Eagles pounce on Pathfinder
TURNERS FALLS (September 28, 2013) Franklin County Technical School Eagles Vs. Pathfinder of Palmer. Kyle Laffey (34) gains yardage. Photo by Beth Reynolds
TURNERS FALLS (September 28, 2013) Franklin County Technical School junior quarterback CJ Daignault will look to lead the Eagles' offense once again this season. Photo by Beth Reynolds
TURNERS FALLS (September 28, 2013) Franklin County Technical School Eagles Vs. Pathfinder of Palmer. Kyle Laffey (34) runs the ball with protection from Alec Milton (73). Photo by Beth Reynolds
TURNERS FALLS (September 28, 2013) Franklin County Technical School Eagles Vs. Pathfinder of Palmer. Coach and Ethan Wickline have a pre-game consultation. Photo by Beth Reynolds
TURNERS FALLS — The Eagle Express keeps rolling.
Yes, Franklin County Technical School continued its early-season dominance Saturday with a 35-6 drubbing of Tri-County League rival Pathfinder Regional in Turners Falls.
The Eagles put together one of the better total team efforts in recent memory, dominating the Pioneers on both sides of the ball for three of the game’s four quarters. The first frame, however, belonged to Pathfinder, which burned nine of the first 10 minutes on a marathon, 16-play, 62-yard scoring drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by Pioneer junior back Shane Neto (14 carries, 76 yards). Franklin Tech managed to stop the extra-point tote by quarterback Michael Kryzyowek to keep the score 6-0.
The drive nearly ended in what would have been a huge goal-line stand for the Eagles, who appeared to have Neto stopped in the backfield on fourth and four from the 4, but a strong second effort allowed the speedy back to sneak into the end zone for the score. Despite being the most effective weapon in that first series, in which he generated 54 of his game-high 76 rushing yards, Neto did not handle the ball much for the rest of the contest.
The opening turned out to be close to the total offense the Pioneers put up. The rest of the day belonged to the fired-up Eagles, who took the lead back early in the second quarter, when sophomore quarterback CJ Daignault ran in the first of his two rushing touchdowns. Nate Crocker hit the first of what would be five consecutive extra-point kicks to make it 7-6 Tech.
“We got a little nervous that first drive, but it’s sort of a tribute to the kids, the way they battled back,” Franklin Tech coach Joe Gamache said. “We’ve got a lot of guys flying to the football on defense right now, and it seemed like we pretty much completely shut them down after that.”
“We’re sort of going by the philosophy that if our defense can shut people down and we can chew up some clock and put some points on the board, we’ll be OK,” Gamache added. “Time of possession is kind of our best defense, but we’ve got some guys making some good plays out there on both sides of the ball right now and that’s what we need.”
Daignault scored again to cap the next series on a 15-yard touchdown run set up by a 29-yard pass play to senior back Kyle Laffey, who once again served as Gamache’s workhorse back, rushing 21 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
Crocker’s extra-point kick made the score 14-6 Tech going into halftime. The second half began with Tech’s longest sustained drive of the day, marching 56 yards on 11-plays in five minutes before Laffey took it in from 23 yards out. Senior back Jacob Brooks got into the scoring column early in the fourth with a 1-yard touchdown run. Laffey rounded out the scoring on Tech’s next series with a 10-yard touchdown run. Crocker’s point-after kick created the 35-6 final.
The Eagles got a break on the next play when Pathfinder did not properly cover the squib kickoff, allowing Tech to recover at the Pioneer 41. The blowout came to a merciful end two Daignault knees later.
Franklin Tech hosts first-year program Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School Saturday at home at 1.