Falcons Soar Over Purple Knights 35-7
By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
10/11/21 * 4:33 PM
(WILBRAHAM) - Last Friday (10/8/21), the FP SPORTS HS 🏈 Game of the Week was Holyoke @ Minnechaug. The Purple Knghts travelled southeast to take on the fast paced Falcons at home.
The Purple Knights started the season on a high note. They shutout the struggling Putnam Beavers on a rainy Thursday in Holyoke. They haven’t won a game since.
Minnechaug came in to the game 3-1. Their single loss was to Wachusett, in a close game. Last week, the Falcons demolished a winless Chicopee Comp team.
Friday’s game was similar to the Chicopee Comp game: a blowout.
Minnechaug had six scoring plays before Holyoke got on the scoreboard late in the 4th quarter.
The Falcons controlled the game in all three phases.
On offense, Senior RB Geno Facchetti ran the ball hard all game. He scored a TD in the 1st quarter and capped off the game with a TD in the 4th quarter*. RB Isaiah Kozub also ran tough for the Falcons. He scored the first TD of the game. He was the QB in the “wildcat” formation. He got the snap and barreled into the end-zone.
(Isaiah Kozub runs for a TD)
On defense, the Falcons defensive line got pressure on the Purple Knights QBs all game. Holyoke’s starting QB Quinn Cauley got hurt in the first half after he threw an INT that was caught by Minnechaug Sophomore Sean Murphy. Cauley came back in the game for a few plays and was taken out again. He didn’t come back in the game after that. The Purple Knights played 3 other QBs on Friday: Dymetri Gonzalez, Gavier Fernandez and Aramis Serrano. Gonzalez got most of the snaps after Cauley’s injury. Gonzalez is usually the kicker/punter, a defensive back and wide receiver. When Holyoke beat Putnam, Serrano came in to spell Cauley.
The Falcons defensive line was led by Facchetti and DJ Johnson. Not only did they get pressure on the QBs, they got multiple TFLs on Holyoke RBs. The Falcons moved the Holyoke OL all night.
(DJ Johnson lines up on defense)
On special teams, the Falcons didn’t make any mistakes. Nic Patrakis successfully kicked two FGs and 3 EPs; they didn’t fumble on punt returns.
The Falcons played an all-around great game.
Holyoke is struggling through this season. The biggest struggle I can see for Holyoke is their offensive line. The offensive line isn’t pass-protecting well and they aren’t consistently opening lanes for the RBs. The Purple Knights need better O-Line play if they want to be successful for the rest of the season.
Another bright spot for Minnechaug was QB Jeremy Diehl. This is the second game I have seen him play. He has a really good arm. He threw a pass that was incomplete. The ball hit the turf, bounced up and hit my left leg. My leg stung for a few minutes. Diehl has some velocity behind his throws. He threw one TD on Friday to CJ Socha.
(Jeremy Diehl, #4)
Minnechaug put their second string players in on offense, in the 4th quarter. The center snapped the ball over the back-up QB’s head. The ball rolled in to the end-zone and was recovered by Holyoke for their first score of the game.
The last few minutes contained bad snaps by both teams. The game ended with Minnechaug on top 35-7.
Geno Facchetti - 2 run TDs
Isaiah Kozub - 1 run TD
Jeremy Diehl - 1 pass TD
CJ Socha - 1 rec TD
Nic Patrakis - 2 FGs
fumble recovery TD
After the game, I spoke with Minnechaug HC Will Nickerson.
Your team had an extra day to prepare for this game. How did you feel coming into the game?
“It gave us a day to get our legs back underneath us…It was good to get that day…definitely helped out.”
What was your plan to stop Cauley and Cabrera tonight?
“Defense did a good job, wanted to get some pressure up front and win some 1-on-1s. Geno Facchetti did a really good job at that. DJ Johnson did a great job making some plays and getting pressure. Mike Rosso, Max Fraga, Pat Boland up-front, the D-Line. Those guys up-front did a good job getting pressure….[We showed] a couple different coverages on the back-end.”
Diehl has a really good arm. Is he getting looked at by any colleges?
“Yeah, like we talked about before, he has a really good GPA. There are certain schools where he could play football at; there are others he’s just looking to be a student. He is interested in Framingham State and Bridgewater State as two of the schools where football would be a possibility at…”
Can you tell us about Geno Facchetti?
“He is our top DL for us and a RB. He rotates in with Isaiah @ RB. He played football when he was really young and then took a hiatus from 4th grade until 11th grade. He didn’t play until the Fall 2 season. He came back out, really happy he did. He is looking at some junior colleges and prep schools. A great kid and really hard worker.”
Like Bill Belichick, “It’s on to, whoever”. Who do you play next week?
“We got Westfield…that’s gonna be a big one. Coach Parent…we know each other pretty well…They’re definitely a really good team…They are a tough team, really gonna have to prepare for these guys.”
*The Falcons last TD by Geno Facchetti.