Garvey Leads Wahconah Past Drury
DALTON, Mass. -- New look backfield, same old Wahconah Regional High School football team.
Evan Garvey ran for 182 yards and three touchdowns in his first outing as the featured back, and Wahconah defeated Drury, 40-6, on Friday night.
Will Genaway threw for 155 yards and a pair of TDs, and sophomore Patrick Butler connected on field goals of 33 and 34 yards as Wahconah improved to 3-2 (2-1 Berkshire County League).
Garvey said he only learned on Friday that he was being asked to take over at running back for Tyler Cataldi.
"I'm ready," Garvey said. "That's what I've grown up playing, so it's not new to me."
Wahconah coach Gary Campbell said he was impressed with how Garvey stepped up.
"Evan ran hard," Campbell said. "He ran tough. I think the offensive line opened up some good holes for him. It was good he got the bulk of the carries tonight. He looked good doing it."
Campbell declined to say why Cataldi missed the game but said he looks forward to the senior running back's return.
Friday's game marked the return of lineman Cole Morrison, who made a tackle for a 3-yard loss on Drury's first play of the game and helped pave the way for Garvey's big night rushing.
Morrison missed the first four weeks of the season while recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in last winter playing basketball.
"Cole came back and looked good," Campbell said. "He looked good blocking. You're always worried after a major injury like that how's you're first time back. But, boy, he looked good - offensively and defensively.
"Mobility is getting better day by day, so we're excited for him, too, really excited."
Garvey and the Wahconah first string offense did all of their damage in the first half, scoring their first six possessions.
The only hiccups: a 90-yard kickoff return by Drury's Thaylen Harrison and the clock, which ran out on Wahconah's final possession of the half.
Garvey carried seven times for 77 yards, including a 4-yard score, on the game's opening drive. Wahconah's second possession ended in Butler's first field goal to make it 10-0.
An 80-yard drive that spanned the first and second quarter ended in a 15-yard run by Garvey; Butler's PAT made it 17-0.
An 80-yard pass play from Genaway to Connor Washburn made it 23-0.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Harrison broke a big return for Drury's highlight of the night.
Wahconah then got another TD pass from Genaway - this time to Matt Donnelly - and a 25-yard run by Garvey to finish the first-half scoring.
In the second half, backup quarterback Jeremy Girard directed a 53-yard drive that ended in Butler's 34-yard field goal.
"Patrick Butler is going to be a whale of a kicker," Campbell said. "He has great range. He kicked a couple through the end zone tonight. He kicks 'em high and kicks 'em deep on kickoffs. ... He's going to be a weapon. I really feel like we can get three points when we have the ball anywhere inside the 25 yard line."
For Drury, Friday's game marked a fifth straight loss to open the season, but more importantly for first-year coach Seth Shepard, it was a night when the Blue Devils battled and showed some flashes against one of the top programs in Western Massachusetts.
"By far, probably our best game and the most proud I've been of our guys after a game," Shepard said. "We have another tough game next week against Taconic, but if we stay on the path from this week of practice into this game, we'll be OK."
The Blue Devils had two players taken off the field with injuries during the game and saw some younger players step up to accept the challenge against the defending Western Mass champions.
"Our offensive line got absolutely beat up today," Shepard said. "We had a freshman, Frankie Cooper - he is a tough-nosed kid.
"He's a freshman, never played football in his entire life, and he got thrown in there against Wahconah. And I think he did a good job, just trying to play."
While Drury goes to Wahconah Park to face Taconic next week, Wahconah is home again to face Hoosac Valley.