H.S. Football: Injuries derail Northampton in 35-0 loss to Westfield

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  • Above, Northampton senior fullback Dominic Badorini (12) succumbs to the grip of Westfield’s Matthew Adamites, left, and pressure from Silas Yesu, right, in the Blue Devils’ 35-0 loss to the visiting Bombers on Friday. At left, Belchertown’s Christopher Daskam (5) runs for a gain before being brought down by Greenfield’s Ryan Pulizari in the first half of the Orioles’ 22-14 loss at Vets Field in Greenfield. Stories and photos for all games can be found at gazettenet.com/sports KEVIN GUTTING (N’HAMP), DAN LITTLE (B’TOWN)

  • Northampton sophomore running back Mykal Norris (30) is tackled by Nick Bates of Westfield in the first quarter of the Blue Devils’ 35-0 loss to the visiting Bombers on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton junior quarterback Benjamin Sledzieski, right, runs past Westfield defenders Nick Bates, foreground, and Michael Ritchie, top, for short yardage in the first quarter of the Blue Devils' 35-0 loss to the visiting Bombers on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton junior lineman Caleb Steiniger, left, gets a handle on Westfield senior Ryan Ciimini for a tackle behind the line of scrimmage in the first quarter of the Blue Devils' 35-0 loss to the visiting Bombers on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton sophomore Marty Maslowski, far right, and junior Ryan Crowther (6) bring down Westfield's Ryan Cimini in the first quarter of the Blue Devils' 35-0 loss to the visiting Bombers on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

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    Northampton junior Trey Rios, right, signals "no gain" in a successful fourth down stand by the Blue Devils as teammate Wesley Parent (50) stopped a run by Westfield's Ryan Cimini in the first quarter of the Blue Devils' 35-0 loss to the visiting Bombers on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 9/17/2021 10:52:37 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton might have lost more than a football game Friday night.

The Blue Devils fell 35-0 in their home opener against Westfield, and three starters left the game injured before halftime.

Senior captain Dominic Badorini, junior lineman Joshua Castro and running back Mykal Norris did not start the second half.

“When things started going bad, they went bad several plays in a row,” Northampton coach Joe Kocot said. “We lost three players to probably season-ending (injuries).”

With those three in the game, particularly on defense, the Blue Devils kept pace with the Bombers. They forced a turnover on downs the first time Westfield touched the ball and only trailed the Bombers by one score after the first quarter – a Matthew Adamites five-yard run as the buzzer expired. Northampton forced Westfield into fourth down and 20 from the Northampton 27 halfway through the second quarter.

Westfield thought it had a touchdown on a Ryan Cimini run two plays earlier, but it was wiped out by a holding call. Then Adamites threw an incompletion on third down.

Michael Collins ensured his quarterback didn’t come up empty on fourth down. The Westfield tight end fought off a Northampton defensive back for the ball and hauled in a 27-yard score with 6:28 to halftime.

“Their quarterback threw a great ball. Our guy fell down,” Kocot said. “Some people thought it was pass interference, but it was a clean play.”

Westfield took that 14-0 lead into halftime rather than press for another score. Norris dropped two punts inside the five yard line in the first half to give the Bombers long fields and ran for 11 yards. Badorini had a 10-yard run and two catches for 25 yards. They both played on defense as well, along with Castro.

Without their three stalwarts, Westfield pulled away from the Blue Devils in the second half.

Cimini finished with 168 yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He had a 15-yard cutback run to make it 28-0 just 20 seconds in and a 46-yard burst to push the margin to 35-0 and start the running clock. Adamites added a 19-yard dash up the middle in the third, as well.

“We made some fundamental mistakes at the defensive end, and they took advantage of it with their fast running back,” Kocot said.

Northampton currently lacks the depth to absorb that many injuries in such a short span. It forced some players into duty earlier than they were prepared.

“We had guys in there that didn’t now what the play was, and again they didn’t play that position before we’re doing it on the run,” Kocot said.

After Cimini’s second touchdown, Trey Rios returned the kickoff past the 50 but couldn’t beat the last man for the touchdown. Northampton leaned on a combination of quarterback Ben Sledzieski and running back Ryan Crowther to try and avoid a shutout. Crowther had three receptions for nine yards and two carries for the another nine.

“He’s a baller,” Kocot said. “He’ll give you 110 percent every play. But again, one guy.”

Westfield’s defense held firm for its second consecutive shutout. The Blue Devils will travel to Holyoke next week.

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


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