CHICOPEE, Mass. --The Sword Game proved to be full of emotions on Monday night in Chicopee.
In the 45th edition of the game, the Chicopee Comprehensive Colts recaptured the Mayor’s Sword with a 37-6 thrashing of the Chicopee High Pacers, and did not let up. Not one bit.
With the score at 37-0, in favor of Comp with 11 minutes, 9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Colts opted for an onsides kick and try and recover the ball. The incident shows just how deep this rivalry runs, because Comp coach Marc Schuerfeld said after the game, that he did not call for that kick.
Even though Chicopee recovered, the Comp players were most likely retaliating for last year’s 39-6 beatdown, in which they thought that the Pacers were the ones padding the score.
Whatever the case may be, Comp did what they set out to do in the prime-time event -- reclaim the prized Mayor's Sword.
The Comp offense had their way with the Chicopee High defense and was led by senior running back Brandon Melendez.
“My linemen did a hell of a job,” Melendez said. “We ran up the field on them all day. We had good blocking so I just ran around the outside.”
Melendez carried the ball 12 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns -- but one run play sticks out in particular.
In the third quarter, Melendez ran a two-point conversion off tackle left, and was knocked hard out of bounds by Chicopee High’s Chad Woodfine. Melendez brushed himself off, got up, and then offered a helping hand to a frustrated Woodfine -- whose team trailed 24-0 at that point.
“I love everyone in Chicopee, even though we have a great rivalry,” Melendez said about the cross-town matchup.
While the score and some of the players actions said differently, the play illustrated the true colors of the rivalry.
“We try to preach sportsmanship -- especially against Chicopee -- but it should be that way against all of our opponents.” Coach Mark Schuerfeld said. “Our philosophy is knock them down and help them up.”
Woodfine played well for a struggling Chicopee High defense. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior defensive lineman lead all players with seven tackles in the game.
On the other side of the ball, Comp linebackers Brett James and Connor Cloutier sparked a group that held the Pacers to six points all night. James had five tackles in the first half, while Cloutier had three sacks in the game.
“This game is really important -- not only to us -- but to out families,” James said. “Basically, whoever gets the sword, wins bragging rights for the whole year.”
Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette handed out the Mayor’s Sword after the game to entire Colts squad, along with most of the school's student body. The Comp students rushed the field five seconds early but eventually were restrained temporarily, until the final buzzer.
Chicopee High’s lone score came on a 25-yard touchdown pass from second-string quarterback Bryan Dupre to senior Daniel Poe late in the fourth quarter. Dupre replaced sophomore Jevon Jackson after an injury forced him to the Chicopee High sidelines.
After the touchdown, Chicopee coach Alex Efstratios chose to give Poe another chance at scoring in what would be the senior’s final Sword game. Even though there was no chance at winning, the wide receiver took a reverse and showed determination by breaking three tackles before being dragged down short of the goal line.
CHICOPEE COMP 37, CHICOPEE 6
CMP 6 12 13 6 --- 37
CHS 0 0 0 6 --- 6
Comp - Melendez 6 run (conversion failed)
Comp - Zach Crowley 24 interception return (conversion failed)
Comp - Melendez 13 run (conversion failed)
Comp - Austin Berneche 4 run (conversion failed)
Comp - Cloutier 26 pass from Matt Yacubeck (Harley Kagan kick)
Comp - Yacubeck 1 run (kick blocked)
Chic - Poe 25 pass from Dupre (conversion failed)