Nate LePage Stifling Defense Leads No.9 Chicopee Comp Football Over No.11 Longmeadow
LONGMEADOW – Behind Nate LePage’s four total TDs and his smothering defense, Chicopee Comp beat Longmeadow unbalanced, 33-6, on the road Friday night.
Despite the trial and error of the opening kickoff, the Colts (5-3) responded to their third practice of the game. Finding a hole, Isaiah Gomez cut the outside for a 47-yard run in his second play of the game against the Longmeadow 35-yard line (2-6) after a horse collar tackle.
Although his team gave up on an early turnover, coach Anthony Couture was proud of the early resilience of his defense.
“You know we haven’t really said much,” Couture said. “Things happen in a football game. Bad things are going to happen. We tell our kids all the time, life knocks you down sometimes. Are you just going to stay there, how are you going to react when bad things happen? It was a tough break to start the game not the ideal start to the football game but the defense stopped I think some of the nerves got out and we started to play better football.
Just three plays later, LePage smuggled to the right and imposed himself for a 23-yard touchdown to put Chicopee Comp in first place with less than two minutes left in the second quarter.
Forcing Longmeadow to kick on their next possession, Gomez scored his first touchdown of the game cutting down the left side of the field for a 51-yard touchdown. The score gave Chicopee Comp a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the second quarter.
“He’s an incredible player,” Couture said of Gomez. “He gets under the eye because he’s not the fastest guy and he’s not that tall, but his footballing instinct is amazing. His technique is great and we are lucky to have it. ‘to have.”
Chicopee Comp’s defense continued its stellar first half, forcing another punt from Longmeadow the next drive. Anthony Folta took advantage of the defensive save and put the Colts in a strong position on the field, shattering an 18-yard screen pass. Comp capped his eight-game practice with a five-yard touchdown reception from Travis Kagan near the front pylon. With less than seven minutes to go in the second quarter, Chicopee Comp took the lead 20-0 after a missed extra point.
Longmeadow responded to Chicopee Comp’s third score of the game less than a minute later. Colin Hoffman moved into the pocket and freed himself in the middle. He then passed a streak of Colts defensemen for a long 60-yard touchdown run. The score reduced the Lancers’ deficit to 14 after missing an extra point.
The two teams couldn’t finish either of their next discs with points, leaving Chicopee Comp with a 20-6 lead at halftime.
After kicking their first possession of the second half, the Lancers ended Chicopee Comp’s five-game streak by recovering a LePage fumble in the red zone. After hitting the field in 13 games, however, Longmeadow didn’t capitalize on the fumble, leaving the Colts with the ball at the 28-yard line after flipping it over the downs.
Longmeadow had another good opportunity to score with just under a minute left in the third quarter. After stopping Chicopee Comp on the third down, the Lancers blocked the punt and took over at the 25-yard line.
Although Longmeadow was threatening in the red zone, Chicopee Comp’s defense was solid. Sitting at the six-yard line in the 4th and 3rd, the Colts’ defensive line pushed Maurice Powe back, leaving Longmeadow still lagging behind with a pair of touchdowns.
Realizing the importance of making a save early in the fourth quarter, Couture recognized his defense’s ability to make saves when they needed them most.
“Our defense plays good football and you know our guys were playing really hard,” Couture said. “Kyle Jones and Tyler Tanguay in the middle there. We do a great job. The D line was great and then Isaiah Gomez on the outside, I was just tackling all over the place which took away the perimeter. So yeah, proud of it. these guys. “
LePage, with his strong running offense, pushed his offense up the field on the next possession. Aligning on the 20-yard line, Lepage threw a pass down the right side of the field where Brennan Fields hit the second touchdown of the game to extend Chicopee Comp’s lead to 27-6.
After another defensive save to shut off Longmeadow’s scoring chances, Chicopee Comp sealed the deal with another 20-yard strike to Kagan in the last minute for his second touchdown of the night.
Moving to 5-3 the season after the win, Couture has his eyes on the playoffs.
“We were pretty confident in our participation no matter what,” he said, “and we’ll just see who we get next week.”