Taconic Bounces Back with Dominating Win over Chicopee

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
Print Story | Email Story
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- After back-to-back losses in which it gave up 86 points, the Taconic football team went back to the drawing board.
On Friday night, it painted a masterpiece.
Dylan Burke ran for a 109 yards and two touchdowns, Tyrell Beverly caught a touchdown pass and made a game-changing special teams play, and the Taconic defense posted its second shutout of the season, a 20-0 win over Chicopee on Gene Dellea Field.
Best of all, after a rollercoaster start to the season, Taconic (2-2) is 1-0 in the Suburban North league.
“The kids stepped up, they did a great job,” Taconic coach Jim Ziter said. “Our offensive line did an awesome job tonight. If it wasn’t for them, that wouldn’t have been the score.
“We changed a few things, and my O-line and D-line did a great job.”
Taconic’s defensive line spent most of the night in the Chicopee backfield. And the offense, which took a while to get going, scored on its last possession of the second quarter and its first of the third quarter to effectively put the game out of reach.
Taconic has now outscored opponents in its two wins by a combined margin of 94-0 and been outscored in its two losses by a combined 86-6.
The two losses, against higher division squads, Wahconah and Minnechaug, led Ziter and his staff to regroup going into the league opener.
“We just simplified a few things,” he said. “We wanted to give the offensive line some confidence. They’re whole thing was, let’s get the confidence back, and that’s what we worked on all week. They executed it tonight.”
It was special teams that helped produce the game’s first score. After punter Junie Burgess helped the hosts win the field position battle in a first quarter marked by five three-and-outs, Beverly changed everything with a 41-yard punt return.
The senior picked up a rolling punt at his own 27 and raced up the right sideline before the Pacers (0-4) managed to bring him down at the plus-32.
“It worked out,” Ziter said, laughing when asked his reaction when Beverly scooped up the ball. “I’ll talk to him Monday, though.”
Taconic went 32 yards in eight plays, overcoming a 10-yard penalty before scoring on first-and-goal at the 4 on a Burke run.
Chicopee got the ball back after a good return out to its 39 and immediately drove across the 50 late in the quarter. But a 1-yard stop by Burke on first down and a 6-yard tackle for a loss by Nick Sayers and Tyler Killbury put the Pacers in third-and-15. Nick Hall then killed the drive with a tackle to hold Chicopee to a 1-yard gain, and it had to punt.
A Burke tackle on third-and-5 stopped Chicopee on the first possession of the third quarter. And Taconic took the punt and went 63 yards for its second score.
QB Burgess hooked up with Beverly for a 38-yard completion on third-and-20 to sustain the drive. Four plays later, Burgess hit Beverly deep down the right side for a 25-yard TD to make it 12-0.
In the fourth quarter, Burke electrified the crowd with a 65-yard run to paydirt that put the icing on the cake. Jalen Hill ran in the conversion for the game’s final points.
Taconic is at Hoosac Valley on Saturday.
Print Story | Email Story