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Thanksgiving football: Smith Vocational can’t stop Franklin Tech’s passing offense in loss

Staff Writer
Published: 11/28/2019 3:51:04 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Owen Bashaw and the Franklin Tech offense served up a heavy aerial attack to the Smith Vocational defense Thanksgiving morning.

The junior quarterback entered the Turkey Day contest near the school record for passing yards and touchdowns in a season, and the Eagles made sure he accomplished both. Bashaw put the ball into the windy air 41 times, completing 11 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns to lead Franklin Tech to a 30-0 shutout over the Vikings.

The win evens the Thanksgiving series between the two schools, as Smith Vocational won last years inaugural match up.

“We want to establish this rivalry between the two schools,” Franklin Tech head coach Joe Gamache said. “There’s nothing like playing Thanksgiving football. I don’t think we’ve ever thrown that much in a game. The goal was to come in here and sling the ball around and have fun.”

Bashaw closes out the season with 801 passing yards and nine passing touchdowns, both Franklin Tech school records. All of his 41 passing attempts came in the first three quarters.

“We came into today with a couple kids looking to achieve individual goals,” Gamache said. “I don’t know that they achieved all of themb but I know Owen achieved his which is awesome. We’ll have to take a look at the other ones. The kids came to battle today which is important. It’s been a long season and we’re privileged to play Thanksgiving football on Thanksgiving day which not too many teams are doing these days. The kids came to work.”

Tight end Colby Mailloux was on the receiving end of the majority of Bashaw’s passes Thursday.

The senior closed out his football career with a seven-catch, 88-yard performance that included a touchdown reception, which earned him MVP of the game.

“It’s awesome to be able to end my season like this and to be recognized like that,” Mailloux said. “It feels amazing. To be able to look back and know I won my last game is a great feeling.”

On defense, the Eagles barely allowed Smith Vocational to cross midfield.

Viking running back Jonathan Castro rushed for 39 yards on 16 carries, as he was the only Smith Vocational rusher to finish with positive yardage. The Vikings as a team finished with just 34 yards of offense. Castro was named the game MVP for Smith Vocational.

“We were so young on the defensive side of the ball today,” Viking coach Keith Lebeau said. “We had nine sophomore and freshmen playing defense. We did some good things and we got better as the season went on which is all we can ask for. I’m really proud of those guys.”

On the Eagles second possession of the game, Bashaw hooked up with Mailloux for a 17-yard completion and followed it with a 15 yard pass to Hunter Wozniak to put Franklin Tech in the red zone.

The Smith Vocational defense forced a fourth and inches, which Bashaw took up the middle for a sneak. The quarterback got the needed yardage and looked up and saw nothing but green grass between him and the end zone, where he waltzed into to give the Eagles the lead with 4:36 to go in the first quarter. Offensive lineman Kyle Snyder ran in the two-point conversion.

“It was fun out there today,” Bashaw said. “This win gives us a lot of momentum going into next year. We get to bring this trophy home.”

The Eagles struck again early in the second quarter, as a 23-yard run by Ian McClure on third and five set Tech up on the Viking end of the field.

Bashaw then connected with Mailloux for a 21-yard gain. An unsportsmanlike penalty on Smith Vocational put the ball on the 7, where Bashaw threw a fade to Wozniak which he hauled in to put the Eagles up 16-0 with 9 minutes, 27 seconds to play in the half.

With 2:25 to go in the second quarter, Viking quarterback Aaron Pierce sailed a ball high over the middle, right into the hands of Tech’s Donte Rosewarne.

The senior took it 25 yards to the house to give the Eagles a 24-0 lead going into the break.

Franklin Tech scored its final touchdown late in the third quarter. The Eagles recovered a Castro fumble to take over at the Smith Vocational 23, where Bashaw once again found an open Mailloux to put the ball at the 6. A screen to McClure put the ball at the one yard line, where Bashaw connected with Mailloux for the score.

It was the final pass of the day for Bashaw.

“To know those are my last points I’m going to score in football was huge,” Mailloux said. “We knew that they didn’t cover that pop pass so we thought it’d be open. I’m happy and sad at the same time. It was an awesome game, though. Owen broke the record which is what we were aiming for. It’s my favorite when we throw that much.”

McClure ran for a game-high 150 yards on 10 carries and Dominic Bowden-Smith finished with 66 yards on the ground.

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