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WMass Div. 8 Football: Mahar comes up short against Ware in semifinals

Staff Writer
Published: 11/8/2019 11:04:07 PM
Modified: 11/8/2019 11:03:53 PM

WARE — The opportunities were there for the Mahar Regional football team against Ware High School in the Western Mass. Division 8 semifinals on Friday night.

The third-seeded Sentators could not capitalize on those chances in a 14-0 loss to the Indians under the lights.

On three occasions Mahar (6-3) turned the ball over in Ware’s red zone. 

“We just couldn’t handle them up front,” Mahar coach Jim Woodward said. “We couldn’t block them. Noaha (Chabot) didn’t have time.”

Trailing by two scores early in the third quarter, the Senators started going to the passing game, but three straight interceptions by Ware’s Dillon Slattery ended any comeback chances for Mahar.

All three passes by quarterback Noaha Chabot were under heavy pressure from the Ware (8-1) pass rush.

“I thought we could throw,” Woodward said. “But we couldn’t block. If we could have blocked it, we could have thrown it. What are you going to do?”

The Senators now enter the non-tournament format and will await an opponent for next week before the Thanksgiving day match up with crosstown rival Athol High School.

“It’s not over yet,” Woodward said. “We can still win eight games. That’s our focus now. We haven’t won eight games in a long time. It’s gotta be the focus.”

Ware advances to play No. 4 Lee High School, who knocked off top-seeded and undefeated Hoosac Valley, 12-7, in the other Friday night semifinal.

Jake Tenney led Mahar’s rushing attack with 14 carries for 78 yards with Aydan Sevigny leading the receivers with two catches for 37 yards.

Chabot finished 8-for-16 for for 76 yards with the three interceptions. 

Ware’s Rockeem Handfield carried 24 times for 169 yards and a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter that gave the Indians a 14-0 lead.

The touchdown run by Handfield capped an 84-yard drive that started when the Indians recovered a Mahar fumble. Ware took 8-plays to score, highlighted by a 50-yard run by Handfield down to Mahar’s 9-yard line. 

Mahar could not take advantage of an early Ware fumble recovered by Luke Melanson in the first quarter.

A pass from the 15-yard line from Chabot to Charlie Barnes fell incomplete on fourth down, which gave the ball back to Ware.

The Indians followed with a long, 15-play 66-yard drive that ended with Slattery’s 10-yard touchdown throw to Myles McGrail.

After halftime, Mahar drove 52 yards down to Ware’s 11-yard line but a fumble gave the ball back to the Indians.

Barnes caught three passed for 27 yards.

Todd Chiasson had an active game for Mahar, with seven tackles. 

Jacob Murphy picked up 19 yards on six carries for Mahar with Chabot adding another 22 yards on four carries. 

McGrail went high for the pass, with Barnes close in coverage.

Mahar drove all the way down to Ware’s 15-yard line aided by long completions to Sevigny and Barnes but a fumble gave the ball back to the Indians just before halftime.

Eli Spencer recovered a fourth-quarter fumble for the Senators.

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