HS football: Mills, Amherst pass through Pittsfield; East Longmeadow sacks Northampton; Lee tops Belchertown

For the Gazette
Published: 10/18/2019 11:39:35 PM
Modified: 10/18/2019 11:39:22 PM

AMHERST — J.B. Mills threw for 225 yards and five touchdowns as the Amherst Regional football team thumped Pittsfield, 53-22, Friday night.

Mills, who also rushed for a touchdown, threw four touchdowns passes to C.J. Woodfine-Holmes.

“Everyday we were throwing together,” said Mills of his offseason work with Woodfine-Holmes. “Me and C.J. have built that chemistry for months now.”

Running the ball has always been a focus in the Hurricanes’ offense, but coach Chris Ehorn Jr. decided to pass the ball more.

“We have a lot of faith in J.B.,” Ehorn. said. “We wanted to mix it up this week.”

Pittsfield’s defense struggled stopping the Hurricanes (6-0). The Generals (1-5) dropped two interceptions, failed to recover a fumble and allowed Amherst to convert on three fourth downs.

Pittsfield running back Emmanual Nda was limited, but did have a 36-yard touchdown as the final minutes expired on the game clock.

Amherst, which gave up over 100 yards last time they faced Nda, crowded the box on the young running back.

“The main thing is keeping the edge,” Ehorn said. “Once he gets outside the line, it’s difficult to take him down. So we tried to force him to the middle and since we have some big guys on our defensive line, he didn’t get very far.”

Mills led Amherst with 68 yards rushing on three carries. The Hurricanes were playing with Dan Block.

Woodfine-Holmes had 152 yards receiving yards on nine catches.

Zayd Sadiq returned a kick 85 yards for a touchdown.

Landen Worgess and Gabe Kebede (two sacks) each had six solo tackles.

Terriers drop Blue Devils

West Springfield 51, Northampton 23 — West Springfield junior Ryan Russell had over 300 total yards and four touchdowns as the Terriers beat Northampton in West Springfield.

Russell threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He rushed seven times for 41 yards and one touchdown as well.

The Terriers (4-2) had five plays that went for at least 40 yards each.

Braeden Tudryn had a second quarter interception for Northampton (4-2). On the ensuing drive, a 20-yard field goal pulled Northampton within 22-10 with 5:48 remaining in the first half.

“Everything they did, we knew they were doing, and we practiced for it,” Northampton coach Joe Kocot said. “That was the sad thing.”

Tom Jacques finished 9 of 22 for 127, one touchdown and one interception. He connected with Sam Walker on a 14-yard touchdown with 11 minutes left in the second quarter.

Brett Holden finished with 67 yards rushing and one touchdown on 13 carries.

Jake Delisle scored on a 67-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

—Max O’Day

Lee sacks Belchertown

Lee 35, Belchertown 6 — Belchertown gave up a touchdown on the game-opening kickoff return Friday night in Lee, and the Orioles also surrendered a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Wildcats scored the game’s final 21 points, had nearly 300 yards in total offense and held Belchertown to 54 yards in total offense in the second half.

The Orioles (3-3) came into the game ranked fourth in Division 5, just behind West Springfield and just ahead of Easthampton.

That’s why before the game, Wildcat coach Keith Thomson had called this a “must win” game for both teams. Lee (4-3) had entered the night fourth in Division 8 just ahead of No. 5 Mahar and behind Drury.

Lee’s Cam Freeman opened with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The Orioles started the next drive on their 22 and marched into Lee territory. Twice Belchertown converted on third down, the last one was on a 5-yard run by Cal Daskam that gave his team the ball on the Lee 9-yard line.

The Orioles gained 1 yard on each of the first two plays, then lost 9 yards, setting up fourth-and-goal from the 16. Cam Otto’s pass was incomplete, and Lee had held.

Lee marched to the Belchertown 45, when on fourth down, Jack Purcell broke down the right side and nobody caught him. The touchdown and kick gave Lee a 14-0 lead, and that’s where the game changed.

Belchertown coach Ed Wyzik, a former Berkshire Mountaineers semi-pro football teammate of Thomson, lamented the missed opportunities. The Orioles had the ball four times in the first half, scored once, but had two drives stall inside the Wildcat Red Zone.

“We have to finish drives,” he said. “We get down in the Red Zone and we don’t score. The wind might have been a factor a little bit in passing, so we tried to run. They stopped our counters pretty good after our first drive.”

—Howard Herman

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