Football: Davenport strong in defeat for Mohawk

Staff Writer
Published: 10/18/2019 11:11:50 PM
Modified: 10/18/2019 11:11:36 PM

BUCKLAND — For parts of Friday night’s game against Ware High School, the Mohawk Trail Regional High School offense showed signs of the unit that impressed during the early portion of the season.

But hiccups in untimely spots doomed the Warriors, and the visiting Indians rode tailback Rockeem Handfield to the tune of 235 yards on 27 carries to capture a 28-16 victory in Tri-County League action at Pollard Field.

Ware stayed atop the TCL, improving to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the league. After a 3-0 start, the Warriors dropped their third consecutive game to even their record at 3-3, 2-3 in the TCL.

Mohawk Trail quarterback Shawn Davenport had a busy night in the loss, as the junior completed 11 of his 25 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores went to senior Jaden Whiting, and the Turners Falls senior hauled in four catches for 113 yards in another impressive performance.

Ware staked itself to a 14-0 halftime lead, riding the legs of Handfield as he registered touchdown runs of 22 and 42 yards before intermission.

The Warriors got behind the eight-ball thanks to a pair of turnovers on their first three possessions. The hosts appeared to cut into the deficit just before the break, when Davenport hit Whiting for a 39-yard touchdown along the left sideline with just over a minute remaining. Mohawk Trail was flagged for holding however, and the drive stalled near midfield.

Ware extended its lead to 22-0 thanks to an impressive opening drive out of the locker room. Quarterback Dillon Slattery (11 carries, 80 yards) punched it in from 2 yards out, capping a seven-play drive that featured a 42 yard run from Handfield and a 30-yard completion from Slattery to Handfield.

With their backs against the wall, the Warriors responded on the ensuing possession with their first score of the night. After a big kick return set the home team up in Ware territory, Davenport & Co. needed just three plays to cash in. The big QB threw one up for Whiting, and he snagged the ball away from a Ware defensive back for a 38-yard touchdown. Davenport hit Matthew Pollen for the two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 22-8 with 7:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Using a steady diet of Handfield and Slattery on the ground, Ware took control of the time of possession battle to wear down the Mohawk Trail defense. A 12-play, 73-yard drive that took over eight minutes off the clock from the third quarter into the fourth quarter culminated in an 8-yard touchdown run from Handfield — his third score of the night — that extended the lead to 28-8 early in the fourth.

Mohawk Trail’s passing attack got to work again, with Davenport finding Whiting for another touchdown, this one from 28 yards out on third-and-10. The two hooked up again for the two-point conversion that made it a 28-16 game with 8:34 left.

Ware worked down the clock enough on its final possession, and by the time the Warriors forced a turnover on downs, just 2:38 remained on the clock. The offense moved the ball into Ware territory, but time was not on their side, and the Indians held on the for TCL win.

Evan Shippee led the Mohawk Trail rushing attack with 57 yards on 13 carries in addition to two receptions for eight yards. Pollen caught three passes for 27 yards, while Cam Lococo and Liam Driscoll each added a reception.

The Warriors now have a week off to right the ship before continuing the TCL slate on Nov. 2 with a road trip to play Drury (4-1, 4-0), which currently sits tied atop the league with Ware.

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