lead.

Amherst stunned the Spartans by getting that one back in one play. Mills hit Steele in stride for a 77-yard scoring strike as the Hurricanes pulled within 14-6.

“We needed a spark,” Steele said.

East Longmeadow put the game out of reach with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Dominic Mancusco scored on a 10-yard run and Ethan Johnson reached the end zone on a 2-yard run.

Amherst closed the scoring when Mills hit Steele wit a 4-yard touchdown pass.

East Longmeadow 48,
Amherst Regional 22

Amherst

8

6

0

8

—22

East Longmeadow

14

14

7

13

—48

First quarter

EL- Hunter Massa 13-yard run (Nico Mongeon kick) 4:34

EL-Davitt 1 run (Mongeon kick) 2:11

A- Isaiah Moyston 77 from J.B. Mills (Steven Steele from Mills) 24.2

Second quarter

EL- Mazza 7 run (kick failed) 3:28

A-Steele 81 from Mills (Steele from Mills) 2:30

EL-Mazza 12 run (Ethan Johnson run ) 26.9

Third quarter

EL-Gaetano Mancusco 18 run (kick failed) 4:13

Fourth quarter

EL-Mancusco 16 run (kick failed) 10:53

EL-Ethan Johnson 2 run (Mongeon kick) 10:13

A-Steele 23 from Mills (pass failed) 7:33

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Amherst-Mills,5-(-17), Vecchio 2-4. EL-Massa 12-114, Manusco 18-109, Johnson 3-15, Ottoson 5-19, Davitt 1-19, Mongeon 3-10,

PASSING—Amherst-Mills.14-25-287. EL-Ottoson 3-7-23

RECEIVING—Amherst-Steele 4-103, Woodfine-Holmes-1-77, Moyston 7-107


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