Hoosac Scores 14-0 Victory Against Drury

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The Hurricanes took the annual game against the rival Blue Devils on Saturday. See more pictures here.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — When the Hoosac Valley offense could not quite close the deal, its defense was able to close the door.

The Hurricanes managed just two scores in Saturday's renewal of the century-old high school football rivalry game against Drury. But that was one more score than Hoosac needed for a 14-0 victory over the homestanding Blue Devils.

Ian Hill had one touchdown and a game-high 121 yards rushing, but just as important was the way the junior captain "quarterbacked" the powerful Hoosac defense from his linebacker position.

"We all knew what we had to do," Hill said. "We just kept on doing it. And when we got in those big situations, after they got a big play or had a short down on third down, we all stepped up.

"That's just what we had to do, and we did it."

After taking a 14-0 lead into half-time, Hoosac had three chances to put the game away on offense in the second half. Each time, the 'Canes (6-2 Berkshire County, 6-3 overall) came up short and needed a defensive stand to keep the Devils (3-5, 3-6) at arm's length.

Hoosac ate up most of the third quarter on a 16-play, 54-yard drive that ended when a screen pass came up short on fourth-and-9 at the Drury 13.

The Blue Devils got out from the shadow of their end zone but had to punt the ball away with 6 minutes, 50 seconds left in the fourth.

Again, the Hurricanes came close to making it a runaway — this time when Hill ran down the middle of Drury's defense for 40 yards to set up first-and-goal at the 1. But Hoosac took a 5-yard penalty for illegal prodcedure and then fumbled the ball away with 4:09 left.

Drury broke out with its first pass completion of the day, a 42-yarder from Nolan Bird to Kareen Beckett to get to the 50. But Matt Braman broke up a pass and drew an offensive pass interference call to put Drury in a hole, and Trevor Alibozek made that hole deeper with a 13-yard sack on Bird.

Jake Hall is presented the Mike Rysz Award for the outstanding player at Saturday's game.
Two incompletions and a punt later, Hoosac had the ball on its own 28 with 3:10 on the clock. One or two first downs would have drained Drury's timeouts and eaten up the clock, but the 'Canes failed to move the chains and had to punt the ball back to Drury at midfield with 2:07 left.

Drury nearly started a miraculous comeback bid when Isiah Clark passed the Devils to the 6 on a trick play. But Hoosac senior  Cody LaBrie came up with a sack and a forced fumble with 53 seconds left that finally put the game away.

"One of the biggest things about this game was we almost fed off of what they did better," Hill said. "We played better defense because of that."

Hoosac recorded its first shutout since a Week One win over Lee. Since getting blown out by Mount Greylock in Week Four, the 'Canes have allowed just 22 points total in their last four league games - all wins.

They have won the last two meetings with Drury, giving Hoosac/Adams a 68-52-8 lead in the series that stretches back to 1901.

The winning points in meeting No. 128 came midway through the second quarter when Tyler Mach followed guard  Zach Wright and tackle Andrew Milesi through the right side of the Hoosac line and sprinted 68 yards for a touchdown.

Big plays also set up Hoosac's second score. First, Hill gained 8 yards on a fake punt at midfield. Then Corey Puccio hit Braman for a 23-yard pass to get the 'Canes into the red zone. Hill scored on a 13-yard run and tacked on his second extra point of the day to provide the final margin.

"I think ultimately, we were playing better than the score showed in the first half," Drury coach Bill Bryce said. "We had a couple mistakes on two plays that really cost us. The long pass, the fourth down fake punt that we didn't defend.

"They took advantage of our mistakes, and unfortunately we made more than they did."

Alex Bush led Drury with 73 yards on 12 carries. In addition to Hill's 121, Hoosac got 47 yards on 14 carries by Braman.

Hoosac senior tight end and defensive end Jake Hall was given the Mike Rysz Award for the outstanding player of the rivalry game. Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot also awarded senior lineman Milesi with a game ball.

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