Cam Freeman, No. 14 Lee Blank Football Monument Mountain, 24-0
GREAT BARRINGTON – During pre-game warm-ups at Monument Mountain High School, the scoreboard was lit with the time stuck at 8:01 p.m. and the score 9-11.
The Spartans held a pre-game ceremony with a colored guard made up of Great Barrington police and firefighters and observed a minute of silence for the lives lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
After a heartfelt national anthem, the Spartans took to the field to face their South County rival, the Lee Wildcats. By the end of the match, Lee had won, shutting out Monument 24-0.
Lee dominated the game, advancing the ball on offense and taking advantage of almost every scoring opportunity. For the Spartans at home, it was quite the opposite, as penalties often kept them away from scoring opportunities.
Lee won the first toss and postponed receiving the ball in the second half. In the first practice of the game, the Wildcat defense forced a turnaround on the downs and gave up a good field position for offense.
Senior running back Cam Freeman hit him from the goal line to open the scoring. The touchdown was only part of his record of 80 rushing yards in 13 carries.
After that first practice, however, the scoring stopped. A drive from Lee just before half-time was over looked promising until quarterback Hayden Siok’s pass in the end zone was recovered by Reece Mullen, sending the teams to halftime with a blocked score at 8-0.
“We got the ball to start the second half and we could have kicked one right before half-time but they got the ball back,” said Lee coach Keith Thomson. “It was huge, but you know we got knocked out and then our training got stuck there. Give Monument credit, they came out, they played with a lot of fire and a lot of emotion tonight.
Usually Lee’s match against Monument Mountain, the “South County Rivalry,” takes place at the end of the season, but this year it was the first. It was also the first time since 2018 that the two teams faced each other after missing each other in Fall Season II last year.
“The great thing we talked about before the game was that this stuff is not guaranteed. Like I said, we’ve taken out a few key players who have been injured, we’ve got a few for the season, that’s not guaranteed, ”said Thomson.
“Take advantage of every minute. I thought our guys pulled up tonight and did what they had to do and a lot of things we need to fix and a lot of things we need to fix, but we’re going to go back to the drawing board and work on it this week. “
After losing key All-Western Mass players at graduation, Lee focused on his strong running game. In addition to Freeman, Tyler Bartini totaled 44 yards on 11 carries and scored a two-point conversion and Elliot Winston scored a touchdown to cap off his 18-yard night.
Siok, the senior quarterback, took advantage of his few chances in the air, completing four of 10 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown to mask the interception before half-time.
Monument Mountain (0-1) will compete on Saturday September 18 in Easthampton, while Lee will return to the field on Friday September 17 in Wahconah.