H.S. Football: Owen Dawson, Evan Piquette power South Hadley past Ludlow, 40-8

  • South Hadley senior lineman Jake Jackson reacts after Evan Piquette recovered a St. Bernard's fumble during action earlier this season. The Tigers defeated Ludlow, 40-8, on Friday night. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 10/8/2021 11:18:20 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — After starting the season 1-3 against a difficult schedule, the South Hadley football team was determined to get another win Friday night.

The Tigers did just that, and it came in commanding fashion.

South Hadley dominated to the tune of a 40-8 Suburban North victory over Ludlow.

One step at a time and one play at a time was all it took for the Tigers to regain their confidence throughout the game. A 60-yard punt return from Brock Fitzell in the first four minutes of the game was a helping hand to what was an overall convincing win. The game plan was followed and big rushing plays forced the needed momentum to get ahead of the Lions quickly.

“That was our first punt return of the year. That was good and our swinging gate worked out well,” South Hadley head coach Scott Taylor said.

The little things in their offense dictated the way the game would play out, according to Taylor. In fact, the offense worked effectively enough to give the Tigers four rushing touchdowns.

The first rushing score came from running back Evan Piquette, a 6-yard touchdown right through the hole of the defensive line. Piquette and running back partner Owen Dawson combined for five touchdowns – Dawson with three and Piquette with two. 

The inside and outside routes were working to perfection.

“Playing outside definitely helped a lot and then our fullback [Piquette] was working inside, so all together it was just working good,” Dawson said.

Dawson and Piquette each recorded a touchdown in the first quarter. Dawson’s first rushing score was 10 yards after the long 60-yard punt return to start the game, and then Piquette finished the quarter at the 36 second mark with a 6-yard rushing TD. 

Piquette answered back in under a minute after Ludlow scored its only touchdown of the night in the second quarter. The South Hadley rush play was drawn to the left side of the field for an open touchdown run of 15 yards. 

Dawson executed a perfect swing gate rush play in the first 16 seconds of the third quarter. He ran for 70 yards after he caught a glimpse of the whole left side open for his taking. Quarterback Noah Marion quickly took the snap and flipped it to Dawson, which allowed Dawson to get his chance to reach the end zone on a clear-cut drive; and he did just that.

The Tigers’ lone passing touchdown came in the second quarter right before halftime. Dawson once again scored on a 21-yard touchdown as he slipped through the defense and made ground right in the end zone from a perfectly placed throw from Marion. 

Ludlow managed to get a little more out of the game by earning a safety in the fourth quarter.

Nonetheless, the Tigers came away with a confident showing with a huge contest against Pittsfield (3-1) on deck.

“This is playoff week. We’re playing for the league championship next week, so I don’t think I’m fooling anyone when I say that. Pittsfield is coming in here and they’re the higher ranked team and they’re the team everyone is talking about,” Taylor concluded. 

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