Papirio Propels Pittsfield Past Spartans
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. -- Not much happened in the last 22 minutes on Saturday afternoon at Monument Mountain.
The first 22 were more than enough.
Mason Papirio ran for 204 first-half yards, and the Pittsfield High defense returned two first-half fumbles for touchdowns en route to a 44-6 win over the Spartans (1-4).
"We really wanted to stay disciplined all week in what we do," PHS coach Brian Jezewski said after his team improved to 5-1. "We don't worry about other things. We have different things we do depending on what defensive front we see.
"I think defensively we played a great game. I don't think we gave much of anything up.
"Offensively, when our first group was in for the first half, we really did a fine job of executing. I believe we turned the ball over once early on, but the guys did a good job of staying together as a group and playing together and executing the game plan."
All of the scoring for both teams came in the first two quarters.
Papirio scored three times, and Kolbe Muzzy ran in once from the 2.
The other two scores came on Giovanni Figueroa fumble recoveries.
The first time, a Monument ball-carrier was tied up at about the Spartans' 14, and Figueroa ripped the ball out of his hands and went the other way to make it 22-0.
The second time, Figueroa picked up a loose ball in the Monument backfield at about the 15 and went most of the way to the end zone, but rather than be tackled short of the line, he gave up the ball to teammate Tyrell Boire, who finished the return to make it 34-0. Brian Rodriguez added one of his three 2-point conversions (Muzzy threw for the other one), and it was 36-0 midway through the second quarter.
On the day, Pittsfield recovered four fumbles and got an interception from Griffin Manns.
"That's something we definitely teach," Jezewski said. "We really want to start creating more turnovers and getting more aggressive. ... We're constantly talking about creating turnovers and really just 11 hats to the ball and finding the ball."
After Boire's score, Monument's Cayvon Truden returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for the Spartans' only score.
Three plays into Pittsfield's ensuing possession, Papirio busted a 56-yard run to get that score back and finish the scoring for the day.
In the second half, the teams combined for three first downs. The most significant play came late in the third when Monument QB Brandon Perry was knocked out after throwing in incompletion. He did not return; freshman Caleb Carlson completed two of four attempts for 16 yard in relief.
Monument travels north to face Drury next Saturday. Pittsfield has an independent game on Friday before wrapping up the season at home against Wahconah ... not that Jezewski will let anyone wearing purple think about that game.
"We've got important games coming up, Jezewski said. "This was an important game this week. We're 1-0 after today; we're going to be 0-0 again on Monday."