Taconic football couldn't gain any traction offensively in loss at Westfield
WESTFIELD — Although Taconic's offense struggled to move the football against Westfield on Friday night, the Braves' defense ensured the Berkshire County squad entered the fourth quarter within striking defense.
However, a couple of late scores helped Westfield secure a 28-0 victory over Taconic in 2019's season opener.
"I told them I was proud with the way they finished the game," Taconic coach Jim Ziter said. "They played to the whistle, they played as a family, they played together. They didn't quit when they could have easily quit. I saw a lot of good things from young kids who haven't had a lot of varsity time."
The only offense the Braves mustered was a combined 37 yards rushing from Dylan Burke and Haywood Eurquhart, with the former rushing for 23 of them while Eurquhart chipped in 14 of his own.
Meanwhile, the Bombers scored twice in the first quarter, both times on touchdown passes from Matt Adamites. First, the sophomore signal caller hit Mason Collingwood for a 6-yard score, before finding Christian Nalepinski from 20-yards out with under one minute remaining in the frame.
Both scores were set up by the running of Nick Clauson, who finished with 114 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Bombers.
"We had a scrimmage last Friday, and we got going on the right path," Clauson said. "This week we settled in, and then we'll watch film to clean up all of our problems."
Taconic seemed to catch a break to open the second half when it recovered a fumble at the Westfield 31-yard line and ended up at the 16 after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by the Bombers.
But a false start, followed by runs of 2 and 1 yards, respectively, an incompletion and a sack ended the threat after reaching the red zone.
"Obviously we have a ton of work to do," Ziter said, as the Braves finished with 21 net yards of total offense. "We have a bye week next week, we're going to clean up a thousand things and get ready for the next game. I've got to look at a lot of different things."
That 13-0 Bomber advantage remained until the fourth, when Chris Barber extended the lead with an 11-yard scamper. Following a muffed snap on a Taconic punt which resulted in a safety, Clauson finally got into the end zone with 6:17 remaining in the game.
"With the offensive line we have, they're always working hard for me," Clauson said. "It makes my life a lot easier."
The game was marred by penalties, with 27 in all being called. Westfield accounted for 18 of those, accounting for 151 yards.
The Bombers, which finished with 245 yards of total offense, received 42 rushing yards from Barber while Nalepinski led the way with 26 receiving yards.
As for Taconic, Marquis Sanders had the squad's only catch for four yards back in the first quarter.
Westfield will host Leominster next Friday night while Taconic has the aforementioned bye week.
The Braves are back in action when it hosts Wahconah on Sept. 20. The Warriors will play their opener next Friday against Pittsfield in Dalton.
Taconic 0 0 0 0 — 0
Westfield 13 0 0 15 — 28
W — Mason Collingwood 6 pass from Matt Adamites (Joey Delgado kick), 7:53.
W — Christian Nalepinski 20 pass from Adamites (kick blocked), 0:59.
W — Chris Barber 11 run (pass failed), 11:22.
W — Safety, 9:43.
W — Nick Clauson 9 run (Delgado kick), 6:17.
First Downs 2 16
Rushes-yards 29-17 37-202
Com-Att-Int 1-8-0 5-11-1
Passing yards 4 43
Total yards 21 245
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Turnovers 1 2
Penalties-yds 9-76 18-151
RUSHING — T: Dylan Burke 11-23, Haywood Eurquhart 9-14, Marquis Sanders 4-0, Cole Lander 3-(-5), Ian Hadsell 2-(-15). W: Nick Clauson 19-114, Chris Barber 6-42, Ryan Cimini 3-14, Brian Strange 3-9, Jack Lussier 1-9, Paul Shibley 3-8, Matt Adamites 2-6.
PASSING — T: Lander 1-4-4, Hadsell 0-4-0. W: Adamites 5-11-43.
RECEIVING — T: Sanders 1-4. W: Christian Nalepinski 2-26, Carlos Flores 2-11, Mason Collingwood 1-6.
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