Woodson, Guillotte Lead Drury Past Palmer
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Dante Woodson ran for 103 yards, and the Durry football team scored on a punt return and a fumble return en route to a 20-6 win over Palmer on Saturday afternoon.
Two weeks after allowing just two scores in the season opener at Monument Mountain, the Blue Devils gave up only a 33-yard pass on a busted play in this one, allowing Palmer to take a brief 6-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The play started with a bad snap that Palmer QB Jack Letendre managed to corral before finding Tyler Placanico in the right flat. Placanico cut left and found paydirt to give his team the game’s first points.
“That’s getting overanxious,” Drury coach Al Marceau said of the early defensive lapse. “You’d almost rather have the quarterback catch the snap clean because everybody does their job. They see the ball get bobbled on the ground, and the next you thing you know, they lose all their principles. They don’t contain. They run at him instead of making sure of the tackle.
“A lot of that is youth and inexperience.”
That play aside, the Drury defense was outstanding, holding Palmer to 70 yards rushing as a team.
“They really played well,” Marceau said. “Coach [Robert] Jutras calls the defense now, and he did a great job. He stayed in our base early, and some of those big sacks and big stops for losses, he called blitzes. He’s got a good feel for it.”
Meanwhile, Drury’s offense answered the Palmer touchdown right away with 58-yard scoring march of its own.
After Anthony Pettengill returned the Palmer kickoff 37 yards to give the Blue Devils good field position, Keegan Vidal hit Pettengill for a 37-yard completion deep down the right side to get Drury into the red zone.
Three Woodson runs later, he was in the end zone on a 1-yarder to tie the game.
Drury’s trie at a 2-point conversion failed -- one example of some of the points the Blue Devils left on the field in the first half.
“Basically, if you look at the first half, we moved the ball up and down the field,” Marceau said. “We fumbled on the 8. It would have been first and goal, and we turned the ball over. We had a busted play where, we’re trying not to have Keegan run to the sideline, so there’s another drive that kind of gets stopped because of a little confusion.
“Little things like that, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot.”
Palmer opened the second half by recovering a Drury onsides kick at midfield. And the Panthers picked up a couple of first downs to get as close as the 18.
But Louis Guillotte made a tackle for a 9-yard loss to set up fourth-and-11 at the 27, and Danny Cartmill made an interception at the 16 on the next play to end the drive.
Drury made a first down and was forced to punt, but it was a short punt touched by one of Palmer’s up men, and Gabe Perin alertly made the recovery at the Drury 45.
The Blue Devils then picked up two first downs and had an apparent 25-yard TD run by Vidal called back on a holding call before missing a fourth-down try at the Palmer 29.
The Panthers’ possession started with a tackle for a 7-yard loss by Guillotte and a sack by David Janz. On fourth and 28 from its 8, Palmer punted, and Guillotte returned the punt 30 yards to give Drury a 12-6 lead with 10 minutes, 42 seconds left to play.
Palmer answered with 49-yard drive down to the Drury 11, but on second down and 7, Tim Brazeau crushed a ballcarrier in the backfield, forcing a fumble that Skyler Richards picked up and returned 70 yards to make it 18-6 with 7:11 on the clock.
Guillotte ran in the 2-pointer to provide the final margin of victory.
He finished with 47 yards from scrimmage to go with Woodson’s 100-yard day.
Both Drury’s featured backs gained a lot of their yardage on second and third and effort as the Blue Devils repeatedly moved the pile on Palmer.
“It’s something that we’ve been harping on,” Marceau said. “Dante has always run hard. The problem in the past is that he’s run straight up and down. So it’s hard to really run hard When you’re taking all the hits in your thighs and your hips.
“Something Coach Jutras has been working on is: Get some forward body movement, hit the hole. In the past he’s looked to cut, maybe more than we’ve wanted him to. Now, he’s hitting the hole and making a cut out of the hole, which is what we want.”
Drury (1-1) travels down the hill next Saturday to face McCann Tech.