Hoosac Valley football beats Mount Greylock to advance to Western Massachusetts Division VIII championship game

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CAROLINE BONNIVIER SNYDER - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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ADAMS — Hoosac Valley's defense smothered Mount Greylock and used big plays on offense to earn a 55-14 victory in the semifinals of the Western Massachusetts Division VIII tournament on Friday. Hoosac advances to face No. 3 Ware in the championship game.

Greylock started the game with some trickery, using an onside kick to catch Hoosac off guard. The Mounties recovered the kick at the Hoosac 44-yard line. The drive ended with an interception, but Hoosac fumbled away the ball on its opening possession, giving Greylock the ball deep in Hurricane territory.

A personal foul negated a pick-six by Nick Waterman, and on fourth down, Cal Messina found Jason Betti for a 13-yard score.

Hoosac responded with a clutch fourth-down play of its own. On fourth-and-four from the Greylock 10, quarterback Vance Eugene ran right, spun off a defender for the first down, kept his legs moving, used a nifty juke to get past another defender and galloped into the end zone. He added the 2-point conversion, tying the game at 8-all with 1 minute, 18 seconds left in the first quarter.

Eugene's score was the first of four straight touchdown drives for the Hurricanes. Later in the second quarter, after a Greylock four-and-out, the senior quarterback found Waterman over the middle for a 36-yard score, putting the hosts up 28-8 with 3:54 left in the half. Matt Hall had two, long second-quarter touchdown runs of 44 and 41 yards, respectively. He ended with 115 yards rushing and three scores on nine carries.

"We watched a lot of film, we study other teams and that's what was open," Hall said of his touchdown runs. "Linemen blocked it real well, every play it was always open."

Mount Greylock entered the game severely short-handed, and the Mounties needed to pull out all the stops to hang with an experienced Hoosac Valley squad. Running back Messina filled in valiantly at quarterback for injured starter Michael Wellspeak, but Hoosac applied constant pressure, never allowing Messina to get comfortable in the pocket.

Greylock had eight key players out with injuries. Coach Andrew Agostini said they needed to play a perfect game to hang with Hoosac.

"Everything has to be that much better," he said. "We definitely tried. The kids were gutsy. They played tough."

The second half was all Hoosac, as Greylock struggled to generate offense. Eugene notched his final score of the night by hitting Sam Larabee for a 41-yard score on the 'Canes' opening drive of the second half. David Critelli added a 29-yard touchdown run, then Dominic Acquista blocked a punt on Greylock's ensuing drive, leading to a six-yard score for Hall. Hoosac's final score came on a screen pass from backup QB Justin Meczywor to Izaha Stubbs for 29 yards.

To their credit, Messina and company fought to the very end. Late in the fourth, the running back-turned-quarterback picked up a fumble and scampered 56 yards to the Hoosac 15. He scrambled for a first down on fourth down and instead of letting the clock run out with about 15 seconds remaining, the junior called a timeout so he could have a chance at a touchdown. After an incompletion, Messina found Eli Ostheimer for a four-yard score.

Hoosac held Greylock to just 187 total yards.

Up next for Hoosac is a Ware team that defeated Lee 25-16. Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot said his staff has film on the Indians and they know they must stop the quarterback-running back combo of Ryan Johnson and Hunter Milliard.

"We've seen them a little bit. We'll watch the Lee film and learn them a little bit more," he said. "I know they have the two great athletes, but they've got a lot of good football players. They have a lot of speed."

———

Greylock     8     0     0     6          14

Hoosac     8     20     20     7          55

First Quarter

G — Jason Betti 13 pass from Cal Messina (Messina run), 4:30.

H — Vance Eugene 10 run (Eugene run), 1:18.

Second Quarter

H — Matt Hall 44 run (run failed), 9:59.

H — Hall 41 run (Hall run), 6:40.

H — Nick Waterman 36 pass from Eugene (pass failed), 3:54.

Third Quarter

H — Sam Larabee 41 pass from Eugene (Liam Feeley run), 8:22.

H — David Critelli 29 run (run failed), 6:38.

H — Hall 6 run (pass failed), 2:38.

Fourth Quarter

H — Izaha Stubbs 29 pass from Justin Meczywor (Joe Delmolino kick), 2:24.

G — Eli Ostheimer 4 pass from Messina (run failed), :8.8.

———

TEAM STATISTICS

     G     H

First Downs     9     13

Rushes-yards     30-132     27-257

Passing yards     55     106

Comp-att-int     7-26-2     3-5-0

Fumbles-lost     1-0     4-2

Penalties-yards     1-5     7-65

———

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Greylock: Taylor Cummings 13-26, Cal Messina 12-87, Seth Schultheis 4-17, Sean McCormack 1-2. Hoosac: Matt Hall 9-115, Vance Eugene 6-13, David Critelli 6-59, Liam Feeley 6-70.

PASSING — Greylock: Messina 7-26-2 55. Hoosac: Eugene 2-4-0 77, Justin Meczywor 1-1-0 29.

RECEIVING — McCormack 2-24, Jason Betti 1-13, Zeke Locklear 1-14, Eli Ostheimer 1-4. Hoosac: Nick Waterman 1-36, Sam Larabee 1-41, Izaha Stubbs 1-29.

Akeem Glaspie can be reached at aglaspie@berkshireeagle.com, at @TheAkeemGlaspie on Twitter and 413-496-6252.


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