Week 8 Football: Pathfinder takes charge early, downs Smith Vocational 19-7

Smith Vocational quarterback Alex Martinez (10) throws downfield for a first down completion against Keefe Tech earlier this season.

Smith Vocational quarterback Alex Martinez (10) throws downfield for a first down completion against Keefe Tech earlier this season. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By BRADY COTE

Staff Intern

Published: 10-27-2023 11:35 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The Smith Vocational football team struggled to find a groove against Pathfinder Vocational Friday night at St. Joseph’s Park where it came up short in a 19-7 Tri-County League loss.

Pathfinder (4-4) received the ball at the start of the game and returned the ball 57 yards to set up at the Smith Voc 13-yard line.

Within the next three snaps, Pathfinder scored its first of two first-half touchdowns to take a quick 6-0 lead.

“I’m disappointed,” Smith Vocational coach Alex Subocz said. “We drove the ball 80 yards on our first possession and couldn’t punch it in. With two negative plays back-to-back, we sort of set ourselves behind because we lost all momentum.”

Pathfinder was able to keep the Vikings’ time of possession brief by playing airtight defense and not allowing any opposing points in the first two quarters.

With less than a minute left in the second quarter, Pathfinder snuck in an 18-yard rushing touchdown to take a 12-0 lead into halftime.

Playing with a sense of urgency, the Vikings defense was able to keep Pathfinder scoreless for the third quarter.

With 6 minutes, 49 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, Pathfinder struck for the last time of the night as it split through the Smith defense for a 23-yard rushing touchdown.

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Trailing 19-0, the Vikings desperately needed to get on the board to avoid a shutout.

Despite the pressure, Smith was able to lock in a touchdown as John Loiko darted into the endzone from 13 yards out with 2 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in the game. Joseph Bonanno’s successful extra point accounted for the 19-7 final.

Looking ahead, Smith Voc will play in its first-ever state vocational playoff game against an opponent to be determined.

“We’re going to have fun this week of practice,” said Subocz. “Smith Voc on our little dirt pit – that’s going to be the place to be.”