Warriors rip Palmer
#10 Billy Gray faces off with defender #1 Leon Marsh.
#5 Bryce Macleod runs through a hole in Palmer's defence.
Mohawk's Stephen VonHaugg rushes past Palmer's Leon Marsh.
Mohawk scatback Billy Gray will be in action tonight at Pollard Field in Buckland, where his host Warriors face a huge early-season Tri-County League football tes against dangerous McCann Tech.
BUCKLAND — For the second straight week and for the third time in four games this season, the Mohawk Trail Regional High School football team imposed its collective will on its opponent. This time around, the unfortunate victim was Palmer High School.
The Warrior defense forced four turnovers and the offense did its part with six touchdowns on the night in a 44-0 Tri-County League rout at Pollard Field.
Things did not start off as a lopsided affair, as Palmer appeared to be able to move the ball on the Mohawk defense early on. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Warriors began to plug up the holes that had been there early, and in the process got their hands busy, causing numerous turnovers that helped Mohawk pile up points in the second quarter and take control of the game.
Mohawk (3-1) took a 6-0 lead into the second quarter after Billy Gray took a handoff on a fourth-and-7 play with just over three minutes left in the first quarter and rushed 44 yards on a counter play for the game’s first touchdown. Mohawk would blow things open with three touchdowns in the final five minutes of the second quarter, and it was led by the defense.
The Warriors took over at their own 18 after the defense stood tall on a fourth-and-2 from the 17 and dropped Palmer running back Robert Doucette (19 carries, 100 yards) for a 1-yard loss. Bryce Macleod (six carries, 88 yards) took a pair of hauls to move the ball all the way down to the Panther 25, and Stephen Reynolds (five carries, 122 yards) needed one carry to score from there. Palmer’s ensuing drive ended after just two plays when fullback Maxwell Garrant (14 carries, 40 yards) fumbled and set up the Warriors at the Palmer 46. After a pair of Macleod runs moved the ball to the Palmer 14, Luke Bissell did the honors of scoring the third touchdown of the game to put Mohawk up 22-0, a lead it looked to carry into the half. But the Warrior defensive line had other ideas, and when Palmer tried to pass on the following drive, Jake Ozechowski (two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery) sacked Palmer quarterback Aaron Palmer and stripped him of the ball. Javius Johnson picked up the ball at the 20 and began to rumble toward the end zone. He was brought down at the 8, but Macleod scored on the next play to put Mohawk up 28-0 at the break.
“I picked it up and didn’t really know where to go,” a smiling Johnson said after the game. “I just looked around and started chugging,”
“Don’t worry, I’m going to give him some pointers at practice this week,” Reynolds chimed in.
The second half became the Reynolds show, as the junior back took the opening kick back 78 yards for a touchdown, which would have been the second consecutive game in which he took the opening kick of the second half back for a score. Unfortunately for him, he was called for an excessive celebration penalty at the 2 and the touchdown was waived off.
“I didn’t know that was a penalty,” he said. “I was just excited, it was the second week in a row I did that.”
Reynolds took the first carry following the penalty and scored from 17 yards out, and later added a 68-yard score to finish his night.
Mohawk quarterback Andrew Doty returned after a one game absence. While he completed just 1-of-3 passes for 10 yards, he made noise on special teams when he blocked a punt.
Mohawk travels to Pioneer Valley Regional School on Oct. 5 at 1 p.m.