Tucker Everlasting: Pittsfield Senior Runs for Five TDs in Win
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- When it came time to make a tough call, Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewksi followed his offensive line.
Good idea, because the Generals had been following that line all night at Wahconah Park.
The O-line paved the way for 376 yards and five touchdowns from senior Devon Tucker in a 39-23 win over Taconic that clinched the city championship for the Generals.
It was 33-23 midway through the fourth quarter when Jezewski faced a fourth-and-5 near midfield.
"It all goes to the guys up front," Jezewski said. "That fourth down play, they begged me to go for it. They said, 'We've got this.'
"We work them extremely hard in the weight room. We work extremely hard in practice. And it showed tonight."
The offensive line was the only thing Tucker wanted to talk about after gaining more yards in an evening than a lot of good high school backs gain in a month.
"The blocking was outstanding," Tucker said. "If I didn't twist my ankle, I probably could have done better. But it was good to get the championship.
"The blocking was awesome."
Tucker twisted his ankle scoring a second-quarter touchdown -- his third of the game. But he came back after that to run for nearly 200 yards.
The Generals (5-2) were hit with a more serious injury when fourth-year quarterback Chad Shade went down with an injury in the first quarter.
After the game, Jezewski said Shade "squeezed his shoulder pads into his neck" and "came down wrong."
"He'll be fine," said Jezewski, who characterized the decision to pull Shade as "precautionary."
Sophomore Tyrell Boire stepped in and directed the Generals' offense on four touchdown drives.
Shortly after Shade left, Pittsfield was in a 14-13 hole thanks to the second first-quarter touchdown run by Taconic quarterback Jake McNeice.
Taconic went up by four, 17-13, late in the first when Brandon Peaslee hit a 25-yard field goal.
But Tucker provided the only second-quarter points with a 17-yard run (the play when he tweaked the ankle) and a 54-yarder to make it 25-17 at the half.
"With Chad going out early, we were going to ride Devon," Jezewski said. "We told him right when Chad went down. I don't know how many carries he had, how many touchdowns.
"All the credit has to go to the offensive line."
It was 33-17 before Taconic scored its last points, a 52-yard run by Anthony Whiteley (143 yards). Pittsfield stopped the two-point conversion and kept it a two-score game, 33-23.
Taconic caught a break when Whiteley recovered a muff on the ensuing kickoff, but Pittsfield's defense stiffened, stopping a fourth-down run for no gain at midfield.
The Generals faced a fourth down of its own moments later, but after successfully lobbying its coach, the O-line opened up a big enough for Tucker to gain 9 yards.
A 32-yard run by Tucker and a 17-yard score by Giovanni Figueroa put the game well out of reach with 4 minutes, 22 seconds to play.
Pittsfield travels to Amherst-Pelham on Halloween night.