HS football: Easthampton, Belchertown run to wins; Chicopee stops Frontier

Staff Writer
Published: 10/25/2019 11:06:21 PM

ATHOL — Riding three rushing touchdowns by Jacob Neumann, the Easthampton football team beat Athol, 41-6, at O’Brien Field on Friday night.

Athol (0-7, 0-6 Intercounty North) played Easthampton (4-2, 4-1) close through the first quarter before the Eagles scored 33 straight points.

The score allowed the Eagles to get their bench into the game for most of the fourth quarter when the clock was running.

“It was good because this year with our numbers we weren’t able to field a JV team,” Easthampton coach Matt Bean said. “It was nice to get all those kids in and get them some Friday night time.”

The Eagles came out throwing the ball with varied success. ​​​​​​​Liam Burke opened the scoring with a 19-yard touchdown to Bennett Kelly.

Easthampton got the ball quickly after an interception by Nathan Hogan on Athol’s first drive.

Burke completed five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns.

“Offensively the execution wasn’t there in the first half,” Bean said. “We’ve been throwing it a little bit more. Moving forward we are trying to get a little more comfortable with it.”

The Red Raiders answered with a 37-yard touchdown run by Jacob Smith to end the second quarter.

From there, the Eagles went back to the ground to take over the game.

Neumann finished with seven carries for 105 yards, while Kelly added 67 yards on six carries.

Easthampton backups Giancarlo Osiecki (five carries, 34 yards) and Keith Cudworth (two carries, 44 yards) took advantage of their opportunities.

Neumann had touchdown runs of 6 and 32 yards in the second quarter.

Matt Champagne recovered an Athol fumble just before the end of the half, leading to a Burke 15-yard pass to Hogan that gave Easthampton a 28-6 halftime lead.

Neumann punctuated a three-play 59-yard drive to open the third quarter with a 12-yard score.

Cudworth’s 40-yard run got the Eagles into the red zone.

Champagne recovered another Athol fumble in the third quarter, this time for a touchdown to close the scoring.

Easthampton’s Connor Mott intercepted a pass on Athol’s final possession in the fourth quarter.

Shea Brennan rushed for 36 yards on six carries and added two catches for six yards for the Red Raiders.

Daskam leads Orioles

Belchertown 36, Commerce 6 — The Orioles (4-3) got back in the win column on senior night.

Belchertown’s Cal Daskam finished with 80 yards on the ground, 75 yards receiving and a 35-yard touchdown pass.

“I feel good. Coming out here with the home crowd supporting us, it’s a good feeling,” Daskam said.

The Orioles (4-3) caused confusion for Commerce with misdirections, reverses and flea flickers. Quarterback Cam Otto even set up in shotgun with multiple receivers on each side of him.

“Overall they all came together, we played hard as a team,” Belchertown coach Ed Wyzik said. “We got good protection up front and could actually throw the ball a little bit, which is kind of nice, he (Otto) threw some beautiful balls and made some big plays, so hats off to the whole team.”

Otto finished 8 of 10 for 157 yards. He had one passing and one rushing touchdown. He threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Klingensmith.

“Everyone was making plays for me too, the line was blocking for me, definitely feels good right now,” Otto said. “Second year in a row we have won on senior night.”

—Cameron Sibert

Pacers stop Red Hawks

Chicopee 20, Frontier Regional 16 — A pair of late touchdowns by Chicopee and a pair of late fumbles deep in Pacer territory spelled doom for Frontier, Friday night in South Deerfield.

Trailing by four late, the Red Hawks (5-2) set themselves up in great shape with a first-and-goal at the Chicopee 7, immediately after a 13-yard pickup by Josh Semaski. Ito McMillan picked up 4 yards on first down, lost a couple on the next play, and then slipped the ball back to quarterback Garrett DeForest on a third-down double handoff. DeForest lost the handle on the football, which skidded forward toward the goal line and was covered by Chicopee’s Brendan Tadeo at the 1-yard line with 1:06 left.

“It was there. That quarterback reverse has worked for us quite often,” Frontier coach Don Gordon said. “He just slipped and lost the ball. If he’d just held on to the ball, it was third down and we’d have another go at it from the 2-yard line.”

Earlier in the fourth quarter, right after Chicopee’s go-ahead touchdown, Frontier started at its own 47 and cashed in on fourth-and-4 from the Pacers’ 47 when McMillan broke a 10-yard run. DeForest then added back-to-back gains of 13 and 12 yards as the Red Hawks pushed to the Chicopee 10, but on third-and-8, DeForest’s fumble was recovered by the Pacers’ Jerome Jacobs at the 15-yard line to turn Frontier aside.

The Red Hawks led 16-6 at the half thanks to a pair of DeForest touchdown runs.

Frontier got on the board first in the last minute of the first quarter, when DeForest made fourth-and-18 look easy with a 27-yard scramble down the left sideline for the opening touchdown. He then added the two-pointer for an 8-0 Hawk lead with 55.5 seconds to play.

Late in the second, Frontier flipped the field quickly on a 71-yard bomb and run from DeForest to Donovan Hoffman, who was dragged down at the Chicopee 13. McMillan picked up gains of 7 and 4 yards for a first down at the 2, and DeForest ran it in on the next play. His two-point flip to Kenny Moulton put Frontier up 16-6 with only 1:05 remaining in the half.

“Their defensive line was teeing off on us. Teams have kind of figured that out,” said Gordon. “We’re just getting beat on the line. Our players know what to do, they’re just not getting it done.”

DeForest finished 4 of 9 passing for 111 yards and ran 15 times for a team-best 67 yards, while McMillan and Semaski added 46 and 45 yards, respectively, on the ground.

—George Miller

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