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Chicopee controls clock, Athol in 24-2 win

  • Athol coach Bill LaRose watches his team play against Chicopee, Friday at Szot Park in Chicopee. STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES

  • Athol coach Bill LaRose meets with his team during a game against Chicopee, Friday at Szot Park in Chicopee. STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES

  • Anthony Marcucci, of Athol, watches from the sideline during a game against Chicopee, Friday at Szot Park in Chicopee. STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES

  • Athol coach Bill LaRose meets with his team during a game against Chicopee, Friday at Szot Park in Chicopee. STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES



Staff Writer
Friday, November 09, 2018

CHICOPEE — Playing without its leading rusher for most of the first half, the Athol football team lost to Chicopee, 24-2, at Szot Park on Friday night in non-tournament play.

On the rainy, muddy field, 1,000-yard rusher Mason Barrieau stood on the sideline with a clean uniform into the second quarter.

“There were some team issues there,” Athol coach Bill LaRose said. “Don’t really want to comment on that.”

Without Barrieau the Red Raiders still took the first drive of the game down to Chicopee’s 4-yard line, the key play coming when quarterback Caleb Cox hit Joey Gray on a quick hitter for 29 yards.

The drive stalled when Dylan Castine’s fourth down attempt fell short of the goal line.

“I think if we put that ball in it’s a different game,” LaRose said. “That’s all on us.”

The Red Raiders took a 2-0 lead when Chicopee’s first play from scrimmage was a bad snap that trickled out of the end zone for a safety.

From there the Pacers (1-7) dominated time of possession and finished three drives with rushing touchdowns.

Running back Juan Rebollo gave the Pacers the lead on a 27-yard touchdown with 1 minute, 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

John Gonzalez-Vega scored on a quarterback keeper from 22-yards to make it 16-2 in the second quarter.

A Chicopee 97-yard drive consumed almost the entire third quarter and ended with a 4-yard rush by quarterback Gonzalez-Vega.

The Pacers had the size and the numbers on the Red Raiders.

“I think our defense stepped up in the second half,” LaRose said. “Defensively we played well.”

Christian Casillas had a sack for the defense. Athol’s Connor Arpide and Dylan Castine were active stopping Chicopee’s run-heavy offense.

Castine had seven carries for 31 yards for the Red Raiders.

Athol had eight possessions in the game and two turnovers.

Athol’s (3-7) next game is against Mahar on Thanksgiving.

“We have our rival coming and we need to right the ship,” LaRose said.