McCann Tech Wins Defensive Battle on Senior Day

By Stephen Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- On a day when defense reigned supreme, the McCann Tech football team made two critical stops at the end to preserve a 6-0 win over Mohawk Trail on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Andrew Koch hooked up with classmate Zavier Martin-Levesque for a 24-yard completion and a Senior Day score early in the fourth quarter.
And the Hornets’ defense gave no quarter, stopping the visitors in the red zone late and without a first-down on a last-chance possession as McCann Tech improved to 3-2 with two games left to play.
And McCann Tech did it while playing shorthanded.
“We didn’t have Connor [Berard] today, Taden Bolte went down early with a wrist injury, so we had subs there,” McCann Tech coach Tony Skiffington said. “Darius [Tovani] went out for a while. He came back in.
“But we’re patching these young kids in there, and they’re doing a job. We made a couple of shifts in our secondary to put our guys in a better position to succeed.
“I’m happy. We got a win.”
McCann Tech snapped a two-game losing skid and posted its second shutout of the season. It held its third opponent of the year to a touchdown or less, and one of the exceptions came in Week 4, when the Hornets were dealing with the emotions of knowing that one of their teammates, Berard, was grieving the impending death of his father.
“It was a tough week,” Skiffington said. “Yesterday we had the wake for Connor’s dad, so it was a really tough week.”
After McCann battled to take the lead late, Mohawk got a nice return on the ensuing kickoff out to its 40-yard line and proceeded to march all the way to the McCann Tech 13 for a first down.
Mohawk picked up 4 yards on first down, but Hornets senior Robert Costine made a stop 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage to set up third-and-10. A 2-yard gain and an incompletion on fourth down ended that threat with 4 minutes, 52 seconds on the clock.
Mohawk Trail’s defense held up, forcing the Hornets into a three-and-out. But Martin-Levesque’s 30-yard punt for no return left the visitors 44 yards from paydirt with 2:03 on the clock.
The visitors threw an incompletion on first down. Koch broke up a pass on second. Martin-Levesque broke up a throw on third. And on fourth-and-10, Costine chased the Mohawk QB out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage with 1:36 on the clock.
Darius Tovani (80 yards) gained a first down on a pair of runs, allowing the Hornets to take a knee to run out the clock.
A scoreless first half was highlighted by yet another big defensive play, this one by junior Darian Tovani.
In the closing minutes of the half, Mohawk used a 43-yard pass down the left side to get to the 30-yard line. On third-and-8 from the 28, it attempted a pass deep over the middle, but Tovani made the interception and returned the ball 23 yards with 56 seconds left.
Skiffington opted to run out the clock and go to the locker room tied, 0-0.
A Martin-Levesque breakup of a fourth-down pass ended Mohawk’s first possession of the second half on McCann Tech’s side of the 50, and the teams traded two more fruitless possessions before the Hornets took over on the plus-59 after a 33-yard Martin-Levesque punt return.
Martin-Levesque and Josh Brazeau (36 yards) took turns carrying the ball to the 24, whereon second and 15, Koch hit Martin-Levesque in the end zone on the right side for the score. The try for 2 points was unsuccessful, and it remained a 6-0 lead.
McCann Tech’s defense made sure it stayed that way, and the Hornets kept their playoff hopes very much alive going into their final two games: at Smith Voc on Friday and at Pathfinder on Oct. 26.
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