Easthampton rumbles past Athol, 34-14

  • Ben Landry, right, of Easthampton, runs ahead of Dylan Castine, of Athol, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ben Landry, right, of Easthampton, gets past Athol defenders Dylan Castine, left, and Will Kitzmiller, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jacob Neumann, right, of Easthampton, runs for a gain as teammate David Brakey blocks Tim Soucie, of Athol, Friday at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. The Eagles won 34-14. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, center right, begins a handoff to Damien Diluzio, right, as Jacob Neumann, center left, eyes Christian Casillas, of Athol, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Trevor Waldron, right, of Easthampton, tackles Keegan Lutz, of Athol, Friday at White Brook Middle School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Quintin Baker-Cisero, right, of Easthampton, heads outside of teammate Ben Landry as Landry blocks Will Kitzmiller, of Athol, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini passes against Athol, Friday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, left, hands off to Jacob Neumann during a game against Athol, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton coach Matt Bean talks to his team during a game against Athol, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Quintin Baker-Cicero, right, of Easthampton, scores despite the efforts of Derek Erali, of Athol, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Quintin Baker-Cicero, center, of Easthampton, runs for a touchdown ahead of Derek Erali, of Athol, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff reports
Published: 9/28/2018 11:40:17 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Easthampton’s offensive line set the tone from the very first drive.

The Eagles’ senior-laden group paved the way for 69 yards rushing and a 2-yard rushing touchdown for quarterback Nick Pellegrini.

Easthampton found the end zone on five of its first six drives en route to a 34-14 win over Athol on Friday at White Brook Middle School. Only the halftime buzzer kept them from scoring in that stretch.

“We came out dominant the first play and carried it the whole game,” Easthampton senior Tallon Garelli said. “They weren’t ready for it.”

Easthampton (3-1, 3-0 Intercounty North) ran for 329 yards led by Jacob Neumann’s 148. It was a career high for the sophomore and his second-straight 100-yard game.

“He ran really hard tonight,” Easthampton coach Matt Bean said. “We’ve been talking to him about not being fancy, and he’s been getting better every week.”

Neumann capped Easthampton’s scoring with a 52-yard rumble that put the Eagles up 34-0 with 9 minutes, 12 seconds left in the third quarter.

“You could fit a Mack truck through that hole,” Garelli said.

The scoring began with Pellegrini’s touchdown run that capped the opening drive. He rushed for 42 yards in the game, one of five Eagles with at least 40.

“They weren’t so much called, but he was making his read on options, and that’s how it played out,” Bean said. “He took advantage of it.”

Damien Diluzio (40 yards) made it 14-0 with an 11-yard run at 2:48 of the first quarter. Pellegrini then threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Baker-Cisero to make it 21-0 less than three minutes into the second quarter.

He also ran for his second touchdown from 16 yards out, slipping several tackles to put Easthampton up 28-0 with 3:32 left in the first half.

“That wasn’t even a designed play,” Pellegrini said. “The play broke up and the line was blocking so well that I had so much area to work with.”

Easthampton worked on its starts to games after falling behind often early in the season.

“We’ve hurt ourselves with penalties and turnovers, but we did a nice job of taking care of the ball,” Bean said.

After the Eagles built the 34-0 lead, Athol (1-3, 1-2) gained some traction.

Caleb Cox threw a 1-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and a 55-yard touchdown pass to Mason Barrieau with 7:34 left. Easthampton fumbled an option pitch to set up Athol’s second touchdown.

“That was all on us,” Pellegrini said. “I’m not really worried because the first half is the level we can play at.”

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

Easthampton 34, Athol 14

Athol

0

0

6

8

—14

Easthampton

14

14

6

0

—34

First quarter

E—Nick Pellegrini 2 run (Pellegrini run), 7:31

E—Damien Diluzio (Pass failed), 2:48

Second quarter

E—Quentin Baker-Cisero 11 pass from Pellegrini (Ben Landry kick), 8:18

E—Pellegrini 16 run (Landry kick), 3:32

Third quarter

E—Jacob Neumann 52 run (Kick failed), 9:12

A—Keegan Lutz 1 pass from Caleb Cox (Pass failed), 2:24

Fourth quarter

A—Mason Barrieau 55 pass from Cox (Joe Gray pass from Cox), 7:34

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Easthampton–Neumann 15-148, Pellegrini 9-42, Landry 5-42, Dilzio 5-40, Justin Malek 7-41, Gary Gauthier 2-9, Fred Murray 1-7, Giancarlo Osiecki 1-1. Athol-Dylan Castine 11-79, Barrieau 10-46, Lutz 3-1

PASSING—Easthampton–Pellegrini 8-16-148-0. Athol–Cox 5-16-120-1

RECEIVING—Easthampton–Landry 3-48, Quentin Baker-Cisero 3-57, Diluzio 2-43. Athol-Barrieau 2-98, Lutz 3-22




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