Frontier Regional seniors look to cap careers with holiday win over Mohawk

  • Matt Hildreth, left, of Frontier Regional, blocks a pass intended for Ish Akanour, right, of Easthampton, Oct. 20 in South Deerfield. Also defending is Ito McMillian. Frontier hosts Mohawk Trail, Wednesday at 6 p.m. in their annual pre-Thanksgiving football game. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

Published: 11/21/2017 9:02:54 PM

With one game left, the Frontier Regional football team’s senior class has the opportunity to go out and hit someone one last time.

Running back Aaron Landry is ready for his final game against Mohawk.

“I am very anxious to hit someone,” Landry said. “Nothing like playing Mohawk the day before Thanksgiving. It’s definitely a rivalry.”

Frontier (8-2) hosts Mohawk at 6 p.m. in the 84th meeting between the schools. The Red Hawks lead the series 45-32-6. The series dates back to 1933, when Mohawk was the Arms Academy and Frontier was Deerfield High School.

“Practice has been upbeat,” Frontier coach Don Gordon said. “But it is kind of sad with the seniors. We are just going to have a little fun.”

The Red Hawks, behind running backs Landry and Stevie Worthley, ran over opponents all season until the matchup with Wahconah in the Western Massachusetts Division 7 finals, which the Red Hawks lost 45-20.

“We played OK except for our pass defense,” Gordon said. “If we hadn’t fumbled it might have been closer. We don’t feel like we got blown out. We just made mistakes.”

Landry (1,259 yards, 17 touchdowns) and Worthley (1,206 yards, 16 TDs) combined for 33 touchdowns and over 2,400 yards on the ground.

Landry’s career year came during his senior season for the Red Hawks.

“It’s been crazy,” Landry said. “I’ve been counting down the days as a high school football player. It’s a shock.”

For Landry, his favorite memory of the season came away from the football field.

“When all the seniors got their jackets at the senior dinner,” Landry said. “After seeing that as a younger player it was unreal for it to happen to us.”

The Red Hawks turn their attention to Mohawk (3-7) to finish the season. Frontier might have a new look in store for the Warriors after a 7-on-7 scrimmage Sunday.

“We are going to try and get as many player in as possible,” Gordon said. “With a couple new wrinkles. Something they haven’t seen.”

The Red Hawks had one of their better seasons this year, with their one regular-season loss coming to Greenfield in overtime.

“Besides that hiccup against Greenfield we played great,” Gordon said. “That win against Pittsfield set us up for the season.”

The Red Hawks went on the road and beat Pittsfield in their opener. They scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and stopped the Generals twice in the red zone late to seal the 40-36 win.

After the loss to the Green Wave, Frontier won seven straight to reach the Western Mass. finals.

“We won the league for a second time,” Gordon said. “It was a good finish to good careers for the seniors. We got the ball to our playmakers.

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