by Kevin McCaskill Jr.
(EAST LONGMEADOW) - Last year, the East Longmeadow Spartans travelled to South Hadley to play the Tigers in an early, regular season game. The game was close but the Spartans pulled out the victory.
This season’s matchup was close for one quarter.
The Spartans won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball. Their first drive was methodical. QB Shane Becker made some nice throws to open receivers. The offense got an early contribution from RB Dominick Gamelli. The Spartans got into redzone quickly. Becker got the snap in the shotgun and handed the ball to Gamelli. Gamelli went up the middle broke a tackle and galloped toward the endzone. He crossed the goalline and scored the Spartans first TD of the game. After the game, Gamelli said that he was “excited” after scoring the first TD “but…wanted more”.
In the second quarter, he got more.
The Spartan defense turned up their energy and came after the Tigers with full force on every down. They forced SH to punt. EL got pressure on the punter and he had to get the punt off quick. The punt went very high in the air but didn’t travel that far down the field. The punt went 8 yards and bounced out of bounds. EL was set up for another scoring drive. On the first play, Gamelli got the ball and sprinted toward the endzone again. He got there, barely touched, for his 2nd TD of the game.
EL was up 14-0. They scored 4 more TDs. Gamelli scored 2 more TDs; Daniel Magiera recovered a fumble @ the goalline and rolled over into the endzone for a TD; Preston Longo returned a punt for a TD and deliver a strong stiff-arm to a would-be SH tackler.
(D. Gamelli scores his 3rd TD of the game)
At halftime, the Spartans led 42-0.
The lopsided score meant a running 12 minute clock in the 2nd half.
Magiera recovered another fumble in the third quarter. On the Spartans next possession, Magiera scored on a 17 yard run. That score put EL up 49-0.
(D. Magiera scores his 2nd TD)
EL put in their reserves for the rest of the game. In the 4th qt, backup QB Dominic Serafino scored the last TD of the game. He got the snap in the shotgun, faked the handoff to the RB on his right side and ran towards the left side of the field. He slowed down to set up a block, cut back to his right and ran straight to the endzone.
EL shutout SH 56-0 😯.
After the game, EL HC Mike Morrisino said he got this kids “pumped up” for this “suburban rivalry”. He also says his QB, Shane Becker, “has matured a ton, on and off the field”. He is also “investing to be a team leader”.
South Hadley hosts St. Bernard next week; East Longmeadow hosts Chicopee Comp.