Hoosac too much for Red Raiders
ATHOL — The first series had the Athol High School football team thinking upset. But things changed dramatically once the Hoosac Valley High School got their hands on the pigskin.
The Hurricanes torched the Red Raiders for seven touchdowns and 428 yards on the ground en route to a 46-6 opening night independent drubbing at O’Brien Field.
Things started off well for Athol, which came out with a varied attack led largely by senior captains Jerry Parker and Andrew Poor and junior captain Todd Smith. Athol head coach Matt Gauvin’s new three-headed offensive monster took turns switching off between quarterback, tailback and fullback as they methodically moved the ball downfield on an eight-play, 69-yard touchdown drive which ended with Poor hauled in a 4-yard pass from Smith. Hoosac managed to stop Smith’s conversion run to keep the score 6-0.
The enthusiasm on the Athol sideline would dissipate quickly once Hoosac began to march downfield almost at will, mostly behind the power running of senior fullback Ian Hill (15 carries, 174 yards), who blasted through a number of huge holes which were blown open by a dominant Hurricane offensive line. Hoosac junior back Tyler Mach tied it with a 9-yard TD run, and Austin Milesi booted the extra point to give Hoosac a lead it would not relinquish.
Athol came close to tying the game on the next series, working the ball all the way down to the Hoosac 1, but the Hurricane defense held up, eventually sacking Smith for an 11-yard loss, and taking over on downs when Parker’s end zone pass to Sean Smart fell incomplete.
Hoosac once again capitalized, employing a no-huddle offense to taking the ball 88 yards on an eight-play series which ended with an 8-yard touchdown run by quarterback Matt Koperniak. Milesi’s PAT kick made it 14-6. Hoosac added another score before the end of the half when Hill scampered 76 yards to paydirt, one play after a questionable call which saw the Hurricanes recover a fumble which appeared to occur after Parker was down by contact following a pass reception.
Things didn’t get much better for the Red Raiders in the second half, when a Poor fumble gave Hoosac the ball at the Athol 6. Two plays later, Hill was in the end zone again, courtesy of a 3-yard run. Athol fumbled again on the next series, giving Hoosac the ball at the 46, Five plays later, Mach was in the end zone again following a 24-yard run.
The Hurricanes added fourth-quarter scores from Koperniak (18-yard run) and David O’Brien (38-yarder).