HS football: Long bomb catches Smith Vocational off guard in senior night loss

For the Gazette
Published: 10/8/2021 10:39:53 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The Smith Vocational football team never expected a deep pass from Monument Mountain's backup quarterback.

It caught the Vikings off guard and put them in an early hole.

In the third quarter, Smith thought it recovered a blocked punt for a first down. The Spartans took advantage of the break and took a two-score lead.

The momentum never seemed to be in Smith's favor as the Vikings suffered a 14-0 loss to Monument on Friday night.

Smith Vocational fell to 1-4 with the senior night setback. Monument evened its mark at 2-2.

“This is going to sound weird since we lost, but we played well,” Smith Vocational coach Alex Subocz said. “We just never fully got the momentum going. Every time we started getting it, either we did something or they made a play and it went backwards.”

Monument was on the move in the second quarter when starting quarterback Hunter Degrenier went down with an injury. The Spartans had first-and-10 at the Smith Voke 27-yard line when Degrenier rolled out. Smith senior Cole Boisvert came from behind and dumped Degrenier for a 4-yard loss. Play was stopped as Degrenier was tended to by emergency personnel. An ambulance eventually took Degrenier off the field and play resumed with 5 minutes, 20 second left.

On the first play, backup QB Reece Mullen (the Spartans' starting running back) found Ashton Aloisi, who outjumped the secondary inside the 10 and pushed into the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown. Mullen then found Nick Henderson on the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

“I thought they were going to run the ball,” Subocs said. “We came into this game after seeing the film that we wanted to play downhill. We want to play aggressive. … We wanted to attack (their running backs). They beat us on that deep fly.”

The Vikings attempted to answer on the next series. Sophomore quarterback Alex Martinez (14-for-23, 119 yards passing) completed four passes, including three to John Majewski, to lead the Vikings to the Spartans' 20. A bad snap on third-and-1 resulted in a loss and a fumbled snap on fourth down ended the drive.

“It's a tough one as a coach,” Subocz said. “We did a lot of good things, but the mistakes we made cost us in the end.”

The Vikings' defense forced a three-and-out to open the third quarter. Smith's ensuing drive stalled after three plays, but it appeared the Vikings caught a break. Martinez took the snap on fourth-and-3 from the 36, but punted. His kick was blocked by Monument at the line, but Smith recovered the ball on its own 47.

While the Vikings initially thought they had a first down, the officials ruled that Monument had possession from the downed punt. Five rushing plays later, Shaun Frank gave the Spartans a 14-0 lead with an 8-yard touchdown run.

“Bad luck,” Subocz said of the punt.

Smith marched to the red zone on its next series. Martinez completed four passes on the drive, including three to Boisvert (eight catches, 64 yards). Boisvert turned one of the receptions into a hook-and-lateral with Peter Soto.

Facing third-and-6 at the 15, Martinez was dropped for a loss. On fourth-and-14, a potential first down catch by Majewski (five catches, 46 yards) was knocked away.

“Hard-fought game,” Boisvert said. “I wish we could have run the ball a little better, finished it when we got into the red zone. We had a few opportunities we could have finished up on, but it was a well-played game.”

Smith had 21 yards rushing on 23 carries as a team.

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