Saturday, October 20, 2018

Central Stays Golden with Big Win Over Longmeadow

Central quarterback Isaac Boston scrambles free during the Golden Eagles dominant win over Longmeadow.

By John McGuirk (@Patsfan1313)

Longmeadow, Mass. -- You had to assume the buzz kill endured by Longmeadow following last week's stunning defeat against non-contender Chicopee Comp would simply not go away.

On top of Springfield Central coming to town Friday evening, it seemed poised to be a tough night for the Lancers. The No. 15 Golden Eagles, regarded as one of the finest athletic and well-coached programs state-wide, showed off their firepower as they routed Longmeadow 46-0 in a much-anticipated AA Division match-up.

In spite of the large number of points being scored, it was Central's defense that earned its share of bows. Longmeadow’s offense was rendered helpless versus a vaunted Golden Eagles attack which held them to a mere 46 yards. In fact, the Lancers only passed across midfield once during the entire game.

"Team defense," said Golden Eagles coach Valdamar Brower. "Trey Cavaan in our safety and he is always making sure everyone is line up in the right spot and making sure guys are reading their keys. Longmeadow's Wing-T has always been a challenge for us but tonight this was an entire team effort to stop them. We are still a work in progress. The good thing is we've been able to keep this coaching staff together. But we are a team that is still living, still learning and trying to get better." 

Central, which lost its season-opener to Lincoln-Sudbury, has now run off six consecutive victories to improve to 6-1. Longmeadow, in a major struggle to reach the postseason, drops to 4-3.

The Golden Eagles took control of this tilt early and never took their foot off the pedal. With just over four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, they built a 13-0 lead courtesy of a Jordan Lowery 5 yard run followed up by a Mahari Miller 11 yard scamper.

Meanwhile, Longmeadow was never able to get things started on offense. Behind back-up quarterback Adam Hannah, the Lancers struggled in their attempts to move the ball with much consistency. In all, Longmeadow was forced to punt on six of its nine possessions.

Late in the second quarter, Central put forth an impressive 54 yard drive capped off by Kwame Kyles’ 1 yard dive over the goal line to go up 20-0. A few moments later, following a short Lancers punt, the Golden Eagles were on the march yet again.

Starting from the Longmeadow 24-yard line, Isaac Boston scrambled for nine yards, which set up a swing pass to Myles Bradley resulting in a 14 yard touchdown to make it 26-0 at the break. The Lancers managed just 3 yards of offense throughout the opening half.

Midway through the third quarter, another short punt gave Central prime field position on the Longmeadow 18.

Three plays later, the Golden Eagles, who finished with 343 yards, extended their lead to 33-0 on a Lowery 5-yard sprint. Lowery, a senior, finished with 69 yards on 5 carries.

"Our team mentality comes from a strong work ethic," Lowery said. "We're always pushing one another. With us, teams have to account for a lot of guys on the field which makes us lethal. Going into our first game against Lincoln-Sudbury, we weren't as focused as we should have been. But after that we started to get our focus back and become more of a team instead of a bunch of selfish players."

With time ticking down in the third, another quick four and out by the Lancers gave the ball back to Central on the Longmeadow 46.

A Kyles run of 15 yards was soon followed by a Miller 31-yard scoring rumble, pushing the advantage to 40-0 with 1:12 left in the quarter. Kyles, a junior, rushed for 63 yards on 11 attempts. 

"For us, everyday starts at zero," Brower said. "We expect 100 percent attendance tomorrow in the weight room and 100 percent attendance in our film session on Monday. Everything starts at zero and that is how we approach every single day. Tomorrow is a new day for us."

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