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’Canes beat Hawks in slop

  • Above, Frontier's Alec Kirkendall fights through the Amherst defense in the first half Friday night in South Deerfield where Amherst beat the Hawks and the elements, 30-20. Below, Matt Hildreth (left) and Jacob Bryant (right) walk off the field covered in mud. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Above, Frontier’s Garrett DeForest (10) takes off up the sideline on a kick return against Amherst in the first half Friday night in South Deerfield. Below, Frontier’s Josh Semaski wraps up Amherst’s Joshua Vecchio just shy of the goal line. Staff Photos/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Garrett DeForest (10) runs in for a touchdown against Amherst in the first half Friday night in South Deerfield, Nov. 9, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Josh Semaski (19) wraps up Amhest's Joshua Vecchio (5) just short of a touchdown run in the third quarter Friday night in South Deerfield, Nov. 9, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Matt Hildreth (7) takes out Amherst quarterback JB Mills (14) in the first half Friday night in South Deerfield, Nov. 9, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Garrett DeForest (10) attempts to break through on a run against Amherst in the first half Friday night in South Deerfield, Nov. 9, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Josh Semaski (19), left, John Semaski (68) wrap up Amherst's Dan Block (15) on a run in the first half Friday night in South Deerfield, Nov. 9, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier lines up on a mud soaked field against Amherst in the first half Friday night in South Deerfield, Nov. 9, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Matt Hildreth (7) and Jacob Bryant (61) walk off the field at half time Friday night in South Deerfield, Nov. 9, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little



For the Recorder
Friday, November 09, 2018

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Amherst Regional High School broke open a tight football game with a pair of long third-quarter touchdown runs by Dan Block Friday night, boosting the Hurricanes to a mud-soaked 30-20 victory over host Frontier Regional School in Week 10 assigned-game action.

Amherst (7-3), knocked out in last week's Western Mass. Division 5 semifinals, used the one-two punch of Block (10 carries, 155 yards) and Josh Vecchio (19 carries, 144 yards) to punish the Red Hawks. Vecchio also ran for a score and JB Mills threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Steven Steele.

Frontier dropped to 5-5 entering its season-ending Thanksgiving Eve showdown at Mohawk Trail Regional High School. Josh Semaski led the Red Hawks with 96 rushing yards on nine carries with a touchdown, and Garrett DeForest was right behind with 95 yards on 15 carries and scored twice.

Semaski broke a 48-yard touchdown just 1:11 into the action Friday and Matt Hildreth booted the extra point for an early 7-0 Frontier lead. On their first series, the Hurricanes marched 65 yards in nine plays, with Vecchio rushing for 45 of those yards and capping it off with a 7-yard scoring run. Mills was stopped short on the two-point try to leave the score at 7-6.

After a Frontier punt, Amherst started at its own 23 and got out of the hole with rushes of 11 yards by Steele and 15 and nine yards by Block. Mills then hit a wide-open Steele down the right seam for a 55-yard score, and Block's two-point conversion put the 'Canes ahead 14-7 with 51.5 seconds left in the first.

DeForest broke a 32-yard kickoff return and Semaski's 22-yard gain on the next play put Frontier at the Amherst 23. On fourth-and-8 at the 21, Hildreth faked to Semaski and gave the handoff to DeForest on a misdirection play that the junior took the distance, pulling the Red Hawks to within 14-13. Hildreth's extra-point try was blocked and Amherst got a sizeable return, but nothing more came of it.

The teams exchanged interceptions late in the half, with Amherst's Antonio Govan picking off Hildreth and returning it 30 yards to midfield with 19 seconds to go. The Hurricanes drove to the Red Hawks' 29 before Mills' long throw ended up in Hildreth's hands at the goal line.

With the rain pouring down and field conditions steadily deteriorating, Amherst and Block in particular took hold of the game at the top of the second half. His 38-yard TD run, followed by Mills' two-point pass to Steele, extended the Hurricanes' lead to 22-13 just 1:38 into the third quarter.

Frontier went three-and-punt on its next series and Block turned a simple dive play into a 51-yard touchdown. Vecchio added the two-point run to make it 30-13.

The Red Hawks' next two series ended in turnovers on downs, although the hosts managed to recover a pair of Amherst fumbles. Frontier took over for the last time with 2:29 to play and DeForest ended a 62-yard drive on a 10-yard TD run with 49.9 seconds on the clock, with Hildreth tacking on the extra-point kick.

Amherst finished with 329 rushing yards and 410 yards of total offense. Mills was 3-of-6 passing for 71 yards with a touchdown and interception. Frontier put up 232 of its 243 total yards on the ground.