Frontier Regional rally stops short in 29-20 loss to Easthampton

  • Jacob Neumann, right, of Easthampton, runs for a gain before being tackled by Matt Hildreth, of Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, left, tries to evade Frontier Regional defenders Nathan Austin, front, and Garrett Deforest, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, left, tries to evade Frontier Regional defenders Nathan Austin, center, and Garrett Deforest, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Garrett Deforest, right, of Frontier Regional, looks for a hole in the Easthampton defense as teammate Alec Kirkendall looks to block them, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier’s Garrett DeForest is tackled by Eagles’ defender Ben Landry Friday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Garrett Deforest, of Frontier Regional, carries the ball against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Garrett Deforest, of Frontier Regional, carries the ball against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ben Landry, center, of Easthampton, intercepts a pass intended for Corbin Blight, of Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. Jacob Neumann looks on. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton head coach Matt Bean talks to Tallon Garelli during their game against Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier Regional quarterback Matt Hildreth, right, passes as Jacob Ross, of Easthampton, approaches Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ito Macmillan, left, of Frontier Regional, runs for a touchdown against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Damien Diluzio, left, of Easthampton, catches a pass against Sam Hebert, of Frontier, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. He outran Hebert to score. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ito Macmillan, front, of Frontier Regional, runs for a touchdown after getting past Easthampton defenders Tallon Garelli, left, and Jacob Neumann, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier QB Matt Hildreth runs in a 2-point conversion Friday night during the Hawks’ 29-20 loss to Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier Regional quarterback Matt Hildreth, left, gets tackled by Ben Landry, of Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ito Macmillan, left, of Frontier Regional, and Luke Kraus, of Easthampton, eye a pass that fell short of its target, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jacob Neumann, center right, of Easthampton, runs out of the reach of Luke Parsons, of Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Frontier Regional quarterback Matt Hildreth carries the ball against Easthampton, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, right, runs for a gain before being tackled by Sam Hebert, of Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton quarterback Nick Pellegrini, right, throws a touchdown pass to Damien Diluzio during their win against Frontier Regional, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Damien Diluzio, center, of Easthampton, catches a pass to score between Frontier Regional defenders Sam Hebert, left, and Matt Hildreth, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at White Brook Middle School in Easthampton. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 10/19/2018 11:46:30 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Matt Hildreth crouched behind the Frontier Regional offensive line prepared to attempt a game-tying 2-point conversion. Before he snapped the ball, the Red Hawks quarterback turned around and threw up.

Frontier took a timeout, then the Red Hawks broke the huddle with 10 men, necessitating another timeout.

“Got rocked in the stomach, couldn’t hold water down, nobody knew what we were doing,” Hildreth said.

When the Red Hawks lined up again, Hildreth faked a quick pitch right and looked left after a five-step drop. With Easthampton’s defensive line approaching quickly, Hildreth floated a pass to Sam Hebert. He was double-covered, and Easthampton’s two defenders knocked the ball down, leaving the Red Hawks trailing by two.

The Eagles capitalized on their next drive and sealed a 29-20 win Friday at White Brook Middle School.

Frontier (4-3, 3-2 Intercounty North) lost for the second straight week. The Red Hawks close the regular season Friday at Athol fighting for a spot in the postseason.

“Monday’s going to be a tough practice,” Hildreth said. “We’re going to work hard all week, no breaks.”

Hildreth put Frontier in a position to tie Easthampton late in the fourth quarter. He weaved through the Eagles’ defense for a 34-yard touchdown with 3 minutes, 51 seconds left to cut Frontier’s deficit to 22-20.

“Pick the guys who are my size, and if I gotta hit, I gotta hit, avoid the bigger guys,” Hildreth said.

That run capped a two-score fourth quarter and nearly completed a 14-point comeback. The Red Hawks entered the final frame trailing 22-8. Ito McMillan made it a one-score game with a 7-yard run 1:17 into the fourth quarter.

“The first whole half we came out just running through our plays not really giving everything we had,” Hildreth said. “Then at halftime, a little pep talk, the boys started to realize we might lose this game, so we started working as a unit. It was too late to start the comeback.”

McMillan, who ran for a game-high 103 yards, tied the game in the second quarter with a 9-yard run. He set that up with a 59-yard run.

Frontier struggled to contain Easthampton receiver Damien Diluzio. He caught 10 passes for 139 yards, including two touchdowns.

Nick Pellegrini threw a 62-yard rainbow to Diluzio on the next play following Frontier’s first touchdown to retake the lead, and found him for a 9-yard score to go up 22-8 with 2:46 to halftime.

Jacob Neumann (14 rushes, 90 yards) took four straight handoffs on the Eagles’ last drive to score a touchdown and go up 28-20. Ben Landry’s extra point put the game out of reach with 2:07 left.

Frontier picked up a first down on its final drive, but Neumann intercepted Hildreth on the last play to clinch the win.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

Easthampton 29, Frontier Regional 20

Frontier Regional

0

8

0

12

—20

Easthampton

8

14

0

7

—29

First quarter

E—Marcus O’Meally 15 pass from Nick Pellegrini (Jacob Neumann run), 55.6

Second quarter

F—Ito McMillan 9 run (Matt Hildreth run), 7:31

E—Damien Diluzio 62 pass from Pellegrini (Run failed), 7:22

E—Diluzio 9 pass from Pellegrini (Diluzio pass from Pellegrini), 2:46

Third quarter

No scoring.

Fourth quarter

F—McMillan 7 run (Pass failed), 0:43

F—Hildreth 34 run (Pass faield), 3:51

E—Neumann 19 run (Ben Landry kick), 2:07

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Easthampton–Neumann 14-90, Pellegrini 9-52,Fred Murray 1-0. Frontier Regional-McMillan 15-103, Hildreth 7-67, Garrett Deforest 18-48, Josh Semaski 3-13, Alec Kirkendall 4-10

PASSING—Easthampton–Pellegrini 12-20-184-0. Frontier Regional–Hildreth 6-15-32-1, DeForest 1-2-18-1.

RECEIVING—Easthampton–Diluzio 10-139, Landry 1-20, O’Meally 1-15. Frontier Regional-Sam Hebert 2-21, Corbin Blight 1-18, McMillan 4-11.




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