Warriors shut out Athol, 34-0

For The Recorder
Friday, September 08, 2017

ATHOL — The Athol High School football team opened the season with an independent contest against Worcester County foe Narragansett High School Friday night at O’Brien Field, and it’s one that it will want to quickly forget.

The Red Raiders were steamrolled, 34-0, by the Warriors, who played a crisp and clean game, whereas Athol could never find a rhythm and played sloppily from the start.

From the first play from scrimmage, the Raiders looked off, as quarterback Nick Bousquet threw a short pass that bounced off the mitts of normally sure-handed back Robbie Nelson, and the Raiders had to punt after a three-and-out. It was a harbinger of things to come for Athol.

The Warriors managed only one first down on their first possession, but then held the Raiders to another three-play series. Narragansett would not sputter again on offense for the rest of the evening.

With 3:19 remaining in the first quarter, Warriors quarterback Damian Comeau, a sophomore, hit senior running back Jake Mott down the left sideline for a 40-yard score. Comeau added the PAT, and Narragansett was up 7-0.

Another quick stop gave the Warriors the ball back at their own 24 yard-line, and Athol just could not stop the relentless ’Gansett offense. On the first play of the second frame, Comeau once again found the end zone, this time on a 20-yard strike to sophomore receiver Antonio Stakley. The kick was again good, and the tone had been set.

Athol could not get out of its own way, committing six false starts on the night, one right after the other on two occasions, doing almost as much to stop its own momentum as the Warriors were doing defensively.

The Raiders’ defense also could not stop anyone carrying the ball. Eight different backs combined for 323 yards on 41 carries, led by Mott who powered his way to 151 yards on just 14 rushes.

Conversely, the Raiders rushed for just seven yards on the night as a squad, with only Nelson in positive figures with 37 yards on eight touches.

Narragansett stretched its lead to 28-0 at halftime, as Mott added touchdown runs of 5 and 11 yards.

The Warriors capped the scoring in the third quarter on yet another touchdown run by Mott, this time for 14 yards.

The only offensive snap Athol took in the fourth quarter was to punt it away on the first play of the frame, and the Warriors held the ball the rest of the way, running out the clock on 15 plays; all rushes. The Warriors ended the contest with 383 total yards to the Raiders 76, 53 of those on a long pass from Bousquet to Evan Saisa in the third quarter.

“No excuses, they were the better team and we didn’t do anything well tonight,” said Athol head coach Bill LaRose. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Athol will try to right the ship Friday night when it visits Turners Falls High School