Week 9 football: Smith Vocational scores first win over crosstown foe Northampton in program history

Smith Vocational quarterback Alex Martinez (10) breaks through the Keefe Tech defense for a touchdown earlier this season in Northampton.

Smith Vocational quarterback Alex Martinez (10) breaks through the Keefe Tech defense for a touchdown earlier this season in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE


Staff Intern

Published: 11-04-2023 12:53 AM

NORTHAMPTON — It was the Smith Vocational football team's unstoppable offense that allowed it to walk away with a 34-26 win over crosstown foe Northampton Friday night at David Wright Field.

It was the first-ever win for Smith Vocational, which became a varsity program in 2013, against Northampton. The two programs had played twice previously in the Vikings’ 11 years with a football program, with the Blue Devils winning 49-18 in 2017 and 42-6 in 2018.

Although the Vikings (6-3) came out on top, the Blue Devils (0-9) kept the game close throughout, proving the battle of Northampton was no walk in the park.

On the first play of the game, the Vikings forced a turnover as its defense recovered a fumble on its own 47 yard line. Putting its offense in great position for its first drive, the Vikings were able to convert a touchdown, as Alex Martinez rushed the remaining 3 yards into the endzone on first and goal. Striking first, the Vikings led 6-0 with 6 minutes, 53 seconds left in the first quarter.

“Our offense was rolling, I mean really rolling,” said Martinez. “Our defense stepped up really big, too – in a game like this where we’re marching over from our campus to [Northampton High] it felt amazing.”

The Devils answered quickly, as Mykal Norris returned the Vikings’ kickoff 40 yards to the Smith Voc 25.

Within four quick snaps, Alex Rosen fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to Norris that tied the game 6-6 with 5 minutes, 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

On a roll, the Devils didn’t stop there. Sincere Martinez caught a 15-yard pass from Rosen and split the Vikings defense to score from 8 yards out only 2 minutes, 28 seconds into the second quarter that gave the Devils their first lead of the night 14-6 after Rosen completed the 2-point conversion.

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Down for the first time in the game only motivated the Vikings’ offense as Brayden Larose scored the next two touchdowns. First it was Larose’s 9 yard rush into the endzone that tied the game 14-14 with 6:54 left to go in the first half, followed by his 18-yard rushing touchdown and 2-point conversion to give Smith Voc a 22-14 lead.

Norris scored again for Northampton, as he caught another pass from Rosen and ran half the field leaving the Vikings defense in the dust to closed the gap within 22-20.

In the first play of the fourth quarter, Martinez was able to score his second and final touchdown from 3 yards out for the Vikings, giving them a 28-20 advantage.

Norris found paydirt again, racking up his third touchdown as he took the ball home for 30 yards and cutting the deficit to 28-26.

The Vikings added some much needed insurance to seal the deal, as Martinez’s 15 yard TD pass to Joseph Bonanno with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter put this game out of reach, 34-26.

“[Smith Vocational] is well coached –and systematic,” said Northampton coach Joe Kocot. “They do many things well over and over in about four offensive plays. Everybody does their job, and that’s why you score 34 points.”

Coming off a tough loss last Friday, Smith Vocational was able to turn it around and win its sixth game of the season – the most in program history.

“This was the first week in a while that I feel we had everyone healthy and back to scoring points,” Smith Vocational coach Alex Subocz said. “I’m just so proud of these kids, getting that sixth win is huge so I’m beyond proud of this group to solidify themselves that way.”