Ware dumps Hawks, 27-8
Ware 7 Zamah McCoy Fro 42 Jack Hebert Purchase photo reprints »
Ware 83 Doug Pulcherpek pulls in a long pass beating Frontier 43 Justin Blake. Purchase photo reprints »
Fron 20 Matt Ackerman tackled by Ware 7 Zamah McCoy Purchase photo reprints »
Frontier 7 Rylan Baronas scores TD Purchase photo reprints »
SOUTH DEERFIELD — There was a small fireworks display from a neighboring house following Frontier Regional School’s Friday-night football game.
Unfortunately for the Red Hawks, there were no fireworks on the field, as the hosts managed just 80 yards of total offense in a 27-8 independent loss to Ware High School.
Ware’s Zerrod McCoy rushed for four touchdowns, collecting one in every quarter, and Ware (6-3) wrapped up the fourth and final berth in the WMass Division IV Tournament.
McCoy and the rest of the Ware rushing attack — which accumulated 179 rushing yards on 37 carries — was helped out on the night by some sloppy Red Hawks tackling. Frontier coach Scott Dredge admitted to the frustration after the game, and also attributed it to his squad missing some players due to injury.
“I don’t know where that’s coming from, it’s like they’re not being coached,” he said of the poor tackling. “And it hurts not having Charlie (Tirrell) and Chris (Toomey). They are significant factors.”
Tirrell is out with a leg injury but may play on Thanksgiving Eve, when Frontier travels to Buckland for its rivalry game against Mohawk Trail Regional High School. Toomey started the Friday’s game but had to leave in the second quarter when he re-aggravated a nagging shoulder injury.
Ware scored first after Frontier’s first possession ended in a three-and-out and wound up with punter Brandon Bryant shanking his kick off the side of his foot for a 9-yard boot that set up Ware at the Frontier 38. The Indians converted on a third-and-13 on the drive, when quarterback Andrew Koczur (3-of-7, 54 yards passing) found Doug Pulcherpek for a 22-yard gain, and McCoy finished it off with a 5-yard scoring run with 1 minute, 44 seconds left in the first quarter. The extra point drilled the uprights and shot back onto the field.
Frontier (2-7) answered in the second quarter by taking over just before the midpoint. The Red Hawks went on a 12-play, 53-yard drive in which Toomey rushed for 16 yards, Jack Hebert rushed for 13, and QB Rylan Baronas finished it off with a 6-yard scoring run with 2:27 left. Baronas then hit Oliver Fox with the conversion pass for an 8-6 Frontier lead.
That lead didn’t last long, due in part to poor tackling by Frontier. Koczur had three rushes for 48 yards on the ensuing Ware drive that began at its own 20 and ended with McCoy’s 4-yard TD run with 12.4 seconds to go before half.
The third quarter was one that the Frontier offense would just as soon forget. The Hawks took the opening kick of the second half and on the third play of the drive Baronas (3-for-8, 9 yards) threw a pass over the middle that Ware linebacker Nick Kulig picked off with one hand. After the Ware drive stalled, Frontier took over at its own 15 and moved the ball out to the 30 before being forced to punt. The snap on the punt attempt was well offline and Ware wound up taking over at the Frontier 9, from where it took just two plays to score, when McCoy ran it in from 3 yards out. Afterward, Dredge said that the inconsistent play by the offense has become a theme this fall.
“That’s kind of been our season,” he began. “We look great one series or two, and then we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Ware added one more score on a McCoy 8-yard run with 1:18 left.
Note: The game was delayed for 20 minutes with 1:10 remaining in the fourth quarter when Frontier special teamer Austin Allaire went down with a broken leg. The EMTs on duty were already leaving the field when the play happened and had to be summoned back. Allaire is a senior in his first year playing football and plays primarily on special teams. He left in an ambulance.