Cathedral dismantles Turners, 54-7

SPRINGFIELD – It was expected to be an intriguing showdown between two playoff-bound teams, and maybe it would have fit the bill had both teams shown up.

In easily its sloppiest and most inconsistent performance of the season, the Turners Falls High School football team was rolled over by Cathedral High School 54-7 Saturday in Intercounty League football game on Senior Day Saturday at Central High School’s Berte Field.

“I’m not sure what to say about this one,” Turners Falls Coach Chris Lapointe said. “We didn’t come to play, weren’t in the game mentally and it showed.”

The loss secured the Indians a fourth seed and a likely road trip to McCann Tech for the opening round of the playoffs this weekend. The loss also sets up a Mohawk/Franklin Tech rematch Friday night in Buckland.

Things started off well for Turners, when sophomore Jalen Sanders ran back the opening kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown. Malcolm Smith kicked the extra-point to make the score 7-0. Unfortunately for the Indians, it was their last trip to the end zone until what wound up being a very somber post-game “discussion.”

The rest of the contest belonged to Cathedral, which punished Turners with a bruising running attack powered by Derek Boyd and Veshon Sharp, who combined for 312 of the Panther’s 393 rushing yards and accounted for six of Catherdal’s seven touchdowns, the first of which occurred on the first offensive series, when Sharp ran it in from 5 yards out. Tim Patterson’s two-point conversion run made the score 8-7, and it was off to the races.

The Indians were unable to develop any semblance of offensive rhythm while displaying difficulty holding onto the pigskin, fumbling it away five times, twice on consecutive post-touchdown kickoffs. Cathedral, by contrast, was dominant in every aspect of the game, racking up 30 points in a devastating second quarter that saw them turn three of those Turners fumbles into touchdowns and a game-set-match 38-7 halftime lead.

Cathedral quarterback Josh Wyzik did not throw a pass, opting instead to take advantage of Turners’ inconsistent run defense to chew up yards and the clock. The Panther defense also got into the act, sacking Smith and backup quarterback Ricky Carver three times for a net loss of 31 yards. The Indians managed to force two Cathedral fumbles in the second half, but were unable to convert them into points.

Turners’ most consistent offensive weapon was Sanders, who caught three passes for 51 yards and rushed nine times for 38 yards. Smith finished 5 for 7 passing for 73 yards and generated 51 yards on just four carries. Melvin Moreno and Brody Markol each caught one pass, for 18 and 4 yards, respectively.

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