Taconic football shut out by Amherst

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GILLIAN JONES — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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PITTSFIELD — The way Taconic's football game with Amherst started on Friday night, things looked pretty good.

The visiting Hurricanes won the toss, chose to defer, and tried an onside kick to open the game. Shane Robles' boot went backwards and the Braves were in business on the Amherst 37-yard line.

That turned out to be the high point for the Braves, as the visitors scored 34 points in the first half, and cruised home to a 34-0 win at Gene Dellea Field.

While the Braves (1-3) held the high-powered Hurricanes (4-0) to 176 yards in total offense, the home team was penalized six times for 65 yards, lost two fumbles and one turned into a touchdown, and had a punt blocked that led to another touchdown.

"I challenged them at halftime to come out in the second half, and they did," Taconic coach Jim Ziter said. "They held them to no points. But yeah, it's frustrating."

Taconic started that drive, and got two yards on two carries by Dylan Burke. Anthony Johnson, who had 34 yards on 10 carries, gained four yards on third down. But on fourth-and-4 from the Amherst 31, Marquis Saunders was taken down for a five-yard loss, turning the ball over.

Amherst scored four of its five touchdowns on short fields. The longest touchdown drive of the game was Amherst's first one, a four-play, 63-yard drive that was capped off by a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback J.B. Wells to C.J. Woodfine-Holmes, who got behind the Taconic secondary.

The Braves went three-and-out on the next series, but the Hurricanes' Tom Dion blocked Haywood Eurquehart's punt. Daniel Molina recovered and two plays later, Connor Bowen scored on a five-yard run.

Amherst's next touchdown came when Jack Nagy recovered Ian Hadsell's fumble on the Braves' 3-yard line, and the Hurricanes scored two plays later. The visitors also scored on their final two possessions, getting touchdowns on drives of 32 and 38 yards.

"That always works out in our favor. When we get a short field, it's easier to call plays," Amherst coach Chris Ehorn Jr. said. "Our defense put them in some tough spots. We're happy about how our defense played."

The Taconic defense held Dan Block to 56 yards rushing on 12 carries. Wells was 9 of 20 for 75 yards. He was intercepted once, by Taconic's Deondre Goines. Other than the touchdown pass, Amherst did not have a play longer than 12 yards in the game.

"We couldn't get moving. We couldn't get the ball moving," the Taconic coach said. "Defensively we played well. We kept putting our defense in bad spots."

Taconic travels to Division VII leader, undefeated South Hadley, next Friday night.

"We've probably got to win out now to make any headway" in Division VII, said Ziter. "I have no doubt we can definitely do it, but we have to get back to work on Monday."

———

Amherst     14     20     0     0     —     34

Taconic     0     0     0     0     —     0

First Quarter

A — C.J. Woodfine-Holmes 40 pass from J.B. Mills (Shane Robles pass from Mills), 3:22.

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A — Connor Bowen 5 run (Pass failed), 1:28.

Second Quarter

A — Dan Block 3 run (Pass failed), 8:18.

A — Antonio Govan Jr. 10 pass from Mills (Mills run), 3:11.

A — Block 4 run (Run failed), 0:40.

———Team Statistics

     Tac     Amh

First Downs     2     11

Rushes-Yards     30-45     25-101

Passing yards     0     75

Passes     0-5-0     9-20-1

Punts-Avg.     6-28.7     2-45.0

Fumbles-Lost     2-2     1-0

Penalties-Yards     6-65     3-25

———

Individual Statistics

RUSHING — Tac: Dylan Burke 6-11, Anthony Johnson 10-34, Marquis Saunders 2-(minus-9), Cole Lander 2-(minus-7), Nick Hall 5-23, Haywood Eurquhart 4-(minus-7), Ian Hadsell 1-0. Amh: Dan Block 12-56, Connor Bowen 10-42, J.B. Mills 1-(minus-1), C.J. Woodfine-Holmes 2-4.

PASSING — Tac: Hadsell 0-3-0 0, Lander 0-2-0 0. Amh: Mills 9-20-1 75.

RECEIVING — Amh: Antonio Govan Jr. 4-21, Woodfine-Holmes 1-40, Shane Robles 1-6, Block 1-0, Ethan Howard 2-7.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman @berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.


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