DALTON -- Ethan Wells rushed for 126 yards and three touchdowns and an opportunistic Wahconah Regional offense took advantage of some early miscues to salt away Monument Mountain, 36-12 on Friday night.
The Warriors (4-2) scored two of their three first-quarter touchdowns after Monument fumbles, and the Spartans found themselves in a 22-0 hole after one quarter.
Wahconah coach Gary Campbell Jr. said that, after tough losses to Northampton and Hoosac Valley, "the coaching staff challenged the kids this week to pick it up, both mentally and physically. And I was pleased with our performance tonight."
Wahconah’s first touchdown was a result of Wells’ quick thinking from his linebacker position. The junior scooped up a Monument fumble at the Spartan 46 and ran the ball all the way down to the one-yard-line. One play later, he ran it in. The two-point conversion was good, and the score was 8-0 before many people had taken their seats.
Six minutes later, Warrior quarterback Lane Grogan capped a 48-yard, seven play drive with a four-yard scoring run.
A fumbled kickoff on the next play gave the ball to the home side at the Monument 29. This time, it took four plays to score, this one a 10-yard run by Wells.
The visitors got back in the game following a Wahconah fumble in the second quarter. Monument recovered the ball on the Wahconah 30, and Malik Wilbon gained 23 yards (on one of those side-to-side dashes that covered probably 33 yards) to the Wahconah 7. Two plays later, Spartan quarterback Ryle O’Brien hit Hezekiah Adams for a TD.
But Wahconah did not let up. Grogan hit Jordan Fiske for a 22-yard completion as time was running down in the half, and two plays later, Wells had his third score. It was 30-6 at intermission.
The Warriors put the game away in the third. A 14-play, 69-yard drive chewed up 61Ž2 minutes of the third period, with Grogan plunging over from the 1.
Wilbon, who was the center of considerable attention from the Warrior defense, led Monument with 33 yards on five rushes.
Wahconah, at 4-1 in the league, is still in the playoff race, a fact Campbell readily acknowledged Friday.
"Oh yeah," he said. "We’re still hanging around. We have a couple big games in the next few weeks, including Greylock, and we’ll see. It’s high school football. Anything can happen."