WESTFIELD >> Westfield quarterback Austin St. Pierre was a magician with the football on Friday night against Hoosac Valley.
The senior signal caller ran the read-option offense to perfection, knowing exactly when to keep the ball, hand it off or use the play fake to take a shot down the field. St. Pierre accounted for five total touchdowns, leading the Bombers to a 54-22 win in the season opener.
After forcing a three-out-and out on the opening drive, Westfield put together a 14-play scoring drive, capped by a eight-yard run by Wilton Royal. Hoosac started gaining some positive momentum on its second drive, as quarterback Nick Waterman hit Brenden Ellsworth for a 56-yard completion to the Westfield 23. But after losing two yards on their next three plays, St. Pierre forced a Hurricane turnover with a interception on fourth down. Four plays later, St. Pierre found Baley Collier for a 82-yard bomb down the right sideline, putting the host up 16-0 and the rout was on.
"We just made mistakes," Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot said. "We made a couple mistakes that gave the ball back to them. ... They were able to stop us and they made a big play. That was a big change in momentum."
Despite the redzone turnover, Hoosac battled back, completing a nine-play drive on the next possession with a Steve Stodja 17-yard touchdown run. But, Westfield had an answer as St. Pierre used a 25-yard pass and a 25-yard run to set up a 25-yard touchdown to Collier.
Stodja kept the 'Canes alive with a 79-yard kickoff return score on the ensuing kickoff, but the Bombers stole the momentum back with a 71-yard touchdown pass from St. Pierre to Camden Garfield. They led 32-14 at the half.
"They were exploiting the gaps," Hoosac defensive back J.P. Levesque said of Westfield's explosive passing attack. "They came out and saw we were in Cover 3. They were bringing four deep a with three defenders and it's tough. The quarterback did a good job of finding the open guy."
Levesque did manage in interception in the second quarter, but St. Pierre was making the correct read the majority of the night. When the Bombers weren't going to the air, Royal and St. Pierre ran well. Their ability to be diverse in their offensive attack kept the Hoosac defenders off balance.
"What we've got to do is everybody's got to stick to their job, stick to the plan and if we execute well it's all going to work itself out. " lineman Adam Bush said. "Everyone's got to do their job and we've got to take responsibility for it."
Hoosac lost a lot of players from last year's Western Massachusetts Division V championship team. In the second half, younger players such as Matt Hall and Maxwell Shafer got extensive work once the game was out of hand. Hall scored from three yards out for Hoosac's final score with 1 minute and 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
Hoosac struggled with Westfield's spread attack for most of the game, but Poirot is hoping to use this game as a lesson moving forward.
"We've got a lot of things to learn from tonight," he said. "We can't have guys going in and out with cramps and stuff like that. Simple things that you can kind of control. ... Hopefully we learn from that and we play a little less selfish in some spots."
W — Wilton Royal 8 run (Austin St. Pierre run), 2:27.
W — Baley Coller 82 pass from St. Pierre (Mark Blahut run), 9:04.
HV — Steve Stodja 17 run (run failed), 3:51.
W — Collier 25 pass from St. Pierre (St. Pierre run), 2:44.
HV — Stodja 79 kickoff return (John Krol from Nick Waterman), 2:31
W — Camden Garfield 81 pass from St. Pierre (Royal run), 2:16.
W — Blahut 4 run (Royal run), 9:54
W — St. Pierre 27 run (Royal run), 4:08.
HV — Matt Hall 3 run (Hall run), 1:37.
W — St. Pierre 19 run (run failed), :06.
RUSHING — HV: Matt Hall 5-53, David Critelli 8-74, Brenden Ellsworth 7-23, Steve Stodja 3-30, Vance Eugene 2-6, Nick Waterman 4-(-21), Maxwell Shafer 3-4, Casey Meczywor 2-6, Izaha Stubbs 4-(-28),
PASSING — HV: Waterman 3-8-0-1
RECEIVING — HV: Ellsworth 1-56, John Krol 1-0, Critelli 1-3.
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252