Tatro, Mucci Lead Hoosac Valley to First Win
ADAMS, Mass. – The Hoosac Valley football program has a lot of tradition and a lot of success.
And this year, it has a lot of new faces.
A lot of those youngsters Wednesday got their first taste of victory with a 30-14 win over Springfield International Charter School at Renfrew Field.
Kadan Tatro and Griffin Mucci each ran for more than 100 yards, and Kamarion Kastner threw for a touchdown as the Hurricanes improved to 1-2 this season.
“It’s huge,” Hurricanes coach Mike Bostwick said of the win. “It’s huge for what we’re trying to do because these kids are young. They don’t understand that big picture yet. They don’t understand how we do things, how our football program does things and what our football culture is all about and what being a Hurricane is all about. They don’t have a lot of leaders on this team or a lot of previous players to show them that.
“So we’re trying to instill a lot of things with these young bucks. Half of our sophomores are first year players, and we’ve got a lot of freshmen starting. So it’s a brand spanking new team, and they embrace the process. And they’ve got a pretty good attitude.”
The team has just one senior and one junior on its roster.
The junior, Tatro, finished with 135 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns. He also hauled down a SICS runner in the backfield for a safety in the fourth quarter.
He got 124 of those yards in the second half – mostly on scoring runs of 59 and 49 yards.
“We have some great blockers,” Tatro said. “In the first half, we didn’t really get out as competitive as we should have been. We got better as we went on. The coaches sat down and talked to us, and we did our best.”
The Bulldogs threatened first in the first quarter, moving the chains twice and getting to the Hoosac Valley 37 before Mucci stopped a run play on fourth-and-11 for just a 2-yard gain to get the ball back for the Hurricanes.
But Hoosac Valley came up empty on its ensuing possession and on its first three possessions until the Hurricanes finally got something going at the very end of the half.
A Hoosac Valley fumble recovery on a fourth-down play for SICS gave the ‘Canes the ball in Bulldogs territory.
With 11 seconds on the clock at the SICS 40, Kastner broke two tackles in the backfield, rolled to his left and found Qwanell Bradley down the sideline for a 19-yard gain. Bradley immediately jumped up and called timeout with less than a second left on the clock.
On the final play of the half, Kastner connected with Bradley again, this time at about the 2, and Bradley bulldozed his way into the end zone to give Hoosac Valley the game’s first score and a 6-0 lead.
“I think that carried our momentum right into the second half and was exactly what we needed,” Mucci said.
The first-year program from the former Sabis of Springfield found some magic of its own to start the second half when a 44-yard kickoff return by Ke’Jour Gladden set up a 38-yard scoring run by Jaylen Lovejoy to give the Bulldogs an 8-6 lead.
But the Hurricanes scored the next 14 points and never looked back.
First, Mucci galloped 50 yards down the left sideline to push the lead to 12-8. Then on the Hurricanes’ next play from scrimmage Tatro went 59 yards to the right side; Mucci ran in the 2-pointer, and Hoosac Valley had a 20-8 lead.
A 35-yard fumble return for a touchdown allowed SICS to pull within six early in the fourth quarter.
But the next time the Bulldogs got the ball – at its 5 after a failed fourth-down conversion attempt by Hoosac Valley – the Hurricanes defense drove the visitors back into their end zone for a safety to push the margin back to eight points. And Tatro’s final run of the night went for 49 yards and the game’s final score.
One down note for Hoosac Valley on the night was the departure of Kastner due to injury after the first half. Will Hakes took over under center in the second half.
After the game, Bostwick indicated that Kastner should be better by the time the Hurricanes host Easthampton on Sept. 30.
“He’s fine,” Bostwick said of the ninth grader. “I’m gonna get him up to the high school right now. I’m going to work on him for a half hour or so. I think he’s fine. He’s over there walking around.
“Some of these guys are young, and they’ve never had any nicks or bruises or anything. And part of this process is learning to work through some of that stuff. And part of it could be maybe he is a little tweaked. I think it’s something we should be able to work through and get him right for next week. That’s my hope.”
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Kadan Tatro talks about his tackle for a safety in Friday’s victory.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Griffin Mucci talks about what Wednesday’s win means for the Hurricanes.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Griffin Mucci goes 50 yards for a touchdown in Wednesday’s win over SICS at Renfrew Field.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Kadan Tatro hauls down an SICS runner for a safety in Wednesday’s win.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Kamarion Kastner throws a 21-yard touchdown to Qwanell Bradley in Wednesday’s win over Springfield International Charter.