By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
10/18/21 * 01:08 PM
(WESTFIELD) - Last Friday night, I was on on the west side of the Connecticut River, in Westfield. The Westfield HS Bombers hosted the Falcons from Minnechaug Regional HS.
Last week after a win over Holyoke, Minnechaug HC Will Nickerson said the matchup against Westfield would be a “big game”. This was definitely a big game but not the game we were expecting.
Early on Friday, a writer for Masslive/Advance Local tweeted that QB Matt Adamites would be out for Westfield. The tweet also relayed the information that Isaiah Kozub and James Jolicoeur would be out for Minnechaug. Jolicoeur missed last week’s game against Holyoke also.
When I got to Bullens Field, I started to watch Minnechaug warm-up. I noticed that QB Jeremy Diehl wasn’t throwing any passes. He wasn’t at the game at all.
There is still no word of why Diehl didn’t play on Friday. We also don’t know how long Minnechaug got to prepare after finding out Diehl wouldn’t play. Whatever the issue is, I hope he plays soon.
Both teams had to have the “next young man up” play in an unfamiliar setting.
For Minnechaug, Ryan McConnell started at QB for the first time this season. He usually plays WR.
(#25 Sam Manteria and #1 Ryan McConnell in white for Minnechaug; #41 Tyreek Mejia in black)
For Westfield, Freshman Jaxson St. Pierre started his first Varsity game. Andrew Scott also got snaps at QB. I don’t think he attempted a pass but I could be wrong. He ran the ball on most of his snaps.
(Jaxson St. Pierre)
Minnechaug’s offense without Diehl was very narrow in scope. McConnell ran on designed run plays for most of the night. In the pass game, he attempted mostly WR & RB screens.
By the way the game went, it seems like Minnechaug found out sometime on Thursday or Friday that Diehl would be out. They didn’t have the threat to pass and Westfield’s defensive line got a lot of pressure on McConnell. When the Falcons tried to run the ball, the Westfield DL was in the backfield on many plays.
St. Pierre made good plays running and passing the ball. He threw a nice pass to Matt Collins down the sideline before the end of the 2nd quarter. That pass set the the Bombers for a 25-yard FG but the Falcons blocked the kick.
The Minnechaug defense allowed a few first downs but held up in the first half and didn’t let Westfield score.
The Falcons and Bombers were tied at zero at halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, the Bombers got on the scoreboard.
Andrew Scott is the “runner” out of the two QBs that played on Friday. He scored on a designed QB run to the right. He stayed patient behind his blockers and then sped up to get to the corner of the end-zone.
(Run TD by Andrew Scott)
In this kind of game, that TD by Scott was huge. However, Minnechaug still had a chance to tie or even go ahead in the game.
They couldn’t overcome the absence of Diehl. He is a very good QB and he is the leader of the offense.
In the 4th quarter, Minnechaug still had a chance to tie the game or go ahead. HC Nickerson put in QB Jake Lowe. He “looks” more like a typical QB. It was clear that the Falcons needed to pass the ball to have a chance to win. Lowe’s first attempt was tipped by Tyreek Mejia and intercepted by Jacob Fernandez.
(Interception by Westfield)
If Westfield scored, they could end the game. Lead by the Freshman, St. Pierre, the Bombers marched the ball down to the goal-line. The game clinching TD was scored by St. Pierre on a QB Sneak. He had to fight through both lines and extended the ball across the goal-line for the TD. Minnechaug blocked the extra point attempt.
(Run TD by Jaxson St. Pierre)
The Bombers did enough to get a good win against a tough Minnechaug team.
Westfield won 13-0.
Andrew Scott - 1 run TD
Jaxson St. Pierre - 1 run TD
After the game I spoke with Minnechaug HC Will Nickerson and Westfield HC Rob Parent.
Why was Diehl out tonight?
Can’t say. No comment.
How did Diehl being out change your gameplan?
“The QB run game, [we used] a lot of screens…”
Did your game-plan change much with Adamites out?
“Yea, [our] vertical pass game…I thought Jaxson threw the ball great. But…there are things Matt can do because he has been in this particular offense, with this group of kids for a long time, that we wanted to settle Jaxson in to. So tonight he had [the] training wheels on but I don’t expect that going forward”.
Can you tell us about Tyreek Mejia?
“Yea. He is a 1st year Varsity player. He didn’t play for us in the Spring. He came out this [season] and he is a very solid athlete; he is a gifted athlete. He is very athletic, very smart football player. He is only a Sophomore. He’s got a lot of room to grow. We like where he is at right now…”