Photo Gallery | Wahconah rolls to win over Holyoke
DALTON >> Through two weeks of football, the Wahconah first-stringers have played about four quarters of competitive football.
The Warrior starters earned the right to rest, however, and during their home-opener against Holyoke, they wasted little time in showing they were the superior team. Dane Campbell took the opening kickoff back 83 yards for a touchdown, igniting the blowout, leading to a 56-10 win on Friday.
"My men up front block phenomenally," Campbell said. "It helped so much because they gave me a huge hole. It just hit the sideline and went."
The Warriors, No. 7 in the Western Mass. football media poll, scored touchdowns in all five of their next five possessions. They only faced third down once during that span. Tanner Hastings' 29-yard touchdown run put Wahconah up 14-0 with 7 minutes and 34 seconds left in the first quarter. Will Genaway and Conner Noyes added touchdown runs of 56 and 9 respectively, on the next two drives. Andrew Carlson's 56-yard interception return set up Carlson's score.
Genaway went to the air for the final three scores on the game. He connected with Connor Washburn for a 56-yard score, Noyes for a seven-yard score and Washburn again for a 59-yard score. The first touchdown to Washburn showed the strong connection between the seniors. Off a play-action fake, Genaway took a shot from a blitzing defender, but remained composed enough to find Washburn in the middle of the defense.
"I give all the credit to our success on offense to our line, and to Will and our coaching staff," Washburn said. "We just drew up good plays and we run routes every day to practice them. ... I ran a good route, Will stood in the pocket nice and delivered a great ball right over the safeties head."
Wahconah's back-ups entered the game with 2:40 left in the first half. Jeremy Girard found Tanner Hill for a 20-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for the final score of the game. Bob Archambault had a nice interception on a nearly-completed pass along the right sideline.
Genaway was perfect through the air going 4 for 4 for 129 yards and two scores. Hastings had 77 yards rushing on five carries. Washburn had 115 yards receiving and two scores. The Wahconah defense held Holyoke to just 29 yards rushing on 25 carries.
Wahconah coach Gary Campbell Jr. said he's happy with the way his team never let down and finished the game strong. He added that, even though they won their first two games handily, he expects his team to be ready for a tough West Springfield team next week.
"We know that after we played the first two teams that maybe they're not where they want to be right now, but we know West Springfield is," he said. "Chad [Labonte] does a great job. We played them the last game [of last season] and it was a war. We know what's in front of us and they're going to be a very tough opponent down at their home field."
W — Dane Campbell 83 yard kickoff return (Patrick Butler kick), 11:48.
W — Tanner Hastings 29 run (Butler kick), 7:39.
W — Will Genaway 56 run (Butler kick), 3:33.
W — Conner Noyes 8 run (Butler kick), 1:24.
W — Connor Washburn 56 pass from Genaway (Butler kick), 11:50.
W — Noyes 8 pass from Genaway (Butler kick), 6:38.
W — Washburn 59 pass from Genaway (Butler kick), 4:23.
H — Any Miler 30 kick, :5.5.
W — Tanner Hill 20 pass from Jeremy Girard, 10:57
H — Darius Diaz 2 pass from Leesandro Colon (Miler kick), 5:31.
RUSHING — Holyoke: Giovanni Carrasqullo 15-12, Paris Medina 1-(minus 6), Leesandro Colon 3-9, Kendrick Williams 2-4, Jeff Cintron 3-2, Denzel Whitley 1-(minus 1). Wahconah: Conner Noyes 7-33, Tanner Hastings 5-77, Will Genaway 1-56, Connor Washburn 1-2, Jeremy Girard 3-(minus 25(, Nate Zink 5-30, Matt Mathers 3-(-8), Tim Clayton 1-(minus 1).
PASSING — Holyoke: Colon 9-29-1-2-115. Wahconah: Genaway 4-4-2-0-129, Girard 3-4-1-0-22, Clayton 1-1-0-0-21.
RECEIVING — Holyoke: Alex Taupler 2-13, Darius Diaz 3-55, Williams 1-13, Cintron 1-20, Isiah Lopez 2-14. Wahconah: Tom Burris 1-8, Washburn 2-115, Noyes 1-8, Kyle Gazzillo 1-1, Gabe Verdi 1-1, Tanner Hill 2-41.
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252