Easthampton jumps on Monument, holds on for first win, 16-14

For the Gazette
Published: 10/7/2016 11:32:56 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Two quick touchdowns in the first quarter gave the Easthampton football team the edge Friday night as it outlasted Monument Mountain, 16-14, for its first win of the season.

“I knew this game was going to be close, so I wanted to get every point we could,” said Easthampton coach Matt Bean.

The Eagles (1–4, 1-0 Intercounty South) got off to a quick start when Camden Kelly scored a touchdown on a 20-yard pass from Max Weir, putting Easthampton on the board with 5 minutes left in the first quarter. Weir found Kelly again for the 2-point conversion to give the Eagles the 8-0 advantage.

Three downs and a punt later, Easthampton opened a 63-yard drive that led to another touchdown from Kelly, this time on a 2-yard run. Weir hit David Helems with a pass in the end zone for another two points to widen the gap to 16-0 before time ran out in the first quarter.

Kelly added 57 yards rushing, 20 yards receiving and two touchdowns for the Eagles.

“He’s fast, he does everything for us. He plays defense, he catches the ball, he runs,” said Bean. “He ran really hard today. It was just a good effort.”

The Eagles showed some tough defense early in the second quarter, recovering a fumble by Monument Mountain’s Cam Dargie. The Eagles couldn’t capitalize and turned the ball over on downs with 6:39 left in the quarter.

Monument Mountain (0-5, 0-2) and Easthampton traded the ball a few more times as the clock ran down in the second. After the Spartans turned the ball over on downs late, senior Ben Wyatt picked off a pass from Weir near the Eagles’ end zone for Monument Mountain.

The Spartans got on the board thanks to a 10-yard touchdown run from Shamaal Schoonmaker with just 11 seconds remaining, making the score 16-6 at the break.

The Spartans opened the second half with a 54-yard drive built mostly on runs. Schoonmaker, who had 84 yards, had some important gains for Monument Mountain. Dargie scored the Spartans’ second touchdown on a 3-yard carry with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. Nolan Dupont, who rushed for 35 yards, picked up the 2-point conversion to close the gap to 16-14.

Monument Mountain forced a turnover on downs early in the fourth quarter and had a chance to take the lead.

The Spartans reached the Eagles’ 7-yard line but couldn’t capitalize thanks to some tough Easthampton defense and a couple 10-yard holding penalties.

The Eagles ran the ball to wind the clock down and beat the Spartans.

“Today, especially the way the game ended up, it was better to run and use up the clock,” said Bean.

The Eagles visit Belchertown next Friday at 7 p.m.


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