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Hawks open with 12-6 win over Ludlow

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It wasn’t the prettiest way to launch a new era of Frontier Regional School football, but first-year coach Don Gordon and his Red Hawks will take it.

Frontier used a varied running attack and took advantage of a number of Ludlow High School mishaps to upend the Lions, 12-6, in an Intercounty League football game Friday night.

The Red Hawks started off strong, moving the ball almost at will on the first offensive series behind the running of junior backs Justin Blake and Jack Hebert and junior quarterback Oliver Fox. The drive stalled, however, with a fumble and a sack at the Ludlow 43. The Lions didn’t fare much better on their first series, punting the ball to the Frontier 26.

Two plays later, Fox — looking more like a gazelle — took the ball around the left end, deked out two Ludlow defenders, and sprinted into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown. Ludlow managed to stop Hebert’s point-after run, keeping the score 6-0.

Ludlow had difficult getting into anything resembling an offensive rhythm, but did manage to get on the scoreboard early in the second quarter, when a Kyle Mederios punt skipped off the hands of Frontier deep man Ariq Welch and ended up in the end zone, where it was fallen on by Ludlow’s Andrew Conchinha. Daniel Rodriques’ point after pass attempt fell incomplete, tying the game 6-6 heading into halftime.

Frontier would take advantage of the first of three second-half Ludlow fumbles to set up the eventual winning touchdown. One play after Frontier’s Justin Farrick recovered the fumble at the Lion 6, Fox rolled right and hit junior Ian Blight in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Ludlow managed to stop the point-after run, but the Hawks had the lead they would not relinquish.

Ludlow would be unable to mount any sustained offense the rest of the way, in part because of Frontier’s defense, which featured five freshman starters.

“The defense played great tonight,” Gordon said as he cluched the game ball. “I think we need to do some work on the offensive line, but we were happy to come out with the win.”

Frontier travels to Springfield on Sept. 21 to take on Cathedral High School.

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