H.S. Football: Athol falls to Monument Mountain

Staff Writer
Published: 9/20/2019 11:04:00 PM
Modified: 9/20/2019 11:03:45 PM

ATHOL — The Monument Mountain football team’s recent decision to implement the option play to its offensive arsenal turned out positive on Friday night.

The Spartans used two long touchdowns with the option to jump ahead of Athol High School and continue on to a 31-12 win over the Red Raiders at O’Brien Field.

On both plays, quarterback Hunter DeGrenier tucked the ball and took off for long touchdowns.

“We put in the option in week 2,” Monument coach Dennis Martin said. “We started hammering it home this week. He (DeGrenier) does a beautiful job making decisions on it.”

The first had DeGrenier scamper 75 yards down the left sideline on Monument’s opening drive.

“I could tell from film and the first couple plays that the defensive end kind of came up,” DeGrenier said. “I cut it up.”

The next DeGrenier touchdown came in the second quarter from 48-yards out  to give the Spartans a 22-6 lead.

DeGrenier rushed five times for 127 yards.

The Red Raiders had so many injuries that linemen had to take carries in the backfield. Athol finished the game with 12 available players.

Manny O’Lari had six carries for 23 yards for the Red Raiders with a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

“If you are playing football for the Red Raiders you are a jack of all trades,” Athol coach Bill LaRose said. “We have to mix and match with where we are with our injuries.”

Athol’s Jacob Smith had six carries for 40 yards along with an electrifying 80-yard kickoff return that set up O’Lari’s touchdown.

Smith left the game with a lower body injury in the third quarter.

Athol used a long 30-yard completion from Riley Paine to Smith along with a roughing the passer penalty to advance to the red zone just before halftime.

Paine found Smith for a 12-yard touchdown to give Athol some momentum going into halftime. Smith had two receptions for 42 yards.

The Red Raiders had one first down last week in a loss at Quabbin.

“Both sides of the ball we showed improvement,” LaRose said. “We moved the football this week.  Defensively we wanted to stop the run and I think we did that.  We got beat on a couple option plays. If we don’t give up those two plays we are right there fighting until the end.”

Isaac Bastine had four carries for 18 yards along with a five-yard reception for the Red Raiders.

The Spartans (2-1) came out of halftime with a specific goal: To chew up the clock and get a touchdown.

The result was a 14-play, 58-yard drive that ended with a Nick Henderson 7-yard touchdown.

“It’s exactly what we preached at halftime,” Martin said. “We wanted to mount a drive that lasted the whole third quarter. Our plan was to use up the third quarter. I felt that if we could pound the ball down that whole third quarter and score I would feel more comfortable with the situation.

The drive lasted just under 10 minutes and gave the Spartans a 31-12 lead after Caden O’Roarke’s two-point conversion. 

Reece Mullen carried nine times for 65 yards for the Spartans with a 28-yard touchdown in the second quarter. 


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