Game of the Week: 'Just Another Game' for Pittsfield
DALTON, Mass. -- Last week's Game of the Week may have been the game of the year -- particularly for those who love defense -- as Wahconah posted its second straight 8-7 win over Hoosac Valley in a clash of Berkshire County heavyweights.
Wahconah is back in the spotlight this week as it hosts Pittsfield on Friday in a game pitting the top-ranked teams in Western Mass in Divisions 4 (Wahconah) and 5 (Pittsfield).
Just don't tell Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski that the spotlight is TOO bright.
"Something we've really tried to stress upon the guys is that this is just another game," Jezewski said on Wednesday. "I understand what the records are and all that stuff. But we're preparing for it like it's any other game.
"It's the biggest game this week for us. I truly believe that. That's how we go."
So far, Pittsfield's approach has gone far.
The Generals enter Friday night's game 4-0 with a 1.5-point lead on Easthampton (4-0) in the latest MIAA Western Mass divisional power rankings. Hoosac Valley, despite last Saturday's loss, remained firmly in playoff position in No. 3 in D5.
Wahconah (5-0) has a commanding lead for the top spot in the D4 power rankings with 14.0 points -- well ahead of second-place South Hadley (3-2) with 8.6 points.
The only points Jezewski is talking about are the ones on the scoreboard on Friday night in Dalton, and he said his players are buying into that philosophy.
"The 100 percent believe that," he said.
The Generals' commitment to living in the moment translates into highly competitive practices, Jezewski said. And that in turn has led to some less than competitive final scores the last couple of weeks.
After winning its first two games by a combined five points, Pittsfield has won its last two by a combined 52 points.
Of course, Wahconah knows something about winning big, too. Throw out last week's game against Hoosac, and coach Gary Campbell's team is beating opponents by an average of 35 points per game.
Don't expect anyone to win that comfortably on Friday night. And don't expect Wahconah to be held to one score by anyone -- not even a Pittsfield team that shut out Mount Greylock two weeks ago.
"I think the weather was a major factor in the [Hoosac-Wahconah] game," Jezewski said. "I was very impressed with the composure of both teams. I thought both teams prepared themselves very, very well.
"With the way Hoosac runs the ball -- and Wahconah has a good running game as well -- it restricted what both teams wanted to do. That said, it was a typical smash-mouth, Berkshire County football game. It was fun to watch."
Friday's game should be a lot of fun to watch as well, but Pittsfield-Wahconah won't be the only option on a crowded Friday night for Berkshire County football fans.
Hoosac Valley (4-1) will look to bounce back when it hosts Taconic (2-3) under the lights at Renfrew Field in Adams in a rare Friday home game for the 'Canes. On the other side of North County, Mount Greylock (2-3) looks to make it two in a row and 2-0 outside of league play when it hosts South Hadley.
The county's other unbeaten -- and division leader in the power rankings -- McCann Tech has allowed just 26 points in four games (6.5 ppg), a stat that will be tested on Friday night at Palmer. The Panthers have scored 19.5 points per game.
On Saturday, Lee (2-3) travels to face Drury (1-3), and Monument Mountain (2-3) looks to build on the momentum of Saturday's win at Taconic with an independent game against Housatonic Valley of Connecticut.