By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
On Good Friday, I was in Agawam to watch Agawam HS host the Spartans from East Longmeadow. Friday afternoon was in the same temperature range as Thursday night’s game. At kickoff, it was about 34 degrees 🌡. Every now and then, there were isolated snowflakes.
Unfortunately, before the game two people died in Washington D.C. A man, who may have been influenced by an American Muslim Black nationalist organization, was shot by Capitol Police after he rammed his car into 2 officers and a barricade. One of the Capitol Police officers died.
This game was simple: Agawam’s running attack - RBs, OL and QBs - trampled the EL defensive front. EL was limited on defense. One of El’s better lineman Jack Caldise didn’t get as many snaps as usual on Friday. He may have been injured in some way 🤷🏽♂️.
Agawam Senior Elijah “ET” Torres led the rushing attack. He “phoned home” three times 🥁. He scored 3 rushing TDs on Friday 💪🏽. He got one long run for a TD but he definitely worked for all his yards.
Torres was helped in the running game by RB Jermaine Norfleet and QB Griffen Levesque. Norfleet also scored a rush TD on Friday.
Levesque didn’t rush for a TD but he did throw for a TD 🎯. He hit Jovaun Tudor on a great pass. Tudor caught it and stumbled into the end- zone.
According to Advance Local/ Masslive, Torres had 24 carries for 188 yards, 3 TDs. Griffen Levesque ran the ball 11 times for 89 yards. He was 5/11 for 64 yards and 1 TD throwing the ball.
The bright spot for EL in another tough game was Johnny Ferrentino. He makes a lot of open field tackles. If you are in the stadium, you will hear his name a lot 👂🏽.
EL HC Mike Morrisino told me after the Amherst game he would play 2 QBs all season. So far, he has done that. Conner Robidoux has started all three games. Shane Becker has played in all the games and he was part of the only TD for EL on Friday. He threw a 🎯 to WR Landon Robidoux and the Spartans avoided a shutout.
Both QBs for EL struggled on Friday. The Agawam defense was the cause for most of the struggles. Elijah Torres’ big day wasn’t just on offense. He caught an INT on defense and made a lot of tackles. Before the end of 2nd quarter, EL was at the goal-line. Robidoux threw a pass but it was intercepted by CB Vinny Wallace.
Wallace was active all over the field on defense. He played in coverage deep and made plays on the ball when EL tried to throw some short passes.
The second and third team offenses got some reps for Agawam. The 3rd string QB on Friday for Agawam was Dom Vecchiarelli. He was at the West Side/Longmeadow game on Thursday getting footage for his media brand 👌🏽.
Agawam was too strong for EL. They won easily 35-7.
After the game, I spoke with EL HC Mike Morrisino and Agawam HC John Benjamin.
🔴EL HC Mike Morrisino⚪️
How did you and the team feel coming into this game?
“We felt pretty good but we are playing so many young kids. I thought we had a pretty good week of practice. Our Seniors have really stepped up and started to lead this football team a little more. I thought we had a good week of practice; things didn’t bounce our way today”.
Torres and Levesque got going early. What was happening at the line of scrimmage?
“Their O-Line ate us up a little bit. They’re big tough kids. They had a great mentality today. They brought the fight to us. Our D-Line played pretty well; linebackers got lost in space a little bit but again my hat off to Agawam. They brought the fight today...they deserve to get a W, they fought hard”.
🟤Agawam HC John Benjamin🟠
How did you feel coming into the game? How was your week of practice?
“We had a really good week of practice. We have been getting better since we lost to a really good Longmeadow team. We knew that we are better than that. We needed to protect the ball a little bit more. We knew we needed to increase our intensity on the field and over the last two weeks the guys have really come to play”.
Can you tell us about Elijah Torres?
“This is really his one year. [He had eligibility issues Sophomore and Junior year]. With our line and our tight ends and blocking backs, we knew we could have a pretty solid running game with him...He’s a Senior this year. Absolutely love the kid. We’re trying to squeeze out as much football out of him as we can. He is playing great on defense; he is playing great on offense. And, he’s just a great human being”.
Can you tell us about Griffen Levesque?
“He was a really good WR and a couple years ago we mentioned to him he should start playing QB....He’s been working at it really hard the last couple years. That’s showing on the field also”.
What are you expecting from the game against West Side?
“It’s a rivalry. It’s as much a rivalry in sports in the state of Massachusetts as your gonna find - Agawam vs. West Side football. They stuck it to us the last three years, so we are really ready for this game. We want this game. They’re a really good football team. They are one of the best coached football teams in Western Mass with Chad Labonte...He’s a great guy. We have been looking forward to this game since Thanksgiving. We were texting back and forth to each other and we would have played on Thanksgiving if we could have found a yard to play in but we would have gotten fired so we figured we will wait until the spring”.
How do you think you can stop Ryan Russell?
“I don’t know, no one has yet I don’t think. We are gonna have to figure it out. He is a really good football player. He can throw the ball; he read defenses really well. If you let him out of the gate, he can take it to the house from anywhere. He’s a really good football player. He’s probably gonna keep us up nights this weeks trying to figure it out”.