WESTFIELD – The Westfield Bombers shook off several rain drops, yellow flags, and a few Brave defensive players to post a convincing 28-0 shutout of Taconic in a penalty-marred season-opening high school football game Friday night at Bullens Field.
While penalty flags fell to the ground almost as often as raindrops for much of the game, the opening script was a thing of near-perfection for Westfield.
After forcing a three-and-out on Taconic’s first drive, Westfield went to work. The Bombers started on their own 38-yard line and moved the ball 62 yards in eight plays. The drive was aided by two key unsportsmanlike penalties on the Braves and culminated in a 6-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Matt Adamites to senior Matt Collingwood with 7:53 remaining in the opening quarter.
Collingwood came across the middle, caught the ball around the six and scampered toward the right front pylon, crossing the end zone in stride.
On the next series, Westfield forced another three-and-out. The Bombers took over, but an interception quickly ended that drive.
Westfield’s defense put the brakes on Taconic yet again, holding the Braves to a third straight three-and-out. The Bombers took over near midfield.
After benefiting from another big penalty from the opposition, Westfield quickly approached the red zone. The Bombers made it 13-0 when Adamites completed a 20-yard TD pass to senior Christian Nalepinski with 59 ticks left on the first quarter clock.
The second half was once again littered with yellow flags. That did not stop Westfield though as the Bombers pushed and pushed and pushed before finally bowling over some Braves when Chris Barber rumbled 10 yards for a touchdown 36 seconds in the final quarter.
A Westfield safety and a seven-yard TD run from Nick Clauson accounted for Westfield’s final two scoring plays.
St. Mary’s 3, Pathfinder 1
St. Mary’s rallied from an early one-goal deficit, rallying for three straight goals to defeat Pathfinder.
Pathfinder scored first on a high hard shot from Seth Tebo that just eluded the fingertips and grasp of St. Mary’s keeper Hayden Lussier.
St. Mary responded with a goal from Seamus Smith at the 16-minute mark of the first half with a set-up from Brady Collins. The Saints scored again at the 22-minute mark of the first with a goal from Jack Lamirande, the 99th point of his career. Smith assisted.
Strong play from the Saints netted another goal off of a Pathfinder defender.
“We played a much different game today and it payed off,” St. Mary’s boys soccer head coach Andy Lussier said. “The boys attacked today and worked well as a team. We changed our game a bit from our last game on Tuesday. We won more balls in open space, moved with purpose and communicated better.”
Coach Lussier credited strong play from Jack Masciadrelli, Aiden Burke and Mike Pepe as the main cog in helping key the Saints’ continued attack.
Hayden Lussier made had 12 saves for St. Mary’s
Said coach Lussier: “We’ve made some good progress this week as a team and are starting to work cohesively.”
Westfield Technical Academy 3, Pioneer Valley Christian 0
Darryl Reopel, Adam Strycharz, and Bodhi Hall scored one goal apiece to fuel Westfield Tech’s win over Pioneer Valley Christian. Tigers’ Dan Kontsimal, Adam Strycharz, and Ruvim Vdovichenko had assists.
David Tikhonchuk and Jon Vella had very strong games for Westfield Tech.
“It was good to pick up that first league win and great to see the team continue to come together,” Westfield Tech boys soccer head coach Kyle Dulude said.
Westfield 2, East Longmeadow 0
Meghan Bowen and Abby Daley each tallied a goal, and goalie Lindsey Brown (7 saves) earned a shutout as Westfield blanked East Longmeadow 2-0 at home against East Longmeadow.
Lara Finnie had an assist for the Bombers.
“Westfield showed up to their game ready to play,” Bombers field hockey coach Courtney Albee said. “They fought for each ball, played with heart and played smart. They wanted the win.”
Smith Academy 2, Southwick 0
Charlotte Cavanaugh and Bailey McCoy scored one goal apiece, and Hadley Szhal (2 saves) recorded a shutout in net for Smith Academy. Claire Stratton made seven saves for Southwick.
In JV action, Southwick and Smith Academy played to a 0-0 tie.