Lee football team flexes muscle on offense, defense in shutout win over Amherst

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GEOFF SMITH - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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LEE — The Lee football team has been strong both offensively and defensively all season long.

That combination was on full display once again on Friday night in the Wildcats' 40-0 victory over Amherst on Senior Night.

Lukas Loehr rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries and added two touchdowns for Lee (6-1, 4-1 Intercounty South), while the Wildcat defense registered its third consecutive shutout and fourth in its last five games.

"This technically could be my last time playing here," Loehr, a senior, said. "I hope not. We knew they were a good team coming in. Both teams were 5-1, but our line out-physicaled their line and we got our work done."

Loehr scored the first two touchdowns of the game — from 11 yards out in the first quarter and from 6 yards out in the second frame — to give Lee a 15-0 lead.

The Wildcats faked the extra point after the second score, as holder Ben Harding hit Andrew Reuf on a pass play for two points. The razzle-dazzle display continued for Lee late in the half when backup quarterback JJ Jimenez threw a pass to starting quarterback Homer Winston — who was lined up as a receiver — on a 34-yard pass play on 3rd-and-14.

That set up the final touchdown of the half, when Winston hit Jake Corcoran from 21 yards out with 10 seconds left before the break.

"Our focus was strictly on Amherst tonight," Lee coach Keith Thomson said when asked about a potential Western Massachusetts playoff push. "This night was about our seniors. They came out here and they just balled all night long.

"Amherst is a good football team, they've had a good run. But we didn't feel they had played anyone nearly as physical as us and we wanted to see how they'd respond. Once we smacked them a few times, the scoreboard says it all."

Lee continued to dominate in the second half, as Will Consolati's 28-yard field goal extended the Wildcats' advantage to 25-0. From there, Winston scored on a 1-yard run and Jimenez scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter from 10 yards out.

Amherst — which didn't have a first down in the first half — had a chance to score late, but time ran out with the Hurricanes at the Lee 18-yard line.

"I think our defense is one of the best in the county," Loehr said. "No doubt, we're stout. We've got four shutouts and you're not going to find a crack in our defense anywhere you look."

For Lee, Winston had 55 passing yards, 43 rushing yards and 34 receiving yards. For Amherst (5-2, 4-1), Josh Vecchio led the way with 50 yards rushing while Alex Fernandes added 32 yards on the ground.

The regular season comes to a close next week when Lee travels to Great Barrington to face South County rival Monument Mountain on Friday night. Meanwhile, Amherst will host Mount Greylock on Friday evening.

The Hurricanes and the Wildcats both enter next week with one loss in the Intercounty South, while the Mounties are 5-0 in the league.

———

Amherst     0     0     0     0          0

Lee     7     15     10     8          40

First Quarter

L — Lukas Loehr 11 run (Will Consolati kick), 5:05.

Second Quarter

L — Loehr 6 run (Andrew Reuf pass from Ben Harding), 5:20.

L — Jake Corcoran 21 pass from Homer Winston (Consolati kick), 0:10.

Third Quarter

L — Consolati 28 field goal, 3:24.

L — Winston 1 run (Consolati kick), 0:04.

Fourth Quarter

L — JJ Jimenez 10 run (Omar Pichardo run), 6:42.

———

     A     L

First Downs     7     10

Rushes-Yards     27-96     38-210

Com-Att-Int     0-4-1     5-10-0

Passing Yards     0     68

Total Yards     96     278

Fumbles-Lost     3-3     1-0

Penalties-Yards     4-43     4-40

———

RUSHING — A: Josh Vecchio 10-50, Alex Fernandes 8-32, Isaiah Rodriguez 5-21, Steven Steele 2-5, James Mills 2-(-12). L: Lukas Loehr 22-110, Homer Winston 5-43, JJ Jimenez 3-22, Andrew Reuf 3-15, Omar Pichardo 4-11, Jake Corcoran 1-9.

PASSING — A: Mills 0-4-1 0. L: Winston 4-9-0 55, Jimenez 1-1-0 34.

RECEIVING — L: Winston 1-34, Loehr 1-22, Corcoran 1-21, Ben Harding 1-13, Reuf 1-(-1).


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