H.S. Football: Hoosac Valley hands Easthampton football 1st loss in shutout

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  • Easthampton senior Luke Kraus (4) rushes past Carson Meczywor (3) of Hoosac Valley with help from teammates Connor Mott (32), Jack Boyle (75) and Bb Tauscher, right, in the first half of the Eagles’ 30-0 loss to the visiting Hurricanes in an Intercounty South match held at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hoosac Valley running back Aaron Bush, center, is brought down Bb Tauscher, on ground, with an assist by teammates, from left, Giancarlo Osiecki (22), Dylan Rohan and Will Hogan in the first half of the Eagles’ 30-0 loss to the visiting Hurricanes in an Intercounty South match held at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Easthampton junior Bb Tauscher, left, runs past Carson Meczywor, center, and Shaun Kastner Jr. of Hoosac Valley in the first half of the Eagles’ 30-0 loss to the visiting Hurricanes in an Intercounty South contest held at Smith Vocational in Northampton on Friday.  STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Easthampton seniors Giancarlo Osiecki, left (obscured), Luke Krause, on ground, and Peter Holbrook, right, combine for a tackle on Shaun Kastner Jr. (28) of Hoosac Valley in the first half of the Eagles' 30-0 loss to the visiting Hurricanes in an Intercounty South match held at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Easthampton junior quarterback Shea Healy drops back to pass in the first half of the Eagles' 30-0 home loss to Hoosac Valley in their Intercounty South match held at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 10/1/2021 10:17:00 PM

NORTHAMPTON – The Easthampton football team fell behind a Hoosac Valley squad that’s difficult to catch up to early Friday night.

The Eagles never got closer, and the Hurricanes left Smith Vocational with a 30-0 victory, Easthampton’s first loss of the season. The Eagles are playing home games in Northampton because a new middle school is being built on their traditional home field at White Brook Middle School.

“We made too many mistakes, and when you play a good team like that, you can’t make those mistakes,” said Eashampton coach Matt Bean.

Easthampton (3-1) got the ball first and drove to the Hoosac Valley 29 behind on-target passing from junior quarterback Shea Healy. The drive stalled, and the Hurricanes took over.

Hoosac Valley running back Shaun Kastner Jr. took over, too. He gained nine yards on his first carry then ripped of a 43-yard burst to the Easthampton 15 yard line.

“It gave us momentum for the whole game. It literally started everything for our offense,” Kastner said. “It was a whole booster.”

Kastner scored from two yards out two plays later to put the Hurricanes up 6-0 with 7 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first quarter. He finished with 126 yards on the ground after just 16 carries.

Easthampton didn't even get a chance to respond.

Hoosac Valley (3-1) recovered an onside kick then embarked on an 11-play, 47-yard drive that quarterback Carson Meczywor capped with a three-yard touchdown run. It was the first of three scores for the senior signal caller and gave the Hurricanes a 14-0 lead with 1:15 left in the first.

“We let them get comfortable, and when they start running that double wing, it’s just grinding it out,” Bean said.

The Hurricanes defense forced a turnover on downs then started grinding again. Five runs put Hoosac Valley in a third-and-10 situation, and Meczywor completed his only pass of the night: a 38-yard seam toss to Caleb Harrington.

Meczywor bowled in for another touchdown four plays later to go up 22-0 with 2:24 to halftime. It was the same play he scored all three touchdowns on: just snap the ball and run forward behind the line.

“Keep it simple, keep refining, and have some wrinkles that come off of what works,” Hoosac Valley coach Mike Bostwick said. “That’s a big part of our game plan.”

Hoosac Valley received the second half kickoff and drove into the red zone, but Easthampton senior Luke Kraus intercepted a Meczywor pass at the Eagles’ nine yard line.

“I was reading the tight end every single play. As soon as he came off the ball, I was guarding,” Kraus said. “It was a big confidence booster.”

The Eagles mounted their strongest offensive challenge of the night on the ensuing drive. After two short gains, Eagles running back Giancarlo Osiecki took off up the middle on a draw play for 48 yards. A personal foul moved the Eagles even closer. A fumbled snap on third and six all but neutralized the threat, which finished with an incomplete pass on fourth down.

The Hurricanes strung together a 15-play, 75-yard drive that Meczywor finished with a two-yard sneak with 7:20 left that started a running clock after the two-point run (also by Meczywor).

Despite the running clock, Bean called a timeout to gather his team and explain the importance of finishing the game strong.

Easthampton drove into the red zone on its final drive, but freshman Griffin Mucci ended the threat and preserved the shutout with a walk off interception with a minute left that ended the game.

“I was proud of the way we played at the end," Bean said. “The defense played better in the second half, so it’s something you have to learn.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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