Saturday, September 23, 2017

Springfield Central Pulls Away from West Springfield in Battle of WMass Powers

Springfield Central quarterback Aaron Moses-Williams led Central with four touchdown passes.

By Ethan Winter (@EWints)

SPRINGFIELD - After two losses against two very tough opponents to open up their 2017 season, the Springfield Central Golden Eagles finally got in the win column with a 44-27 victory over the rival West Springfield Terriers.

In the unquestioned top game of the week in Western Mass, the top two teams in the region battled it out on the campus of Springfield Central High School. It did not disappoint.

West Side had an opportunity late in the fourth quarter to potentially cut it to a three-point game with under two minutes left. But, the Eagles defense stood tall and forced another turnover on downs to clinch the win.

It was a back and forth first half, as both teams swapped a pair of touchdowns. Central had a chance to take a three point lead heading into halftime, but the Terriers were able to block the Golden Eagles field goal attempt with six seconds remaining in the first half, sending both teams headed into the locker room at halftime tied 14-14.

After the break it was all Central as the Golden Eagles offense finally woke up, spurred first by a defensive score. A bad snap on second and 15 went through the Terries endzone for a safety giving Central a 16-14 lead.

Central would then take the extra possession on the ensuing drive as Golden Eagles quarterback Aaron-Moses Williams found Chauncey Cogell on a 30 yard touchdown pass on fourth and 10 to extend the lead to 23-14 with 9:22 remaining in the third quarter.

“It definitely motivated us," Williams said. "You know, the offense getting the ball back, we wanted to score a touchdown and we did."

Central would extend their lead to 30-14 just under four minutes later when Williams found Jordan Lowery on a half back screen from the Terriers 10 yard line on another fourth down play.

Williams would finish with four touchdown passes, three of them going to Cogell.

“Yeah, I was definitely starting to look for [Chauncey] towards the end,” chuckled Williams.

Despite falling behind two scores about midway through the third quarter, the Terriers didn’t give up. West Springfield would come back on the ensuing drive to make it a 10 point game after West Side quarterback Tyler Rochefort found Anthony Rankin-Tangredi for an 18 yard catch and run for a touchdown.

Central would then fumble the football on their own 23 yard line but the Golden Eagles defense would hold West Side and force a turnover on downs at their own 16 yard line.

The West Side defense couldn’t do the same however as Williams would throw for his third touchdown pass of the quarter, a 74 yard score to Allen with 55 seconds left in the third to take a commanding 37-20 lead into the fourth quarter.

“It was definitely a big win, there are still some little things that we can work on to make us better for next week but it was definitely a big win for us,” said Williams.

But even with the 17 point deficit, West Side would just not go away.

Instead of running the ball Central decided to keep their foot on the gas pedal and continued to throw the ball.

“We knew that West Side wasn’t going to quit so you know, no lead is safe,” said Central head coach Valdamar Brower.

Ironically Central’s aggressiveness almost allowed West Side to get back in the game as Central was threatening for another score, a bad snap got over Williams’ head and West Side’s Josue Rodriguez picked up the fumble and ran 80 yards for the score to cut it back to a 10 point game.

But at the end of the day, the Terriers just couldn't overcome their mistakes.

“We just made more mistakes than they did and it cost us,” grumbled disappointed West Side head coach Chad Labonte.

Lowery would then put the cherry on top with an 88 yard touchdown run to close the book on the Golden Eagles 44-27 win.

It was the first loss of the year for the Terriers as they fall to 2-1, while the Golden Eagles improve to 1-2.

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