Hoosac Valley Runs Over Nashoba and into State Final
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The Hoosac Valley football team has won the the Western Mass title so much in recent years, the title almost seems like part of the Hurricanes' name.
This year, they want to add another title: State Champion.
Hoosac is one win away from that goal after punching its ticket to the state title game at Gillette Stadium with a 76-34 win over Nashoba Tech on Saturday at Westfield State University.
Hoosac Valley, which has won the sectional crown three times in the last five years, finally got over the hump against the Central Mass champion in the state semi-finals in a big way behind 220 yards rushing and four touchdowns from Matt Hall.
“I think the Offensive line did a good job of having their assignments communicating and getting to the second level. They did a really good job at that.” Hoosac Valley coach Dayne Poirot said.
Right out the gate, Hall broke a 26-yard run to get things going, only to top it with a 41-yard touchdown carry the next play.
Nashoba answered with a 42-yard strike in the air to tie the game at 6-6.
Hoosac Valley went back to its potent ground game, getting a 14-yard score from Donald Monsees on the next drive. But it only took the ensuing kickoff for Nashoba to get back in the end zone as it took one back 80-yards.
At this point it looked like we had a classic slugfest on our hands, but that was not the case. Another touchdown from Hall moved the score to 22-12 at the end of the quarter, and Hoosac Valley would not look back after that.
A big defensive stand resulting in a sack on third down would set up Vance Eugene to show his speed as he busted one up the middle on a QB keeper for six. Hoosac then scored three unanswered rushing touchdowns behind their strong offensive line right before the half giving them a 52-18 lead.
Second half action Nashoba Tech showed some heart coming out of the break scoring on both of their first two drives, but Hoosac proved to be too strong on the offensive end themselves. The rushing attack from Hall, Critelli, and Eugene was too much. David Critelli added 196 yards rushing while Vance Eugene added 81 yards a few touchdowns.
“It was huge, that is the most important thing you can do on offense, be variable and have guys that can do a few different things and I thought every guy contributed doing a lot of different things today," Poirot said.
Hoosac Valley will now turn their attention to the weekend of Dec. 1 and 2 in the State Finals at Gillette Stadium against Millis.
Both of the previous two State Title runs for Hoosac have fallen short so they will be hungry to get the win this time around.
Poirot said his team would not be doing too much celebrating after Saturday's win.
“We were worried about the State finals," Poirot said. We want to be there and get after the next game. I think we are just on to the next opponent.”