CHESHIRE >> In a matchup of good running teams, Hoosac Valley picked up its second win of the season with a 32-6 defeat of Chicopee on Saturday afternoon.
Brenden Ellsworth scored three touchdowns for the home team as the Hurricanes improved to 2-3 overall this season with a 1-2 mark in the Suburban North.
On its opening drive, Hoosac featured a balanced offensive attack with David Critelli fighting for yards on the ground and Nick Waterman muscling a reception away from defensive backs to get into the red zone.
Quarterback Vance Eugene brought the Hurricanes down to the one-yard line on a quarterback run and finished the drive with a quarterback keeper to give the Hurricanes the lead. Critelli tacked on the two-point conversion, as Hoosac took an 8-0 lead before Chicopee's offense saw the field.
"Our backs were making some really good cuts today," Hoosac Valley coach Dayne Poirot said. "Up front, if we're able to get into teams and block them well, we are going to be able to move the ball well on the ground."
After a good return on the following kickoff, the Chicopee offense used running backs Curtis Combs and Issaiah Jackson to move the chains. But the Hurricane defense shut down the running attack before Chicopee could find the red zone, forcing the Pacers (3-3, 1-2) to punt the ball away.
Hoosac Valley got the ball back and, as a result of penalties, found itself in a second-and-long. But Eugene connected with Waterman deep down the field for 32 yards, setting up another scoring opportunity for the home team. After a false start on third-and-goal from the one, Eugene maneuvered around a handful of Chicopee defends before finding Ellsworth for a 6-yard touchdown, making it 14-0 in favor of Hoosac.
Later in the second quarter, a fumble by the Hurricanes set up the Pacer offense on the Hoosac 18-yard line. Combs found the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown run, making it a one possession game at 14-6 with five minutes remaining until the break.
Combs left the game later on, putting most of the workload on Jackson in the second half. The Hurricane defense consistently shut down the Pacer outside runs, allowing players like Ellsworth, Waterman, and John Krol to come up and clean up the plays.
In the third quarter, Hoosac started to run away with the game. The rushing attack of Ellsworth and Critelli brought the Hurricane offense down to the 3-yard-line before Eugene punched it in for his second touchdown of the day, making the score 20-6 with a minute left in the third quarter.
Then, the fourth quarter was the Ellsworth show as he scored two more touchdowns. The first one was a 7-yard run and he followed it with a touchdown run of 5 yards.
"It felt good," Ellsworth said. "I couldn't have done it without my linemen."
Hoosac Valley is back in action on Friday night against Pittsfield at Wahconah Park.
H — Vance Eugene 1 run (David Critelli run), 6:19.
H — Ellsworth 6 pass from Eugene, 11:47.
C — Curtis Combs 6 run, 5:25.
H — Eugene 3 run, 1:18.
H — Ellsworth 7 run, 11:54.
H — Ellsworth 5 run, 4:18.