Spartans' Offense Catches Fire in Second Half at Drury

By Stephen Sports
Print Story | Email Story
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Dominic Calautti threw for two touchdowns, Shaun Frank ran for 75 yards, and the Monument Mountain football team Saturday had its best offensive day of the season in a 24-14 win over Drury.
The Spartans (2-2) scored three of four times they touched the ball in the second half to pull away and get the win in the Tri-County League opener for both squads.
“Three touchdowns in the second half is a new story for Spartan football,” Monument Mountain coach Chris Tucci said. “We’re accustomed to winning games, 6-0, 7-6. To be able to put some points on the board and be able to see some effectiveness.
“I’m really proud of when the offensive line made a determination to get low and get us a push. That’s really what sprung those plays for us. It wasn’t any magic sauce. It was just the offensive line deciding to do what they know best.”
Monument Mountain never trailed in the game, but the issue was still in doubt in the final minute, when Drury scored to get within 10 points with 42 seconds on the clock.
The Spartans stopped the two-point conversion just short of the end zone, though, to keep it a two-possession game and dash the Devils’ hopes for a miracle comeback.
The Spartans took the lead for good late in the first quarter when Calautti hit Griffin Touponce on a slant, and Touponce raced through the secondary for a 75-yard score to make it 6-0.
Drury denied Monument Mountain’s two-point try, setting a pattern that repeated three more times and kept the Blue Devils within 10 points in the closing moments.
The Blue Devils’ offense, meanwhile, knocked on the door twice in the first half, getting to the Monument Mountain 23 in the first quarter and the 26 in the second quarter. Both times, the Blue Devils came up empty on a pass attempt on fourth-and-long.
“The penalties, there were a couple that hurt us, but for the most part it was literally just not finishing drives, which we’ve had some trouble with,” Drury coach Al Marceau said.
“And I think part of it is once we get nicked up and hurt, we don’t have depth. When we lost Hunter [Marceau], that’s a big blow. We lost our starting guard before the game even started. He’s sick as a dog and headed for the hospital. That definitely didn’t help. Starting guard, starting linebacker and then you lose your other linebacker and your fullback.
“We have depth, but you have to take away to supplement. Parker [Smith] did a nice job at fullback, but he’s one of our most talented receivers. It’s kind of like you take away from that position.”
Neither team could finish a drive – or, for the most part, start one – in the second quarter.
Drury did have a couple of first downs to get to the 26 with 5 minutes, 18 seconds until half-time, but then the teams traded the ball four times to run out the half.
Monument Mountain got a 40-yard return from Oliver Berkowitz to start the second half and went 49 yards for its second score. The last 45 came on a pass from Calautti to Kamren Boino, who later scored on a 29-yard run from scrimmage.
“Kamren is a kid who is with us all summer long at every single workout,” Tucci said. “It’s no surprise he’s seeing success as a sophomore. We saw it as a freshman. We had to hold him back a little, JV-wise. But on varsity, we’re allowed to cut him loose a little bit.
“He’s got great vision, and he is a determined blocker. So we’re always happy to reward him with those plays. Because when you get the ball in his hands, good stuff happens.”
Drury answered Boino’s first TD with its best drive of the day, going 60 yards in nine plays. Jameson Bayliss hit completions of 27 yards and 12 yards in the drive, which ended when Caelan Briggs scored from the 5 to make it 12-6. Bayliss threw the two-point conversion to Ben McDonough to make it a four-point game.
Monument Mountain had to punt on its ensuing possession, giving Drury the ball at its 13 late in the third. On the second play of the fourth quarter, Touponce made an interception on the sideline at the Drury 29, and the Spartans’ Frank scored five plays later from the 5 to stretch the lead to 18-8.
A fourth down stop by Monument Mountain’s defense in plus territory gave the offense a short field, and Boino’s 29-yard run on fourth-and-10 pushed the lead to 24-8 with 4:25 left in the game.
After a 35-yard return by Briggs on the ensuing kickoff got Drury to its own 45, Briggs ran the ball five times in a drive to the 5, and Smith capped things with a 5-yard run to make it 24-14 with 42 seconds left.
Drury (0-4) will look to build on its offensive day of the season on Friday night when it goes to Smith Vocational.
Monument Mountain also is on the road on Friday, traveling to face Pathfinder.
Photos from this game to come.
Print Story | Email Story