NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Tech senior Billy Lincoln made a lot of big hits to help the Hornets take control of Saturday's game against Mohawk.
And he made one big hit that meant little to the outcome but everything to Hornet pride.
Mohawk (1-1) had just scored to make it 18-6 with 1 minute, 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The visitors lined up to try a 2-point conversion, but Lincoln was not having it.
He burst through the line and swamped the ballcarrier for negative yardage to make sure that for Mohwak on this day, six was was enough.
"Definitely, I was kind of disappointed about that," the 6-foot-4 defensive lineman said. "I was hoping to get the shutout, but unfortunately that one pass got by us. It was a mistake, but that's all right. We still came out with the victory.
"I really wanted to pick it up [on the 2-point conversion]. Six is too many for me. I wanted to get that extra stop and take two points off the board — make it look a little better, you know?"
For the second week in a row, the defense looked awfully good for McCann (2-0).
It took nearly two full games for the Hornets to give up their first points of any kind, and on Saturday the defense scored two of its own on a fourth-quarter safety when an errant snap sailed over the head of Mohawk's punter and into the end zone.
McCann allowed just 19 yards on the ground, and three Mohawk ballcarriers finished with zero yards or negative rushing totals.
On the other side of the ball, McCann did most of its damage in the first half.
The Hornets moved the ball well on the ground in the first half and might have had more points but for a couple of miscues in the first quarter.
McCann's first possession was rolling along with two first downs and 36 yards on the ground before a fumbled snap on third-and-2 led to a punt. After a three-and-out by the McCann defense, the Hornets picked up another first down, but the game's first McCann pass was picked off by Stephen Reynolds.
The Hornets defense got off the field in three plays again, and after a shanked punt gave McCann possession at the plus-34, it took seven plays to get into the end zone on a 6-yard Brett Pecor scamper.
Pecor then ran in the 2-point conversion to make 8-0, and the Hornets were off and running.
"We've got a lot of quick kids who fly around," said Lincoln, a co-captain who plays tight end for the Hornets. "We just have to make sure we contain the corner and the defensive back and we can get right around them on the quick pitch."
McCann scored on its next possession thanks to a 36-yard run by end Levi Lawson, who brought the ball to the 1. QB Nick Lincoln — Billy's brother — scored on first-and-goal and hit Lawson for the 2-pointer to make it 16-0.
McCann did not reach the end zone again, but it gained enough yards and ran off enough of the clock in the second half to keep the game out of reach.
The safety with 5:04 left made it 18-0, but McCann fumbled the ensuing free kick. Mohawk took advantage with a nine-play, 58-yard scoring drive. The key play was a 36-yard pass on fourth-and-8 at the 37 by junior William Gray.
Gray was pressed into service early in the second quarter when starting quarterback Andrew Doty was knocked out on a 4-yard run. Gray finished with 95 yards through the air and 6 completions in 15 attempts.
The big fourth-quarter passing play will eat at the McCann defenders for a while, and the Hornets' coaching staff will spend the next few practices talking about the team's three turnovers — not to mention the multiple timeouts McCann called to make sure it had the right personnel on the field.
Fortunately for the Hornets, they have two weeks off to get ready for their next game, Sept. 27 at Smith.
"We're still working on packages that we want to put in," McCann coach Bob LeClair said. "Once we get the personnel issues worked out ... in two weeks, that should be a lot better.
"We're still young. With three seniors, we're still basically a young team. We have one person on offense who is playing in the same position he was playing last year. That's tough to work out.
"It's only been our fifth week. The NFL gets more than that to work those things out in preseason, and those guys know where they're going to play from Day 1."