EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. -- With all due respect to South Hadley and Amherst, they are not Springfield Central. East Longmeadow learn that lesson rather harshly as the Golden Eagles stormed over and through the Spartans for a 49-0 victory Friday night in a AA Divisional tilt at Spartan Field.
Coming off a bye week, Central (1-1) bounced back nicely from its season-opening loss to Everett two weeks ago. The Golden Eagles amazingly scored 21 points in the first minute of this one and never looked back.
Quarterback Cody Williams (7 of 8, 149 yards, 3 TDs), on his first touch from scrimmage, hit Ju’an Williams for a 26 yard scoring pass in the right corner of the end zone. The score was set up by the first of three turnovers committed by East Longmeadow (2-1) in the opening minute.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Spartans lost the ball putting the Golden Eagles on the 14. Cody Williams connected with Ju’an Williams again, this time on an out pattern, and the senior sprinted past the defense into the end zone to make it 14-0.
It was déjà vu all over again on the proceeding kickoff after the Spartans lost control of it and giving Central the ball on the 2. Needing just one play, running back Marcal Davis’ dive over the goal line extended the cushion to 21 points before many fans had even reached their seats.
“We know special teams is a big part of the game,” said Ju’an Williams. “We work on it all the time during practice because we want everything to be nice and crisp.”
What was expected to be a close game after East Longmeadow came into this tilt following back-to-back victories over South Hadley and Amherst, was anything but.
“We had the bye week so the kids were really excited to play tonight,” said Central coach Valdamar Brower. “This game comes after a loss so there was a lot of aggression building up. We have a lot of competitive teams in our conference it just so happens we had the bye week and we were able to get the best of East Longmeadow tonight.”
To the Spartans’ credit, they did manage to hold on to the ball on their next possession and drove to the Central nine before turning it over on downs. With 6:45 left before the half, the Spartans again entered the red zone but Devon Kennedy’s pass was picked off by Ju’an Williams and returned 98 yards for the score. Kennedy completed 10 of 22 passes for 64 yards.
Central added to the Spartans’ misery in the waning minutes of the half. Behind running back Da'Quan Clemons (5 carries, 38 yards) and a couple drive-sustaining catches by Troy Morrow, Cody Williams finished it off with a nimble 15-yard jaunt sending the Golden Eagles into the break well-in command, 35-0.
Central continued its onslaught in the third. A six-yard scoring run by Davis finished off a 50-yard, six-play drive to push the lead to 42-0. On their next possession, Cody Williams hooked up with Morrow on a 71-yard screen pass, pushing the advantage to 49 points.
“One of the things we work on is to not let up and keep going,” Ju’an Williams said. “We get tackled we just get up and get back on the ball. We try to get the defense off-balanced.”
The Golden Eagles finished with 358 yards while East Longmeadow finished with 221. Sophomore running back Mike Maggipinto led the Spartans with 71 yards on 10 attempts.