Drury Victory Over Monument Gives Hope for Even Season

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Drury High scored its second win of the season under sunny skies Saturday at home.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Drury's drive for five is still very much alive.

Jose Melendez ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Drury High School football team to a 36-16 victory over Monument Mountain on Saturday.

The victory was just the second of the season for Drury, but kept the Blue Devils (2-4 Berkshire County, 2-5 overall) on track to accomplish their midseason goal of finishing strong and finish .500.

"That's our goal right now: to go 5-5 and win out the rest of the year," said senior Alex Bush, who ran for 69 yards and a touchdown. "That's what we've got to keep doing. We've got to take every week one week at a time and reach our goal."

Drury held Monument to 171 yards of offense, held onto the ball and held an on-field celebration for the first time since Week 2.

"These kids really needed this," Drury coach Bill Bryce said. "It's been a long month, a long six weeks, five of which we've played on the road. For them to come home and get a nice victory and have that feeling again is good."

While Drury's ground game was chewing up real estate with three scoring drives of 50 yards or more, the Blue Devils' defense bottled up a Monument offense that came in averaging 19 points per game. Only a last-second touchdown against Drury's second string allowed the Spartans (1-5, 1-6) to avoid their lowest scoring output since a 19-6 loss to Hoosac in Week 3.

Bush made two big stops in the opening moments of the third quarter to help Drury take control.

Despite dominating the first half, the Devils went to half-time up by just four points, 12-8. Monument benefited from a short field set up by an onsides kick on the opening kickoff to take an 8-0 lead. And the Blue Devils ran out of time on a 65-yard drive that ended at the Monument 8 when the second-quarter clock expired.

Monument started the third quarter on its 26 and was pushed back on consecutive tackles-for-loss by Bush.

Bush, who also had a sack for 6 yards, said it was a team effort for the Drury defense.

"I think we stepped it up," he said. "Last week, we played Greylock well on defense. And we kept up the intensity. Everybody knew their roles on defense, and everybody did what they had to do. That helped us a lot."

After a dropped pass on third down ended Monument's opening possession of the half, a punt gave the Blue Devils the ball at midfield.

Eight plays later, Nolan Bird hit Isiah Clark on a crossing route on fourth-and-12, and Clark went all the way to the end zone for a 30-yard score. Nolan and Clark hooked up on the two-point conversion, and it was 20-8, Drury, midway through the third quarter.

Bird completed just that one pass but directed the Drury running game in his first action under center since Week 1.

Bird moved over from wide receiver in place of Jake DiLego, who was injured in Tuesday's practice. DiLego dressed but did not play in Saturday's win; he may be available as soon as ndext week for Drury's game against Lee.

"Nolan did a great job," Bush said. "It was his first game stepping in, and he stepped up and did fantastic."

Brandon Curtin rushed for 55 yards, and Ryle O'Brian threw for 63 yards and a touchdown for Monument, which takes on St. Joseph on Friday.
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