Smith Voc Comes Back to Beat McCann Tech
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Jake Erali ran for 148 yards in the second half to lead the Smith Vocational football team to a 20-15, come-from-behind victory over McCann Tech on Saturday.
The Vikings (3-4) trailed, 15-0, at half-time but scored on their first two possessions of the second half to get within one point.
Then in the fourth quarter, after a short McCann Tech punt gave the visitors the ball on the plus-39, Erali ran it on six straight plays, the last one for 2 yards and the winning touchdown.
McCann Tech (0-7), which played its best football of the year in the first half, had one more drive left in it behind sophomore quarterback Travis Dozier.
Taking over at his 37, Dozier drove McCann Tech into Smith Vocational territory with a pair of first downs, completing two straight passes to Connor Berard to get the Hornets to the plus-32.
On third-and-3, Dozier delivered a pass on the money to a streaking receiver behind the Smith Voc defense, but the ball was dropped. Dozier ran on fourth down and nearly picked it up, but a Viking tackler jarred the ball loose, and Smith Voc recovered at midfield with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left.
Two more first downs for the Vikings, and McCann never got the ball back.
McCann Tech dominated the first 22 minutes, scoring on its opening possession with a Darius Tovani 7-yard run, going 29-yards to set up a field goal try and scoring on an 89-yard drive that ended in Tovani’s second TD of the game.
He ran for 63 yards, and Dozier completed four passes for 44 yards in the first two quarters.
Meanwhile, McCann’s defense bent but did not break on a couple of Smith Voc drives.
First, the Vikings went from their 20 to the McCann 12 before Tovani broke up a second-down pass, Derek Clark stuffed an Erali run for a 1-yard gain, and Evan Knapp broke up a fourth-down pass on the goal line.
Later in the second quarter, Smith Voc got from its own 20 to the Hornets’ 27, but Zavier Martin-Levesque intercepted an Erali pass and returned it 53 yards to midfield with 1:07 left before half-time.
In the second half, it looked like the teams traded uniforms. But in reality, it was more a matter of an already depleted line for McCann suffering still more in-game injuries.
“We really were [on fumes in the second half],” McCann Tech coach Bob LeClair said. “We got worn right down. But, hey, numbers will do that.
“Other teams are short-handed, too, and they have guys who have no substitutions.”
After intermission, Smith Voc was able to start exploiting McCann’s missing pieces in the trenches.
“They’re so big up front that it’s a mismatch up there,” LeClair said. “When we had some of our bigger guys go out, they were able to take advantage of that, and [Erali] can just wait, sit back and read where the hole is and go.”
McCann Tech will look for its first win of the season next Saturday on Senior Day when Pathfinder (0-6) visits the Hornets Nest.