Please support the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s COVID-19 coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy — and many of the advertisers who support our work — to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at gazettenet.com because we feel our most critical mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate.

Thank you for your support of the Gazette.

Michael Moses, Publisher


Easthampton picks off Frontier Regional, 29-20

  • Jacob Neumann, right, of Easthampton, runs for a gain before being tackled by Matt Hildreth, of Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, left, tries to evade Frontier Regional defenders Nathan Austin, front, and Garrett Deforest, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, left, tries to evade Frontier Regional defenders Nathan Austin, center, and Garrett Deforest, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Garrett Deforest, right, of Frontier Regional, looks for a hole in the Easthampton defense as teammate Alec Kirkendall looks to block them, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Garrett Deforest, of Frontier Regional, runs for a gain before being tackled by Ben Landry, of Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Garrett Deforest, of Frontier Regional, carries the ball against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Garrett Deforest, of Frontier Regional, carries the ball against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ben Landry, center, of Easthampton, intercepts a pass intended for Corbin Blight, of Frontier Regional, Friday at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton head coach Matt Bean talks to Tallon Garelli during their game against Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier Regional quarterback Matt Hildreth, right, passes as Jacob Ross, of Easthampton, approaches Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ito Macmillan, left, of Frontier Regional, runs for a touchdown against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Damien Diluzio, left, of Easthampton, catches a pass against Sam Hebert, of Frontier, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. He outran Hebert to score. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ito Macmillan, front, of Frontier Regional, runs for a touchdown after getting past Easthampton defenders Tallon Garelli, left, and Jacob Neumann, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier Regional quarterback Matt Hildreth runs for a two-point conversion, wide of Easthampton defender Jacob Ross, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier Regional quarterback Matt Hildreth, left, gets tackled by Ben Landry, of Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ito Macmillan, left, of Frontier Regional, and Luke Kraus, of Easthampton, eye a pass that fell short of its target, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jacob Neumann, center right, of Easthampton, runs out of the reach of Luke Parsons, of Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier Regional quarterback Matt Hildreth carries the ball against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, right, runs for a gain before being tackled by Sam Hebert, of Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, right, throws a touchdown pass to Damien Diluzio during their win against Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Damien Diluzio, center, of Easthampton, catches a pass to score between Frontier Regional defenders Sam Hebert, left, and Matt Hildreth, Friday at White Brook Middle School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff writer
Published: 10/20/2018 12:50:52 AM

EASTHAMPTON — The football hung in the air for two seconds, Damien Diluzio’s mind blank as he ran under it.

“I wasn’t thinking, I think that’s why it worked so well,” Diluzio said. “My mind was clear, the defender had good coverage, there was nothing to think about. Pelli made a great throw.”

Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini launched an arcing throw 36 yards in the air, and Diluzio had a step on Frontier corner Sam Hebert. Diluzio caught the ball out in front of him and stepped out of a trailing tackle, running the rest of the way to the end zone for a 62-yard touchdown.

“Last year when we played these guys we ran the same play, and he was on a similar route. He dropped it,” Pellegrini said. “I still had the confidence to throw it to him. It all came full circle.”

That long touchdown pass sparked a 14-point run by Easthampton, and the Eagles finished out a 29-20 win at White Brook Middle School on Friday. They beat the Red Hawks for the first time since 2013.

It sets up an Intercounty North League championship game next week in Turners Falls. The Thunder are 5-0 in the league after beating Franklin Tech on Friday. An Eagles’ win would put both teams at 5-1, and Easthampton would have a head-to-head tiebreaker.

“This is a huge win for us,” Easthampton coach Matt Bean said. “That’s a very good team, we knew they were going to come back.”

Easthampton (5-2, 4-1) led 22-8 after three quarters in large part thanks to Diluzio and Pellegrini. They connected for two touchdowns: the 62-yard pass and a 9-yard score on the next possession to lead by 14 with 2:46 left in the third quarter.

Diluzio finished with 10 catches for a career-high 139 yards.

“We were both locked in, we were on the same page tonight, and I think you could tell,” Pellegrini said.

Pellegrini threw for 175 yards and three touchdowns. He hit Marcus O’Meally on a 15-yard out pass to take an 8-0 lead with 55.6 seconds left in the first quarter.

Frontier (4-3, 3-2) responded with a 9-yard scoring run by Ito McMillan that tied the game at 8. He set it up with a 59-yard run previously.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Red Hawks struck first in the fourth. McMillan plunged in from 7 yards out to make it 22-14 just 1:17 into the final frame. Easthampton punted on its next possession after a holding penalty negated a 55-yard rushing touchdown by Ben Landry.

The Red Hawks then ripped off a seven-play drive capped by a 34-yard touchdown run by Frontier quarterback Matt Hildreth that put the Red Hawks within 2 with 3:51 left. Before he snapped the ball on the 2-point conversion attempt, the Red Hawks quarterback turned around and threw up.

Frontier took a timeout, then the Red Hawks broke the huddle with 10 men, necessitating another timeout.

“Got rocked in the stomach, couldn’t hold water down, nobody knew what we were doing,” Hildreth said.

When the Red Hawks lined up again, Hildreth faked a quick pitch right and looked left after a five-step drop. With Easthampton’s defensive line approaching quickly, Hildreth floated a pass to Hebert. He was double-covered, and Easthampton’s two defenders knocked the ball down, leaving the Red Hawks trailing by two.

Easthampton gave the ball to running back Jacob Neumann five times in a row on its next drive after recovering an onside kick. He rumbled 36 yards and scored a 19-yard touchdown. Landry kicked an extra point to put the Eagles up 9 with 2:07 left and put the game out of reach.

Frontier had the ball for one more possession and gained a first down before a Nuemann interception ended the game.

“He’s a sophomore and he plays like a senior,” Bean said.

Frontier closes its regular season next week at Athol with its playoff positioning hanging in the balance.

“Monday’s going to be a tough practice,” Hildreth said. “We’re going to work hard all week, no breaks.”

Easthampton 29, Frontier 20

Frontier Regional

0

8

0

12

—20

Easthampton

8

14

0

7

—29

First quarter

E—Marcus O’Meally 15-yard pass from Nick Pellegrini (Jacob Neumann run), 55.6

Second quarter

F—Ito McMillan 9 run (Matt Hildreth run), 7:31

E—Damien Diluzio 62 pass from Pellegrini (Run failed), 7:22

E—Diluzio 9 pass from Pellegrini (Diluzio pass from Pellegrini), 2:46

Third quarter

No scoring.

Fourth quarter

F—McMillan 7 run (Pass failed), 0:43

F—Hildreth 34 run (Pass faield), 3:51

E—Neumann 19 run (Ben Landry kick), 2:07

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Easthampton–Neumann 14-90, Pellegrini 9-52,Fred Murray 1-0. Frontier Regional-McMillan 15-103, Hildreth 7-67, Garrett Deforest 18-48, Josh Semaski 3-13, Alec Kirkendall 4-10

PASSING—Easthampton–Pellegrini 12-20-184-0. Frontier Regional–Hildreth 6-15-32-1, DeForest 1-2-18-1.

RECEIVING—Easthampton–Diluzio 10-139, Landry 1-20, O’Meally 1-15. Frontier Regional-Sam Hebert 2-21, Corbin Blight 1-18, McMillan 4-11.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy