H.S. Football: Lee overwhelms Frontier, 42-0

For the Gazette
Published: 9/30/2022 11:49:44 PM
Modified: 9/30/2022 11:45:32 PM

LEE — Twelve months ago, the Frontier Regional football team battled Lee for four quarters in a hard-fought defeat.

Friday night, the Redhawks bused to Berkshire County. While the end result was the same, how the two teams got there was far different.

“I got to be honest with you. I don't know what happened tonight,” Frontier coach Scott Dredge said after the Wildcats beat the Redhawks, 42-0, in their Intercounty League South opener. “We've been pretty competitive in the three games we've been in. All the credit to Lee. Back before they were even in our league, we'd come up here for scrimmages and Keith and I would have a good time every summer. We know this is a tough team. They're coached well and they were hungry tonight.

“I’ve got to go talk to my team to figure out what went wrong.”

The Wildcats, which are now 2-2 overall, ended a two-game losing streak by being effective in all three phases of the game. Coach Keith Thomson's squad outgained Frontier 316 total yards to 69. The defense forced a turnover that led to an Alex Delvecchio touchdown. Stellar special-team play led to two touchdowns. The first TD came after a game-opening 54-yard kickoff return. The second followed a blocked punt by Shaun Kinney that turned into a back-breaking touchdown run by the Wildcats' Omari Smith.

William Thomson scored three touchdowns for the Wildcats. He scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter, caught a 76-yard pass from Smith in the second and caught a 32-yard pass from Samuel Joyce in the third. 

Lee came into its league opener having lost to Wahconah and Lowell Catholic in consecutive weeks and were outscored a combined 76-8. Friday night, all of that was in the rearview mirror for the home team.

"Give all the credit to our kids. They circled the wagons this week. Instead of hanging their heads and feeling sorry for themselves and doubting, they kept the faith in each other," Thomson said. "They kept the faith in the team. They had their best week of practice all year.

"I kind of had a feeling they were going to come out, explode tonight and put all the pieces together."

The game started with a legitimate bang as Tyler Bartini fielded the opening kickoff on the dead run and went 54 yards to the Frontier 24. Five plays later, the Lee offensive line of tackles Maguire Roosa and Luke Roche, guards Brendan Albert and Delvecchio and center Harbyn Townson opened a hole that Thomson plowed through. The 3-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion put Lee up 8-0.

The Redhawks went three-and-out on their first drive. They had fourth-and-2 from their 41-yard line and seemed ready to go for it, but a false start penalty moved the ball back five yards and forced a punt.

The Wildcats took over on their 37, and moved the ball down the field in a hurry. In a quarterback-to-quarterback throw, Samuel Joyce hit Omari Smith on a go route down the right sideline for 40 yards. Thomson gained 16 on the next play and Bartini banged it into the end zone on a seven-yard run. The missed conversion made it 14-0, but the tone was set.

The Wildcats controlled both lines of scrimmage all night.

“That is for sure,” Dredge said. “Their linemen, they showed up to play tonight. That’s a credit to them.”

Frontier (2-2, 0-1) looks to get back in the win column on Friday when it returns to South Deerfield to play Hoosac Valley. It’ll be the Redhawks fourth home game in five weeks to open the 2022 campaign.

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