H.S. Football: Northampton rolls past Easthampton on Turkey Day, 41-14 (PHOTOS)

  • Benjamin Sledzieski of Northampton works to get by Jack Boyle of Easthampton during the game Thursday morning at Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Angel Moody jumps over players but ends up loosing the ball to #22 of Northampton, Mykal Norris, in the Thursday morning game in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Mykal Norris of Northampton brings the ball down the field trying to get by Luke Johndrow of Easthampton during the game Thursday morning at Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • #17 of Northampton, Trey Rios tackles, #6 of Easthampton, Luke Johndrow during the game Thursday morning in Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Mykal Norris of Northampton brings the ball down the field and gets tackled by #10 Tommy O'Connor and #2 BB Tauscher of Easthampton in the game Thursday morning at Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • #22 of Northampton, Mykal Norris, catches an interception with #33 of Easthampton Angel Moody on the ground during the Thursday morning game in Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Wesley Parent and Mykal Norris of Northampton tackle #2 of Easthampton, BB Tauscher duringthe Thursday morning game at Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Benjamin Sledzieski of Northampton scores with Jayden Brown behind him of Easthampton bringing the score to 12-0 in the Thursday morning game at Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • #14 of Easthampton, Colin Hogan stops #4 of Northampton, Kelvin Perez from the bringing the ball down the field in Thursdays game at Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer 
Published: 11/24/2022 4:44:51 PM
Modified: 11/24/2022 4:44:40 PM

NORTHAMPTON – Turnovers were the difference in a wild Thanksgiving Day game between Northampton and Easthampton on Thursday morning. 

The Blue Devils remained undefeated in the annual “Battle of the Hamptons,” securing a 41-14 victory over the Eagles on their home field. The Blue Devils were led by quarterback Ben Sledzieski, who scored four touchdowns. 

“Last year I wasn't able to play this game. So it just feels amazing being able to come here and do this,” Sledzieski said. 

The first quarter was a tight battle between the two squads, with both teams only possessing the ball one drive apiece. Northampton won the coin toss and received first, working its way up the field over a six-minute span before Sledzieski scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0. Easthampton’s Luke Johndrow shut down the two-point attempt to keep the score there. 

Easthampton steadily worked its way back up the field from the 24 yard line, helped along by a 35-yard gain on a third-and-14 play. By the end of the first, Easthampton was 15 yards from the end zone and a touchdown away from tying things up. 

Chaos erupted in the second quarter. With Northampton leading 14-0, the Blue Devils’ defense stopped the Eagles on their first possession and forced them to punt. Set up on the 46 yard line, Marty Maslowski tried to run the ball but fumbled it over to Easthampton on the 39 yard line. 

With renewed life, Easthampton tried to make something out of the turnover but Healey threw an interception to Mykal Norris on the very first play. Not deterred by his recent turnover, head coach Joe Kocot gave the ball back to Maslowski, who ran 58 yards to give Northampton a dominant 21-0 lead with 5:54 remaining in the second. 

The Eagles couldn’t do anything on their next drive, getting a first down before they were stymied on the second on a fourth and five attempt, throwing an incomplete pass to hand the ball back to the home team. 

Northampton looked all set to pick up another touchdown. Wesley Parent ran the ball 20 and 25 yards, respectively, on back-to-back plays, and it appeared that the Blue Devils scored a touchdown before a flag pushed them back 10 yards. Northampton struggled to get back in the end zone, throwing two incomplete passes, and Easthampton’s Tommy O’Connor recorded a sack to make it fourth-and-17. With nothing to lose, the Blue Devils went for the TD, but fumbled the ball away to Jack Boyle, who ran it back 83 yards to get the Eagles on the board with less than a minute left on the clock. 

Easthampton tried an onside kick, but Northampton recovered it. On the first down attempt, Maslowski fumbled again, giving the Eagles the ball back with 17 seconds left to try and make something happen. 

Though they didn’t find the end zone before the buzzer sounded, the Eagles went into halftime with renewed life from their late touchdown and fumble recovery. 

“Just that going into the half, it gave us a little boost and gave the kids a reason to be positive and to finish out the half,” Easthampton head coach Matt Bean said. “We know they’re a good team, there's no getting around it there. We knew from the beginning that it was going to be a tough game.”

Northampton made sure it was a tough game in the second half, correcting its mistakes from the first half and continuing to boost its lead. Sledzieski scored his third touchdown of the game on a 55-yard run in the third quarter, and Maslowski made it 34-8 Northampton with less than two minutes to go in the same frame after the Blue Devils forced a turnover on downs. 

Sledizieski scored the dagger for the Blue Devils to kick off the final frame, and the extra point was good to make it 41-8 Northampton. Easthampton ended the game on a positive note with a 40-yard touchdown from O’Connor, but it was too little, too late for the Eagles.  

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