McCann Tech Blanks Mahar to Open Season

By Stephen Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The McCann Tech football team gave up a 40-yard run on the third play of the game Saturday.
And then, it refused to give up anything else.
The Hornets’ defense started 2018 in impressive fashion, blanking Mahar, 6-0, in the Hornets Nest.
“We all just gave it the best effort we could,” senior lineman Justin Horn said. “Everybody did their part. We had a slip up in the beginning, but everyone stepped up.
“We came back. We didn’t quit the whole game. We gave it all we’ve got, and we came out on top.”
McCann Tech scored the game’s only points early in the fourth quarter when senior QB Andrew Koch hit classmate Zavier Martin-Levesque deep on the right side for a 27-yard score set up by Evan Knapp’s fumble recovery on the plus-39.
The Hornets set the tone for the game defensively midway through the first quarter, stalling out a 73-yard Mahar drive with a stop on fourth-and-3 at the 14.
From there, it was big play after big play by McCann’s defense, including a strip sack by Mitchell Mullett, an interception by Martin-Levesque late in the third quarter and a big sack by Horn late in the fourth.
“Other than that one run [in the first], I don’t really think they threatened at all, did they?” first-year McCann coach Tony Skiffington said. “We got to see them last week in a scrimmage, and we got to prepare our guys as best we could. They really took it in. They adjusted. I didn’t have to call a defense the whole game. They saw an alignment, and they were in a specific defense.
“They did a great job out there adjusting. I have a lot of seniors.”
After McCann Tech took the lead, it had to defend three Mahar possessions in the fourth quarter to preserve the one-score margin.
The Senators (0-1) went out on fourth-and-10 just over midfield when a pass fell incomplete on the first drive. The next time it touched the ball, Mahar picked up three first downs to get down to the McCann Tech 28 before Zavier-Levesque picked off a pass with 1:34 on the clock.
McCann Tech was forced to punt after three plays on its next possession, giving Mahar the ball with 1:05 left at midfield. But Horn got a sack, Knapp broke up a pass and another sack pushed the Senators back into fourth-and-25 with 13 seconds on the clock. The last-ditch desperation pass fell shot, and McCann kneeled out the clock to secure Skiffington’s first win … and earn an emotional moment for the coach.
“[Former Hoosac Valley coach Joe Alcaro] just came out,” Skiffington said. “I coached under him for nearly 20 years. I learned almost everything from him. I got choked up when he came out because I spent a lot of time under him, and he actually made me love this game.
“Seeing him come out meant a lot.”
McCann Tech hosts Palmer on Saturday.
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