Mach Speed: Hurricanes Race Past Athol

By Chris PiscioneriSpecial to
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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- Senior running back Ty Mach helped his Hoosac Valley football team start the season with a bang by scoring four touchdowns in the first half alone as the Hurricanes cruised to a 68-8 home victory on Saturday afternoon.
"I felt pretty good," said Mach about his performance. "The heat was rediculous so it affected everyone but I felt good. But I absolutely need to get better. Everyday I have to make myself better."
It will be hard to top the game Mach had on Saturday as he took the Hurricanes' first carry for a 14-yard gain and then one play later ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run right up the middle of the Athol Red Raider defense.
Then after an Athol fumble on their first play of the game, Mach showed off his receiving skills as he hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass from junior Matt Koperniak on the first play of Hoosac's second possession of the game. Mach finished with the only two Hurricane catches of the day for a total of 35 yards.
Now it was time for the Hurricane defense and special teams to flex their muscle. After Hoosac sacked Athol quarterback Dylan Gray for a 6-yard loss on third down, the Red Raiders had a bad snap over their punter's head. The Hurricanes quickly pounced on the punter for a safety to make it 15-0.
On the ensuing free kick, junior Avery Hall fielded at his own 40-yard line and dashed 60 yards for another Hurricane score.
Athol's next possession resulted in a punt, and again Hoosac wasted no time. On just its ninth offensive play of the day sophomore running back Brenden Ellsworth smashed into the end zone from 5 yards out for the Hurricanes' fourth touchdown of the game with five minutes and 16 seconds still left in the first quarter.
Things continued to go downhill for Athol as they fumbled on their third play of their next possession with Ellswoth recovering for the defense. Eight plays later, Mach took a pitch from Koperniak on a option play to the right side and zipped 21 yards up the sideline for his third score, making it 35-0.
With three of his teams' first four offensive touchdowns of the game, Mach then showed his talent on the defensive side as he intercepted a Red Raider pass on his own 25-yard line and left everyone in his wake as he ran 75 yards for his fourth touchdown of the game.
Leading 42-0 with 5:18 left still before half, Hoosac was still able to tack on two more touchdowns before intermission. After an interception by Hall, Koperniak ran a quarterback keeper around the left end, juked a few defenders and jogged in for a 42-yard score of his own.
After two straight interceptions by Hoosac, senior John Lewis continued the defensive dominance with the Hurricanes' third consecutive interception, bringing the ball down to the Athol 13 yard line. On the next play he was rewarded with a touchdown as he scampered in from 13 yards out to put the score at 56-0 at half.
With things way out of hand, Hoosac head coach Dayne Poirot was able to give his starters a rest and his backups the whole second half to work on their skills.  Freshman running back Donald Monsees gave everyone a glimpse of the future as he took the oppurtunity and ran with it. Amassing 79 yards rushing on just six carries including touchdown runs of 17 and 31 yards.
Coach Poirot said he was happy with his teams' performance but that there were still things that needed to be worked on.
"We want to pick up and improve our conditioning," he said. "I know it was a really hot day but it was for everyone. We want to be ready to perform no matter what the circumstances are. We have to improve on that and be more crisp but it will be nice to see some game film and be able to assess guys off of that."
The Hurricanes are back at it on Friday night when they travel to Mahar to take on the Senators. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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