Strong second half lifts Hoosac

Saturday, November 04
LEE — The Hoosac Valley Hurricanes overcame some sloppy play at the end of the first half by scoring 20 second-half points in a 34-12 victory over the Lee High Wildcats at John J. Consolati Field.

For the second week in a row, Lee spotted their opponents 14 points before mounting a comeback.

The Hurricanes' Casey Koperniak scored twice; the first a 20-yard run up the middle as time ran out in the first quarter and again from one yard out with five minutes to go in the second frame.

The later touchdown came following a 15-minute delay while medical personnel worked on Lee running back Eric Wamsley. Wamsley broke his left arm making a tackle on the Lee three yard line.

Lee's offense finally got going scoring on a 73-yard drive in three minutes capped off by Chad Cummings' seven-yard run over right tackle, cutting the Hoosac lead to 14-6.

The Wildcat defense held the Hurricanes on their next possession, and on fourth down Lee's Ben Havill blocked a Jordan Markham punt, recovered by Robert Newton in the end zone. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they were unable to score on either two-point conversion plays, and the Hoosac lead was 14-12 at halftime.

"I told the kids in the locker room play with poise and stick to the game plan," said Hurricane head coach Tom Bell.

The game plan consisted of running with a no-huddle offense the entire four quarters.

"Lee's defense was superb against Mount Greylock (last week)," said Bell, "and I wanted to keep them off balance — and unable to make substitutions for the defense they wanted."

In fact, Lee rarely touched the ball in the second half, with Hoosac having a 2-1 edge in time of possession.

The Canes were stopped on their opening drive of the third quarter, but got the ball back on an interception by Erik Chipchase at the Hoosac 33-yard line. The visitors then put together an efficient nine-play, four-minute drive that covered 67 yards, and was finished off by Ryan Joppich's eight-yard run.

Hoosac took command in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, when Nate Biros blocked a Lee punt in the Wildcat end zone as back-up punter Dan Lewis — in for the injured Wamsley — never got the kick off. The loose ball was recovered by Josh Clairmont for a touchdown.

Hoosac capped off the scoring by recovering a Lee fumble three plays later on the Wildcat 41. It took Hoosac 10 plays to score its final touchdown, coming on Kyle Lamont's five-yard run. It was Lamont's first TD since losing to Pittsfield in overtime on Sept. 30.

"We made some adjustments to their no-huddle offense," said Lee head coach Keith Thomson, "but they beat us on the line with very big, strong and talented players; Hoosac simply wore us down."

Scoring summary:

First Quarter

HV — Casey Koperniak 20 yd run (Ben Kleiner kick) 0:00.

Second Quarter

HV — Koperniak 1 yd run (Kleiner kick) 4:59

L — Chad Cummings 7 yd run (pass failed) 2:03

L — Blocked punt recovered in end zone by Robert Newton (run failed), 1:10

Third Quarter

HV — Ryan Joppich 8 yd run (Kleiner kick) 1:33

Fourth Quarter

HV— Blocked punt recovered in end zone by Josh Clairmont (kick failed) 10:32.

HV — Kyle Lamont 7 yd run (Kleiner kick) 4:44


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