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Wildcats charge past Indians in D-VIII final

The Lee football team poses with its championship trophy after its win Saturday. (Photo by Matthew Tonis)

HOLYOKE — Walking off the field after his team’s 42-34 loss to Pittsfield on September 27, Lee football coach Keith Thomson said his team would need to turn it around if it wanted any chance of a return trip to the Division VIII West championship game this season.

Sitting at 1-3 on the season, the Wildcats knew what was at stake if they were to lose even one more game, forcing them to adopt a playoff mindset a month early.

In that time, the Wildcats were revitalized, reeling off six consecutive victories and culminating with a sectional championship over the Ware Indians by way of a 35-6 victory Saturday afternoon at Gilligan Field in Holyoke.

“The energy has been amazing and the team has absolutely rallied,” running back Jack Purcell said after the victory. “We knew we were down, we knew we were the underdogs, but, frankly, that’s where we wanted to be. Everyone wants the underdog to win.”

In those six victories, the Wildcats have not trailed, outscoring their opponents 196-34 in the process. That differential in, in part, due to a renewed focus on scoring early in games, which has taken the pressure off of Lee in these wins.

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