PITTSFIELD, Mass. - After a first half Friday that saw 11 straight possessions end in a punt, downs, or turnover, the Pittsfield High football team took advantage of good field position to score the first touchdown of the game with a minute and 48 seconds before half.
The Generals would then score on their first possession after the half as they beat the visiting Mount Greylock Mounties, 14-0, at Wahconah Park.
“I thought we controlled the ball the first half. Got into the red zone and thought we had ourway with them offensively,” said Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski. “I think defensively we can play with anybody in the county. I think our offensive and defensive line did a great job.
"Seemed like they had 10 guys in the box the entire game so once we settle down in our passing game we will be fine. We got a first-year quarterback who is making first-year mistakes and he’s doing a great job. Offensively I think we will get there. Again I thought we dominated play in the first half but just couldn’t put it in.”
Pittsfield’s first two times with the ball ended with turnovers on downs despite driving into the red zone on both possessions. Their third drive ended on an interception by Mounties senior Austan Quagliano when senior quarterback Kolbe Muzzy was hit while attempting to the throw downfield.
On their fourth attempt, penalties ruined the drive as the Generals were called for holding on two big gains by senior Mason Papirio and eventually had to punt again.
After another stop by the defense, Pittsfield’s fifth shot at finding pay dirt looked promising as Muzzy connected deep down the left sideline with junior Tyrell Boire for a 40-yard gain.
On the next play though, the Generals coughed up the ball and Greylock recovered the fumble to end the drive.
Then finally on their sixth chance, a nice 31-yard punt return by sophomore Edwin Rodriquez set up the Generals on Mounties' 21. Two plays later Muzzy kept the ball on a quarterback keeper straight up the middle for a 10-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt was no good but Pittsfield finally had some points on the board.
“We made some specific adjustments,” Jezewski said about halftime. “Game plan adjustments that I thought the guys did a really good job on. We had a couple of opportunities that we missed early on that we saw a couple blocking scheme adjustments that we could make.”
With no runs longer than 12 yards in the first half, the adjustments made by Jezewski and his team showed through on their first drive. After a personal foul penalty by Greylock that put Pittsfield just outside the red zone, senior Gio Figueroa took a toss off the right side and broke it for a 26-yard touchdown. Muzzy found senior Sam Sala for the two-
point conversion making the score 14-0.
“We got our stuff together and came together as a family,” said Figueroa about his second half touchdown. “We just are their to support each other during everything. Hard times and good times. We just needed to get our head together and stop thinking and just play football.”
The one-two punch of Sala and Figueroa was big on the night as they finished with 84 and 85 yards rushing, respectively.
“We’ve got a team full of upperclassmen and these guys know how to play the game,” added Jezewski. “They’ve been in close games and been in blow outs. They know how to do it and I’m so proud of my guys tonight.”
For the Mounties, things started slow, but they improved as the game went along.
Greylock’s first nine possessions of the game ended in a punt, turnover on downs, or fumble. Trailing 14-0 with one quarter remaining, the Mounties put together their best drive of the game, moving down to the General 35-yard line. Senior captain Brodie Altiere connected with sophomore Sean McCormack on an 8-yard slant route before finding junior Brandon Condon for a 25-yard strike down to the 2.
But one play later, disaster struck as Altiere was unable to handle a bad snap from the pistol and Pittsfield jumped on it to end any chance of a comeback.
“From the opening kick off we really never had field position but the kids really played tough deep in our own territory and you know they have a great defense,” said Greylock coach Andrew Agostini. “They’ve got a lot of seniors. Their linebackers, their d-line, and their secondary are very very good. We knew it would be tough moving the ball.
"But as the game progressed we were able to run, we were able to throw. But I thought we played so tough and that’s something I’ll take away. Pittsfield is one of the best teams in the league and I guess we don’t really play for moral victories but I love what I saw from my kids.”
The Mounties will look to get back to work this week before going back home to play Drury on Saturday night at 6 p.m. Pittsfield will have a short week to prepare as they play on Thursday night in Adams at Renfrew Field against Hoosac Valley at 6 p.m. That game will be a rematch of last year’s Western Mass Division V championship game in which Pittsfield came from behind in the last two minutes to win.