By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
10/23/21 * 10:03 AM
(EAST LONGMEADOW) - On Friday night, I was back in East Longmeadow. The Spartans hosted Agawam HS. Both teams have been on recent losing skids so they each needed a win.
Friday night was also Senior Night* for the Spartans. They had a ceremony before the game for the Senior players and one cheerleader.
As EL celebrated, Agawam continued to warm-up and get ready for the game. In the Fall 2 season, Agawam beat EL on Good Friday in Agawam. Agawam also beat Holyoke on Senior Night, in the final game for both teams.
(Agawam HC John Benjamin & QB Griffen Levesque)
They played the “spoiler” role on Friday night, again.
The game opened up with Agawam receiving the kickoff. Their first drive stalled and they were forced to punt. The snap for the punt went over the punter’s head. The punter recovered the ball but EL had great field position.
After a few plays, EL QB Shane Becker hit WR Conner Robidoux for a pass in the middle of the field. Robidoux caught the ball and sprinted toward the end-zone for the first score of the game. Johnny Ferrentino kicked the EP and the Spartans were up 7-0.
(East Longmeadow QB Shane Becker)
Agawam got the ball back after a squib-kick by EL on the kickoff. Jermaine Norfleet had some carries for good yardage on the drive. Senior QB Griffen Levesque scored on a 20 yard QB run around the left side. Josiah Bass-Collins kicked the EP and the game was tied at 7.
(Agawam RB Jermaine Norfleet)
On the next EL possession, Agawam Freshman Jaedyn Perez forced a fumble by stripping the ball from EL RB Preston Longo. Agawam recovered the ball and had very good field position.
Once again, Agawam methodically ran the ball with Levesque and Norfleet. On this drive, Norfleet cashed in a TD on a well-blocked run to the left side of the field. Bass-Collins kicked another EP; they led 14-7.
EL went “three and out” on their next possession and they were forced to punt.
In the 2nd quarter, both teams struggled on offense. The first drive of the 2nd for Agawam ended with a missed FG by Bass Collins.
Becker threw a long pass to the back of the end-zone that was intercepted by Agawam DB Aidan Levesque.
Agawam couldn’t capitalize on the turnover and was forced to punt again.
Both defenses were the reason for the offensive struggles. EL got pressure on Levesque all night when he tried to pass. The Agawam defense forced 3 turnovers in the first half.
Agawam Senior Patrick Kelly strip-sacked Becker in the 2nd for Agawam’s third takeaway in the 1st half. The fumble was recovered by Perez and he ran to the end-zone for a defensive TD. Agawam led 21-7.
Before halftime, EL HC Mike Morrisino and the offensive staff used the clock wisely to get a series of short passes to set up a Ferrentino FG.
Agawam led at halftime 21-10.
EL got the ball to open the 3rd quarter. EL couldn’t get their drive started and they were forced to punt.
The EL defense held their ground on Agawam’s next offensive possession. Agawam had two opportunities to gain one yard on 3rd and 4th down. On both downs, Agawam was stopped by the EL defensive line and linebackers.
EL scored on the following possession. Becker threw a great pass to Ferrentino in the right corner of the end-zone. He got one foot in and caught the ball. Initially, one referee said he was out of bounds. Another referee came over and they had a chat. The head referee came over and the play was reversed to a TD. The Spartans inched closer on the scoreboard 21-17.
Agawam’s offense stalled in the third quarter. They couldn’t move the ball especially in the passing game. They turned the ball over on downs again which gave EL more momentum.
That momentum carried EL down to the red-zone. Agawam’s defense stood tall and stopped EL on 1st&Goal, 2nd&Goal and 3rd&Goal. Before 4th&Goal, HC Morrisino called a timeout. He and the staff drew up a great play.
Becker took the snap from under the center. He tossed the ball to Longo. Instead of running it, Longo slowed up and passed it to Ferrentino in the end-zone. EL was up 24-21, in the 4th quarter.
Agawam needed to get another score to stay in the game or win it. They kept the ball on the ground with Levesque and Norfleet. Levesque scored his 2nd TD of the game on a read-option play. He kept the hand-off after faking to Norfleet. He got around the right edge and scampered into the end-zone. He got some boos from the home EL crowd. Agawam led 28-24
EL had two more possession to get a TD. The first possession, they had to punt. On their last possession, after Agawam tried to end the game on an unsuccessful TD pass attempt, EL tried one lateral play and one deep pass that was intercepted by Agawam.
Agawam picked up a tough road win in East Longmeadow 28-24.
Griffen Levesque - 2 run TDs
Jermaine Norfleet - 1 run TD
Jaedyn Perez - fumble recovery TD
Shane Becker - 2 pass TDs
Preston Longo - 1 pass TD
Johnny Ferrentino - 2 rec TD; 1 FG
Conner Robidoux - 1 rec TD
*Seniors for EL: Xavier Boas; Johnny Ferrentino; Tanner McTaggart; Aidan Cochran; Wyatt Poole; Jack Calcidise; Lucas Ferguson; Christian Thomas; Kendrick LaFleche