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Pioneer rolls past Dean Tech, 40-14

HOLYOKE — In need of a rebound win after last week’s lopsided home loss to Ware High School, Pioneer Valley Regional School hit the road Friday night, visiting Dean Technical High School for a Tri-County League contest held on the field turf at the Roberts’ Sports Complex.

Pioneer (3-1 overall, 3-1 TCL) came out strong and got the much needed win, beating Dean 40-14, and the Panthers looked much more like the team that put up big league wins against Palmer High School and Pathfinder Regional Technical School to open the season, than the team that took the field last week.

Junior quarterback Cole Tognarelli had a stellar night for the Panthers, and the Hawks (1-3, 1-3 TCL) could never get off the ground. Tognarelli shined on both sides of the ball, collecting an interception and two fumble recoveries on defense, while throwing for two touchdowns and running for two more on offense.

“I want to set my game up on defense,” said Tognarelli “I tried that more than offense today, and think it turned out pretty well. The biggest difference from last week was our line play on both sides, but the defensive line really stepped it up a lot, and that’s pretty much how we got our win today.”

After a lackluster first drive, the Panthers came out strong on defense, ending the Dean Tech drive with an interception for a touchdown by Zack Lambert. Tognarelli then hit Jake Hale for the 2-point conversion and the Panthers never looked back.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Panthers took over on the Hawks’ 42, and Tognarelli hit Alex Tyson for his first touchdown on the first and only play of the drive. The conversion attempt failed, and the lead was 14-0.

On the second play of the second quarter, Tognarelli pounced on the first of his fumble recoveries, and six plays later scampered 29 yards down the sideline for the touchdown. Before the half ended, the Panthers had a 32-8 lead, and firm control of the game.

The second half was sloppy for both teams, with penalties on both sides that prevented either team from falling into any kind of rhythm. The teams traded touchdowns in the third, which ended the scoring for the night.

“The offensive line was like night and day from last week,” said Pioneer head coach Glen Wilson” they really stepped up and gave Cole the time he needed. I though that was a big advantage for us right there”

Pioneer returns to action Oct. 5 at home versus TCL rival Mohawk Trail Regional High School at 1 p.m.

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