ME Football Makes Statement in Home Opener


Who doesn’t want to look good when showing off their new home for the first time?

The Manchester Essex football team got to show off the shiny new turf recently installed at Hyland Field for the first time in style on Sept. 22, showing off just what this team can do well in a 22-7 win over Greater Lowell Tech.

“Gritty performance from our Hornets last night,” says ME football coach Joe Grimes.  “First night on the new turf and first home game of the year.” The Gryphons got on the board first with a six-yard touchdown run from Aviren Chitpaseuth.  A successful extra point conversion from Jayson Frasca made the score 7-0 early, prompting the Hornets to get to work.  Quarterback Zach Hurd broke through with a one-yard score and followed it up by running in a two-point conversion just before the end of the first quarter.

Greater Lowell’s offense was held in check by the Hornet defense for the rest of the contest, while Hurd combined with running back Stephen Martin to score two more touchdowns in the second quarter.  Hurd had another one-yard touchdown run but the two-point conversion pass failed, but Martin was able to score on both his five-yard run and a two-point conversion on the ground to make it 22-7.

“Stephen Martin led the way with 179 total yards plus a great defensive performance at linebacker,” says Grimes.  “Zach Hurd is doing a great job stepping into the QB role in his sophomore year with some great runs and great plays with his arm.” Up next is a road matchup with Nashoba Valley Tech on Sept 29 (6 p.m. kickoff), a team the Hornets have not faced in a while due to changes in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference’s makeup and schedule.

“We've got Nashoba Valley Tech next who we didn't play last year in the three-tier CAC schedule, but we're looking forward to playing them again this year in the two-tier CAC league setup,” explains Grimes.  “League games in the CAC are always hard-fought, just like last night, and we know we have a big week of prep and film study ahead of us to compete with those guys.”