Saturday, October 21, 2017

Lee Crushes Amherst on Senior Night

By Ethan Winter (@EWints)

LEE – In what was a highly anticipated Intercounty South matchup coming into the game Friday night, it turned out to not be much of a game at all as the Lee Wildcats flexed their muscle and ran away from the Amherst Hurricanes, 40-0 on senior night, to further solidify their standing in the Division VIII Western Mass Playoff race.

The Wildcats were led by senior Lukas Loehr who rushed for 100 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns in his final regular season home game of his career.

“It’s big. It’s technically my last time playing here, I hope not but it was just a good way to get our team going,” said Loehr. “We knew they were a good team coming in.”

The Hurricanes (5-2, 3-1 Intercounty South) were riding a five game winning streak and have outscored their opponents 178-42 with two shutouts over that span.

Amherst hadn’t faced a team as complete as Lee (6-1, 4-1) however as the Wildcats completely outplayed the Hurricanes in all three facets of the game.

Loehr got the scoring started a little over midway through the first quarter when he ran it from 11 yards out to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. He would add another touchdown run with 5:12 left in the second quarter.

“Once again, my line, they out physicaled their line and we got our work done,” said Loehr.  

Lee would then add some trickery on the PAT as Ben Harding would successfully pull off the fake field goal completing the pass to Andrew Ruef to extend the Wildcats lead to 15-0.

Not only did the Wildcats offensive line win the battle in the trenches, but their defensive line as well, as they held the Hurricanes high powered offense to just 87 total yards of offense, coming all on the ground.

“We are giving up less than 100 yards per game,” said Wildcats head coach Keith Thomson. “I’m not quite sure exactly what they ended up with tonight, but this is seven games, we’ve given up less than 700 total yards all season long, it all starts with the defense.”

Since their heartbreaking Week 4 loss to Mount Greylock, the Wildcats have yet to allow a single point.

Junior quarterback Homer Winston would find senior Jake Corcoran on a 21 yard touchdown pass to extend the Wildcats lead to 22-0 right before the end of the first half.

After Will Consolati hit a 28 yard field goal to extend the Wildcats lead to 25-0, Winston would then run one in of his own from the Amherst one yard line to make it 32-0 right before the end of the third quarter.

The impressive win over Division V Amherst puts the Wildcats (who are in Division VIII) in a great position further strengthening their resume as they surge towards the playoffs.

“At 6-1 I think we are in a great position but now we have a rivalry game with Monument, we missed that game last year and our focus turns to Monument and once that is over with we turn to the powers that be decide our fate and we’ll go from there,” said Thomson.  

J.J. Jiminez put the final nail on the coffin as he scampered in from 15 yards out to make it 40-0 Wildcats with 6:42 left in regulation.

Amherst could not get themselves going offensively or build any momentum as they committed four turnovers (three lost fumbles and an interception). They will try to fix those mistakes and end their season with a win next week with another  big Intercounty South matchup against Mount Greylock.

“It feels good. We’ve got good momentum going now,” said Loehr. “We are a very cohesive team and that’s going to help us if we make the playoffs – when we make the playoffs.”

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