Franklin Tech hands Smith School 48-0 loss

TURNERS FALLS — The only thing remotely suspenseful about this game was the halftime 50-50 raffle.

The Franklin County Technical School football team continued its early-season dominance of Tri-County League opponents, rolling over a first-year Smith Vocational High School program 48-0 Saturday afternoon.

It was another week behind the woodshed for the first-year Vikings, who came into Saturday’s game still looking for their program’s first win, sporting an 0-4 record and outscored by their opponents 184-20. It would be no different on this day, with the high-powered Eagles scoring three touchdowns in their first 10 offensive plays. The first Tech series consumed 73 yards in only three plays, ending with a 16-yard touchdown run by quarterback C.J. Daigneault (5-for-7 passing for 106 yards). Nate Crocker hit the extra-point kick to make the score 7-0.

Franklin Tech would extend the lead on the next offensive play, when Kyle Laffey (11 carries, 99 yards) hit Dale Daignault in the back of the end zone with a perfectly executed 16-yard halfback option pass. Crocker’s point-after kick sailed wide left, his only extra-point miss of the day, to keep the score 13-0.

Tech failed to score on the next series, when Crocker narrowly missed a 25-yard field goal attempt, but the Eagles extended the lead to 20-0 on the following series, when Laffey scored from seven yards out after Tech recovered the first of Smith Voke’s four fumbles.

The Daignault brothers would hook up on Tech’s next offensive series, when C.J. hit a wide-open Dale on the right sideline for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Crocker booted the extra point to make it 27-0. Laffey scored shortly before the end of the half on a nine-yard touchdown run, and Crocker’s extra-point kick made it 34-0 heading into halftime.

The second half began pretty much how the first ended, with the Eagles marching 69 yards on five plays — all runs by Laffey — which ended with the senior speedster taking it in from 33 yards out. Crocker’s extra point made the score 41-0 and marked the end of the day for the Tech starters.

Though clearly outmatched, Smith Voke showed a lot of spirit and received some solid individual performances, most notably running back Elijah Salaam, who carried the ball 15 times for 37 yards. The Vikings also kept their heads throughout the rout, committing only two penalties for ten yards. Their biggest problem was holding onto the football, which they fumbled four times, three of which led directly to Franklin Tech touchdowns.

The Eagles rounded out the scoring early in the fourth quarter, when senior back Jacob Brooks took advantage of a huge off-tackle hole and ran 45 yards up the middle for the touchdown. Crocker once again split the uprights to create the 48-0 final.

“Sometimes, games like this can be letdown games, and I felt our initial effort today was a little lackluster. But overall it was a strong performance, and we got a lot of contributions today from some people that wouldn’t have ordinarily,” Franklin Tech coach Joe Gamache said.

“Smith Voke is a first-year program and they jumped in with both feet, but they’ve got some good athletes over there and they have a lot to build on.”

Gamache says he’s preparing for an intense week as the Eagles get ready for Friday night’s league showdown game on the road against Mohawk Trail Regional High School.

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