Hoosac Pulls Away Late Against Pittsfield
He may not have gone the distance, but his 57-yard run early in the fourth quarter allowed the Hurricanes to finally put some distance between themselves and the Pittsfield Generals.
Two plays later, Braman scored from the 2, and Ian Hill's extra point provided the final score of a 20-6 Hoosac win that was not nearly as close as it looked on the scoreboard.
Braman rushed for 198 yards and two scores to help the Hurricanes improve to 4-2 overall and in Berkshire County play.
But on a night when Pittsfield (2-4, 2-4) barely managed 100 yards of offense, it seemed like the Hurricanes should have scored a lot more.
"I think we left a lot of points on the [field] — a lot of little mistakes and things like that that we'll have to fine-tune in practice," Braman said. "But hopefully we'll be able to capitalize on things like that next week."
Although the Hurricanes know they could have capitalized more, it was the home team that really came away feeling it missed out on some golden opportunities.
In the first half, Hoosac muffed a punt to give Pittsfield possession on the plus-38, fumbled the ball away after driving 63 yards to the Pittsfield 5 and took a 15-yard personal foul penalty to kill a first-and-goal opportunity just before half-time.
Despite not earning a first down in the first 22 minutes, the Generals went to the break down only 10-0. While the breaks kept Pittsfield in the game, its coach was disappointed his team could not turn those chances into points.
"We didn't capitalize on any of the breaks that happened for us or we created," Generals coach Brian Jezewski said. "That's basically been the story of our season: We're either capitalizing or we're not.
"Hoosac's got a great program, and Dayne [Poirot] has done a great job with those kids. They came ready to play."
Behind the offensive line of David Bailot, Zach Albareda, Austin Milesi, Zach Wright and Andrew Milesi, Braman and Ian Hill marched down the field for a score on Hoosac's opening possession of the game.
Braman went in from the 1, and Hill's first PAT of the night made it 7-0, Hoosac, less than five minutes into the game.
But after holding Pittsfield to three-and-out on its first possession, Hoosac muffed the punt to begin a string of costly errors that marked the rest of the first half.
Despite holding Pittsfield to just 29 first-half yards, Hoosac's only other points came on a 35-yard field goal by Hill as time expired in the half.
When Pittsfield fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, Hoosac had a short field to work with. But a holding penalty on third-and-goal at the 3 led to another Hill field goal, this time from 33 yards.
"Yeah, he's a nice weapon to have," Poirot said of the junior running back/kicker. "But I'd still rather be scoring touchdowns."
Pittsfield gained its first first down of the game with 1:09 left in the third quarter, and it sparked a 78-yard scoring drive that was helped by another Hoosac personal foul and was capped by a 5-yard run by Generals QB Chad Shade.
His score made it 13-6 with 8 minutes, 38 seconds left, and despite Hoosac's dominance the outcome was still very much in doubt.
Braman's 57-yard scamper moments later helped Hoosac get much-needed insurance.
"The offensive line was making holes a tractor-trailer could drive through," Braman said. "They were huge holes. Great line blocking, great play calling by the coaches, a great game all the way around."
It was a rough night for Pittsfield's rushing attack, which was led by Dominic Traversa's 33 yards. The Generals came into the game averaging more than 200 yards per game on the ground but gained just 72 against Hoosac.
"I'll take my hat of to them," Jezewski said. "They did a great job game-planning against us. We knew what we were going to get. The Hoosac program — when they tackle you, they tackle you. We knew that going in: that we'd have to play perfectly. And we didn't do that."