GREAT BARRINGTON -- Sophomore running back Malik Wilbon exploded for 237 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns to lead Monument Mountain Regional High School to a 32-22 win over Pittsfield High School on Friday night.
The victory was the Spartans’ (1-3) first of the year. Wilbon had 177 yards rushing on 15 carries, and another 60 yards on punt returns.
"We changed a few things up on our offense to take better advantage of Malik," said Spartan coach Todd Tinker.
Tinker said Friday’s game was "the first in a while where we’ve played all 44 minutes. There have been games where we played 30 or 35 minutes, but somewhere along the line, we’d self-destruct. Tonight, we got out to a lead, but when Pittsfield came back, we held together."
The Spartans got out to a 14-0 lead on their first two possessions. Monument quarterback Ryle O’Brien was 3 for 3 for 53 yards and a touchdown as he directed the team on a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive. The biggest play was a 49-yard touchdown strike to Pete Oggiani. Wilbon’s run made it 8-0.
The next score was quicker. On a first-and-5 from the Spartan 35, running back Jesse Dupont bolted up the middle and outran everyone for a touchdown.
Pittsfield battled back. The Generals ground out an 11-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in a 5-yard score by Devon Tucker. The run failed and it was 14-6.
Wilbon changed the game for good early in the second quarter.
Following a PHS fumble on its own 23, the speedy sophomore took O’Brien’s pitch on the next play and burst around end for a score. One minute, 10 seconds later, after a PHS three-and-out, Wilbon stepped into a group of Generals and fielded the punt. Almost before anyone could react, he was gone, 60 yards for a score. It was 26-6.
The Generals responded with another long drive, this one a 12-play, 83-yard odyssey. Kyle Shade went in from four yards out, while Chad Shade ran in the conversion. The score was 26-14 at intermission.
The two teams traded scores in the second half, with Dominic Traversa scoring for Pittsfield and Oggiani for the Spartans.
Dupont was the Spartans’ defensive star, with a sack and seven tackles.
"He played well, but I thought everyone contributed," said Tinker.