BUCKLAND >> There are certain moments in a season which end up being turning points. For the Lee High School football team, this night may end up being one of them.
The Wildcats employed a solid ground and air attack to blank the Mohawk Regional School Warriors 27-0 last night at Pollard Field.
"This is a huge win for us," Lee Coach Keith Thomson said. "We talked about it all week. We started off 0-2, and we've had to claw and scratch our way back with two consecutive shutouts and we're excited moving forward."
Lee didn't waste any time getting on the board, as junior Lukas Loehr (10 carries, 83 yards) took the opening kickoff back 85 yards for what ended up being the game's winning touchdown. Mohawk managed to stop the extra point run to keep the score 6-0. Mohawk fumbled the ball back to Lee on their first possession, only to get it back later via a similar Wildcat miscue, in what was a relatively sloppy first quarter for both teams.
The Warriors appeared to be knocking on the door early in the second, getting as far as the Lee three, before turning the ball over on downs, squandering what would wind up being their only quality scoring chance on the night.
Lee extended the lead late in the second when Loehr ran it in from 14 yards out. A Nico Chacon extra-point kick made the score 13-0 at halftime.
Offensively, Mohawk's strongest weapon was senior running back Jonny Herbert, who finished with 15 carries for 108 yards, 76 of which were generated in the first half.
"The kid's tough, and I kept calling his number because he is our go-to guy," Mohawk Coach Doug McCloud said.
A big reason why Mohawk's run game had trouble was the play of inside linebacker Nick Castillo, who seemed to be in on close to every tackle, regardless of which Warrior happened to be carrying the ball.
"He does that every week," Thompson said of the senior. "He's our defensive captain for a reason, and he showed why again tonight."
Lee went to the air for their final two scores, as sophomore quarterback Homer Winston (4 for 6 passing for 92 yards) hooked up with senior tight end Will Wellspeak for a seven-yard touchdown pass on Lee's first offensive series of the third quarter.
Mohawk blocked the PAT kick to keep the score 19-0. The Wildcats rounded out the scoring early in the fourth when Winston hit a sprinting Ben Harding down the right sideline for a 30-yard touchdown hookup. Winston hit Wellspeak for the two-point conversion pass to create the 27-0 final.
"They deserved to win," McCloud said of Lee. "We got beat up pretty good at the line, and we made some mistakes, but it's stuff we can work on. We were just over matched tonight."
Mohawk has a bye this week before hosting Mount Greylock on October 14 at 7 p.m. Lee hosts Drury on Friday night at 7 p.m.
L — Loehr 85 kickoff return (run failed)
L — Loehr 14 run (Chacon kick)
L — Wellspeak 7 pass from Winston (kick blocked)
L — Harding 30 pass from Winston (Wellspeak pass from Winston)
Rushes-yards (L) 30-167 (M) 35-152
Passing yards (L) 92 (M) 23
Return yards (L) 155 (M) 56
Passes-comp-INT (L) 34-6-0 (M) 3-4-1
First downs (L) 15 (M) 6
Punts (L) 2 (M) 3
Fumbles-lost (L) 2-2 (M) 3-2
Penalties-yards (L) 9-59 (M) 4-28
Rushing (L) Loehr 10-83, Casitllo 7-47, Ruef 5-30, Winston 7-6, Pichardo 1-1 (M) Herbert 15-108, Biagini 7-38, Hoff 4-16, Shippee 2-negative 1, Grenier 7, negative 9
Passing: (L) Winston 4-6-0-92 (M) Hoff 3-4-1-23
Receiving (L) Hurley 1-44, Harding 2-41, Wellspeak 1-7 (M) Fitzgerald 1-14, Biagini 2-9