DUDLEY, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley High School football team's playoff run ended in the semifinals after a 22-39 loss to Hull High School.
Hull started the game out strong, scoring two unanswered touchdowns, ending the first quarter with a 13-0 lead. Hoosac cut into the lead in the second, with Aaron Bush scoring the first of his three touchdowns. A successful two-point conversion with 4:35 left in the quarter.
Hoosac head coach Mike Bostwick said he was proud that the team did not give up after Hull's two early touchdowns.
"I'm glad they finished it the right way, you know," he said. "They didn't put their heads down. They kept fighting throughout the whole game, right to the end."
After scoring another touchdown and a two-point conversion late in the second quarter, Hull increased its lead to 13, with a halftime score of 8-21. After another Hull touchdown early in the third, Hoosac completed its second touchdown and two-point conversion of the game, bringing the score to 16-27.
Hoosac and Hull traded touchdowns in quick succession to start the fourth. Hull's defense wouldn't allow another Hoosac touchdown, however, while their offense increased the lead to 17 near the end of the quarter, putting the game out of reach.
"Our guys know when you get to this point in the road, there's less room for error. The speed of everything is just a wee bit quicker," Bostwick said. "The physicality is just a little bit more, and you always wonder how you match up against that. And that's kind of what I saw tonight. Those guys attacked the ball. We didn't show them anything fancy. We went at them and they came at us. And they were the better team."
Bostwick said he thought the team played well and gave maximum effort, despite the loss.
"I think that's just their bond that they share with one another," he said. "Their team bond, these guys are tight. It's a heavy senior class, and I think that's what led to those guys just kind of being able to have that composure and still pull it together and do one last little Hurrah for themselves."
Bostwick explained that the team only had 16 players today and that he hopes Hoosac can co-op with another school to expand the roster in the future. He said that, despite the small roster, the team
"You don't need a ton of kids but you need at least 30 kids to do it right," he said. "And again tonight we had 16 and I'm just so proud that they came, they went, they scored."
Hoosac finished the season as the No. 1 seed in the state tournament with a 7-1 record during the regular season.