ADAMS, Mass. — More than three hours of travel time separates Hoosac Valley High School and Lynn Tech, but there was not too much that separated them on the football field on Friday night.
In the end, the top-seeded Hurricanes survived an opening round scare with a 14-6 win at Renfrew Field.
With only a few plays through the air, this game was a battle in the trenches as both teams used the run early and often.
For Lynn the big story was penalties in the first quarter. It had a few drives that were stalled due to infractions, and in a game where every inch counted, it couldn’t afford them.
On both of Lynn Tech’s first two drives, it was moving the ball on the ground well, but due to penalties and self-inflicted errors it was unable to get anything out of them. On the other side of the ball, Hoosac Valley struggled as well to move the ball on the ground.
It wasn’t until late in the first half when the first score of the game came on a nice run up the middle for the score for Lynn Tech. The drive was kept alive on a fourth-and-7 that Lynn Tech converted to set up the goal line rushing touchdown.
With fewer than three minutes left in the half it was up to Hoosac to answer back, and that is exactly what the Hurricanes did. Hoosac Valley had a nice drive that brought it down to the 30 yard line with only seconds left on the clock. Carson Meczywor rolled out and found Caleb Harrington in the back of the end zone to tie the score going into half.
“Our guys are never short on confidence and Caleb wanted that ball. We don’t do a lot of throwing and boy did he come up big." Hoosac Valley coach Mike Botswick said. “Throwing is part of our game plan. It’s not the No. 1 thing, but it’s something we can hang our hat on when times are tough moving the ball on the ground.”
That was a big play for Hoosac Valley getting on the scoreboard before half because it gave the Canes the momentum they needed to come right back out and try and get things rolling again in the second half.
Sure enough, they came out of the break with a long 12-play drive that finished with Carson Meczywor finding the end zone on the ground this time. That proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
Carson Meczywor had two touchdowns on the night, one throwing and one rushing, but a big part of this win goes to running backs Aaron Bush and Shaun Kastner Jr. The two of them only rushed for 116 yards combined but some of the big rushes to keep drives going proved to be enough for the Hurricanes.
“I look to those two in times of need and I look to them for their leadership,” Bostwick said. "Their grit and resilience and the stuff that they play through most high school football players would not play through.”
The other key: Hoosac Valley’s defense, which held its own playing against a big and tough football team in Lynn Tech.
The Hurricanes had a bend but don’t break mentality and it sure came up big. Late in the fourth quarter, when Hoosac Valley needed a stop most, it was able to get the job done after a long drive from Lynn Tech that came up empty. The Hoosac “D” eventually gave the ball to the offense and they were able to run the clock out and book a spot in the next round of the tournament.
“We made lots of subtle adjustments, and their power run game was key. We made some tweaks and we were able to get it done and it showed late in the game" Bostwick said.
Next up for Hoosac Valley is No. 9 Narragansett, which earned a mild 34-20 upset over Lowell Catholic on Friday night.
More photos of this game here.