Friday, September 29, 2017

Postgame Blog: St. John's (Shrewsbury) Continues Offensive Surge Against Wachusett

By Connor Evans (@RonnocEvans)

HOLDEN - Tonight's matchup between the hometown Wachusett Mountaineers and St. John's (Shrewsbury) Pioneers turned out to be a lopsided affair. SJ would jump out to an early lead and never look back as they cruised to victory, 55-21.


Q1: SJ Quarterback Steven Bucciaglia would carve up the Mountaineer defense for a pair of touchdowns. One to Eamonn Dennis on a screen pass and the other to Jay Brunelle for a 55-yard strike. After throwing another bomb to Mark Cheffers, Dennis would take a pitch to the left side and find his way in for another 6. The quarter would end 20-0 all Pioneers.

Q2: Bucciaglia comes out firing again, connecting with Coleman Drugotch to set the ball up inside the 10, then finding Hunter Gorgas on a fade route to the back of the end zone for another score. SJ goes up 28-0. On the following drive, the Mountaineers would find their first score on the night on the back of Sam Brewer. He would run tough to move the ball downfield and ended up catching a 19-yard pass for a touchdown (28-7).

On the ensuing kickoff, Eamonn Dennis of SJ would find the end zone for his third time of the night, taking it the distance on Special Teams (35-7). SJ would also find the end zone one more time in the half from the arm of Bucciaglia, setting the score going into halftime: Pioneers 41, Mountaineers 7.

Q3: Wachusett would strike first in the 3rd quarter as QB Melke Shabo found his way in on a QB keeper (41-14). Bucciaglia would keep one for himself for another SJ score and the third quarter would end 48-14.

Q4: Colin Deso would factor into the scoring for the Pioneers tonight, picking up a touchdown of his own to extend the lead 55-14. Wachusett's J'Zhon Henderson would break one for a nice 28-yard TD run near the end to give us our final score: 55-21 SJ

Takeaway for Wachusett

Rough game, all-around. St. John's is really in another league this year. Wachusett sure put up a fight, but in the end they just didn't have a reply for the outside speed SJ had to catch those deep balls. Yes, the Pioneers' offense played lights-out, but it really did look like a mismatch. That being said, I still think the Mountaineers are the second best team in Central Mass.

Tonight just showed how magical this Pioneer team may be. With regards to this game, I don't want to say "forget about it." That's silly. Don't forget a loss like this. Just don't let it get in your heads, Mountaineers. Wachusett is a very strong team and I'm sure they bounce back from a rough night like this. I wouldn't be surprised one bit to seem them come out flying next week, taking out tonight's frustration on another CMass powerhouse, Shepherd Hill. I look forward to that matchup.

Takeaway for SJ

Solid win. Toughest thing for this specific SJ team this season is the fact that they're playing at such a high level. What I mean is that this Pioneers team is SPECIAL. What's unfortunate is they may not face a team built to go toe-to-toe with them until the state championship game. It's just a shame they won't get to practice against another juggernaut before playoffs, but hey, you have to play the hand you're dealt.

Assistant Coach Mike Pedone would say after the game "there's always something to work on." It sure can be tough to critique when you win so handily, yet I am assured that this team is only getting better before tournament time. "The guys put in a great effort tonight," he said. But it's clear that this is not yet where the Pioneers want to be. The sky's the limit, as the coaches and players know it. Now we just have to wait and see how good they can get.

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