Saturday October 20, 2012

CHICOPEE -- In a game rife with turnovers, Hoosac Valley's biggest mistakes came at the worst time.

Back-to-back fumbles deep in the Hurricanes' own end allowed Chicopee Compre hensive to take control of a tie game in the fourth quarter on the way to a 25-12 victory Friday night.

"The fumbles last week hurt us and this week kind of killed us," said Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot. "Those are vital, vital possessions. We can't afford to lose the ball."

The Hurricanes (4-3) had a 12-6 lead entering the fourth before the Colts (2-4) tied the game on a 23-yard scoring pass from Tom Duffy to John Wilke early in the fourth. Hoosac fumbled two plays later, but seemed to be out of the woods when Scooter Tworig picked off Duffy on the ensuing possession.

Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, the next possession led to another fumble. Chicopee Comp didn't hesitate this time, scoring on the very next play on a 13-yard run from Brandon Wood.

"You can look at this game as a turnover game," said Colts coach Marc Schuerfeld. "We were giving the ball up quite often. They made some mistakes late and we capitalized on those mistakes. I just think that's a huge factor for us."

Chicopee Comp lost four fumbles, two of which led to Hoosac's only scores of the game -- both coming in the third quarter. The Hurricanes got the ball near midfield on one fumble, driving 44 yards for a Colby Gage touchdown. The Colts fumbled the ensuing kickoff, allowing Corey Puccio, who had 125 yards through the air, to hit Peter Barrow for a go-ahead touchdown pass late in the third.

That 12-6 lead didn't last long, with Chicopee Comp tying the game on its next possession. That's when Hoosac fumbled momentum away.

"It was definitely slippery," said the Hurricanes' Tyler Mach. "They just made a lot of big hits and stupid mistakes."

Hoosac played most of the game without featured back Matt Braman, who was injured on the opening drive. That left most of the offense on Gage's shoulders. He finished with 46 yards on 14 carries. Poirot said Braman was just one of several injuries that had Hoosac shifting players in and out.

"I just wanted to work hard," Gage said. "I wanted to keep the momentum and keep everyone focused on what we were doing."

Hoosac struggled early, not earning a first down until the second quarter. Chicopee Comp scored on its first drive, utilizing a no-huddle offense. Kyle Soja finished with 102 yards, including an insurance touchdown late in the game.

The Hurricanes finally gained traction in the second quarter, putting together an 8-minute drive that stalled in Colts territory. That carried over to the third period when Hoosac took the lead. The Hurricanes just couldn't hold it.

"We had some momentum," Poirot said. "But we didn't continue it. It kind of stalled it when we fumbled the ball."