Hunter Borowski’s late interception seals South Hadley football’s Thanksgiving win vs. Holyoke

Published: 11/23/2017 3:30:46 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — Hunter Borowski saw the pass coming.

Holyoke beat him on a post route in the middle of the field earlier in the drive, and the South Hadley junior knew the Purple Knights would run the play again. He tracked the ball in the middle of the field and snatched it out of the air at his own 12 yard line with 8 minutes, 6 seconds remaining.

“I baited him a little bit and jumped it at the last second,” Borowski said.

The interception ended Holyoke’s threat to tie the game down one score. South Hadley ran the ball six straight times on its next drive, and Borowski punctuated it with a 15-yard run down the left sideline to the end zone.

“That was great, I wanted to do it for the seniors, really,” Borowski said.

The touchdown sealed South Hadley’s 34-21 win Thursday, giving the Tigers a series advantage in the teams’ first meeting on Thanksgiving.

“It’s kind of sweet because I can look back on my senior year in 50 years when they’re still playing this game and say I won the first one,” South Hadley senior Matt Lougnrey said.

Holyoke (6-5) threatened one more time after the interception. The Purple Knights drove inside South Hadley’s 10 yard line thanks to three passes in quick succession. Their pass protection didn’t hold up when fourth down arrived, though, and Marcus Larrier and Ryan Levrault sacked Lessandro Colon to end the drive and recover the ball.

“They were keying so much on (Giovanni Carrasquillo) we had to find other alternatives,” Holyoke coach Joe Dutsar said. “We threw a little more than we have the past few weeks.”

South Hadley (6-5) knew it would need to stop Carrasquillo to keep pace in the game. He scored on an 8-yard run set up by a 37-yard pass from Colon to Isaiah Lopez to put Holyoke up 7-0 in the game’s first two minutes. That was the extent of his damage, though, after he finished with 38 yards on 12 carries.

“The kids did great. We had two weeks to prepare for the game, so you get to watch a lot of film,” South Hadley coach Scott Taylor said. “The kids did their jobs.”

The Tigers’ focus on Carrasquillo gave Colon more space to operate. He put Holyoke up 14-0 on a 44-yard run on its next possession with 7:33 left in the first quarter.

“It’s kind of been the mantra of our season, we start a little slow, but we can pick ourselves up,” Lougnrey said. “That’s what kind of team we are.”

Liam Dawson found the end zone from four yards out on South Hadley’s next drive to cut the deficit to 14-6 after a missed extra point with 4:36 left in the first quarter. The Tigers then converted a perfect bounced onside kick to get the ball back but went three and out.

Holyoke punted, and Dawson ran in from two yards out to cap South Hadley’s drive and scored a two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 with 7:52 to halftime.

“We always find it within ourselves,” he said. “It’s not good to let up points in the first quarter, but we always bounce back, and we always fight.”

South Hadley forced a fumble on Holyoke’s kick return that Aiden Sullivan recovered to get the ball back again. Senior quarterback Michael Pratt led a six-play drive capped by a five-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Larrier to give the Tigers a 21-14 lead with 5:19 to halftime

Holyoke tied the game at 21 on a six-yard pass from Colon to Finn Lubold with 24.1 seconds left in the half.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Pratt guided the Tigers back into rhythm again early in the fourth. He hit Hunter Carey on a four-yard out with 9:57 left.

“That’s what leaders do. The kids playing quarterback for us know it’s not going to be a glamorous position,” Taylor said. “(Pratt) always worked to get better, and no matter what he did he was able to bounce off of it and keep going.”

South Hadley’s second lead proved secure, as Borowski made his interception on Holyoke’s next drive and ensured a third straight winning season for the Tigers. It’s the first time they’ve finished above .500 for three years in a row since 2006-08.

“It’s been a while,” Taylor said. “The kids played hard, and that’s all you can ask of them.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at

South Hadley 34, Holyoke 21







South Hadley






First quarter

H—Giovanni Carrasquillo 8 run (Martin Keane kick), 10:13.

H—Lessandro Colon 44 run (Keane kick), 7:33.

SH—Liam Dawson 4 run (Kick failed), 4:36

Second quarter

SH—Dawson 2 run (Dawson run), 7:52.

SH—Marcus Larrier 5 pass from Michael Pratt (Shawn Mitchell kick), 5:19

H—Finn Lubold 6 pass from Colon (Keane kick), :24.1.

Third quarter

No scoring.

Fourth quarter

SH—Hunter Carey 4 pass from Pratt (Mitchell kick), 9:57.

SH—Hunter Borowski 15 run (Kick failed), 4:36.


RUSHING—South Hadley–Borowski 10-121, Dawson 20-84, Ben Watkins 6-48, Carey 4-33, Larrier 1-(-3). Holyoke-Colon 10-66, Carrasquillo 12-38, Jose Luciano 3-25, Kendrick Williams 1-2.

PASSING—South Hadley–Pratt 7-9-69-0, Dawson 0-1-0-0. Holyoke–Colon 7-16-100-1.

RECEIVING—South Hadley–Dawson 2-32, Watkins 2-16, Carey 1-4. Holyoke-Luciano 3-38, Isaiah Lopez 1-37, Joseph Dumolin 2-19, Lubold 1-6

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