GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Early in the fourth quarter of a two-score game, the Drury football team had the ball on its 20 and one good option: Put the ball in the air.
Blue Devils quarterback Obilio Rodriguez was solid, but the Monument Mountain defense stood up when it had to in order to protect that lead and escaped with a 20-12 win on Senior Night.
Rodriguez (186 yards passing, two touchdowns) completed three of four attempts on the early fourth quarter drive to get his team a first-and-goal at the 9.
But the Spartans (2-5) did not allow a completion on Drury's next four passing attempts.
"That was huge," Monument Mountain coach Peter Wilson said of the goalline stand. "The kids really did it on their own. I just challenged them to do what they needed to do. They didn't need my help. It was all on them, and they did a fantastic job of it.
"They showed what they were made of. They really wanted this win for the seniors in their final home game."
Monument's offense, directed by senior QB Caleb Carlson, then marched 79 yards the other way, running the clock all the way down to the 1 minute, 16-second mark before turning the ball over on downs.
Drury (1-5) refused to fold up the tents, and instead, senior Rodriguez took his team 88 yards, the last 25 on a completion in the end zone to freshman Anthony Pettengill for a score as the time expired to make it an 8-point margin.
It was a 12-point game in the first quarter thanks to the running of Monument Mountain's Sam Cormier and Jack O'Brien.
The pair took the Spartans on scoring drives of 67 and 51 yards the first two times Monument Mountain touched the ball.
O'Brien ended the first possession with a 21-yard scamper; Cormier went in from the 30 on the second possession. Cormier and O'Brien would go on to run for 125 and 123 yards, respectively.
Drury answered the second touchdown with a 70-yard drive. Rodriguez had a 25-yard completion to Josh Pachecano on fourth-and-6 to keep the drive alive and capped it with a 9-yard scoring strike to Tim Brazeau to make it 12-6.
Monument immediately answered with a 67-yard drive — all on the ground — that overcame a holding penalty along the way and ended in a Cormier 33-yard run. O'Brien ran in the 2-pointer for the only successful conversion of the night, and it was a 20-6 margin.
That is where it stayed for the final two minutes of the first half and the entire third quarter.
Drury's defense allowed just one first down on Monument Mountain's first two second-half possessions. The second one ended in a punt that backed Drury up to the 20, setting the stage for the drive that ended on fourth-and-goal.
Drury coach Al Marceau was proud of his young, shorthanded squad's response in the second half, which it won by a margin of 6-0.
"Even that last drive, a lot of young teams would have said, ‘Well, we don't have a chance,' " Marceau said. "But it's about pride there. It's just about going down, making something happen, and there were some great plays. We executed on that last drive, even with the clock.
"I'm really proud of the way they played in the second half."
Drury hosts its Senior Day next Saturday against Ludlow.
Monument Mountain finishes the regular season on Friday night in Lee.