WARE, Mass. -- The Drury football team showed heart and effort on Friday night.
It just did not get the “W” it needed to show for its two-hour road trip in order to keep its playoff hopes alive.
Rockeem Handfield ran for 112 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns to lead Ware to a 20-0 win.
It was Drury’s first loss since the opening game of the season, but at 5-2, the Blue Devils head into next Saturday’s Senior Day game against Mohawk Trail with little to no chance of playing its way into the Western Massachusetts playoffs.
It wasn’t for lack of trying.
“They’re a good team,” Drury coach Al Marceau said of Ware (6-1). “I’m disappointed in some of the stuff we did, but I’m not disappointed in our effort. I mean, we played hard and came out on the short end of the stick. It is what it is.
“High school football. Their dreams are dashed right now. They don’t understand they’re not going to be playing in three years. They’re going to be working or trying to pass chemistry in freshman year of college.”
Ware got all the points it needed on its first possession of the game.
After a Drury three-and-out and punt on its opening possession gave the hosts possession at their own 47, Ware went 53 yards in eight plays, capped by an 11-yard keeper by quarterback Dillon Slattery.
The Blue Devils fumbled on their next possession, and Ware took over at the Drury 39. It went all the way to 1 with a first-and-goal, but the Blue Devils’ defense stiffened, getting two tackles for losses before defending two passes in the end zone for the first of three Drury goalline stands in the loss.
Ware’s Handfield scored on a 6-yard run late in the second quarter to make it a 12-0 lead at half-time.
But Drury’s defense came up big again to start the second half, stopping a fourth-and-2 at its own 5.
Ware had a chance to extend its lead again later in the third quarter, but after earning a first-and-goal at the Drury 7, it again ran into a brick wall. David Janz made a tackle for no gain, Tim Brazeau threw a ball carrier for a 9-yard loss, and Trey Lepicier recorded a sack before an incompletion in the end zone gave Drury the ball on downs, down two scores with 11:54 left.
But the Blue Devils managed just one first down before giving the ball back on a missed fourth-and-2 attempt at its 31. And Ware scored three plays later on a 28-yard pass from Slattery to Handfield.
Slattery also ran for 45 yards, and Quintin Davis ran for 53 for Ware.
“I give their coach a ton of credit because I’ve watched four [game] films, religiously, for a week and a half, and [Davis] wasn’t a factor,” Marceau said. “He must have known that because we set up for the sweep, and I charted all their plays -- every formation they showed in four games down to the play they ran and the number of times they ran everything. We coach the kids up … but he made some adjustments, and I give him a lot of credit.”
Dante Woodson ran for 46 yards and Louis Guillotte ran for 30 for Drury, which also got 52 yards through the air from QB Keeghan Vidal.
“I thought they played really well defensively tonight against us,” Marceau said. “I thought our power running game would go decently. And they really did a nice job of shutting it down.”