South Hadley football overcomes slow start, blitzes Commerce 36-0

Staff writer
Published: 10/4/2018 11:08:04 PM

SPRINGFIELD — Penalty flags prevented South Hadley’s Hunter Carey from returning a punt for a touchdown the first time the Tigers touched the football against the High School of Commerce.

Infractions like that and missed assignments stymied South Hadley though the first 15 minutes Thursday at Berte Field.

“Too many mental errors,” South Hadley coach Scott Taylor said.

Then Carey received another opportunity to return a punt. He sidestepped a tackle immediately after fielding the ball, weaved through traffic, raced across the field and caught one more block near the 25-yard line as part of a 74-yard touchdown.

“I got a little bit of my confidence back,” Carey said. “Make a play out of nothing.”

South Hadley scored on its next three drives and left with a 36-0 victory.

Two of those drives lasted two plays. Ben Watkins ran for a 31-yard touchdown with 4 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first half. He broke through the line on the right side and ran untouched to the end zone for a 22-0 lead.

Hunter Borowski put the Tigers (3-2, 2-0 Suburban North) up 30-0 1:02 before halftime with a well-blocked 41-yard run down the right side.

“It took us a little while to get back to reality,” Borowski said. “Our offense started to click, and once we started to click we weren’t looking back.”

Borowski scored three touchdowns and ran for 93 yards on just seven carries. He put South Hadley up 6-0 with 6:00 left in the first quarter and capped the Tigers’ scoring with a 15-yard run with 3:42 left in the third quarter.

“Momentum’s a funny thing. Once we scored that second touchdown they relaxed and got into the flow of the game,” Taylor said. “The difference between good and great is so small, we’ve got to close that gap.”

South Hadley’s defense was great. The Tigers allowed zero net rushing yards and minus-2 net passing yards. Dylan Cottingham made a interception in the fourth quarter, and Ryan Levrault had a sack.

The Tigers have won three games in a row following a tough 0-2 start. They are in sole possession of first place in the Suburban North standings at 2-0. Pittsfield and Taconic are both 1-0 in the league. The Generals face Chicopee on Friday, while the Braves travel to Hoosac Valley.

“We’re right where we want to be,” Borowski. “We control our own destiny.”

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