PITTSFIELD -- Three weeks into the 2013 high school football season, Pittsfield is floating in uncharted waters. That’s what going 3-0 will do for you.
The Generals took the lead for keeps on Devon Tucker’s 80-yard kickoff return for a second-quarter touchdown, one of three TDs the junior running back scored, as Pittsfield held off Chicopee Comp 32-23.
"This is huge. I don’t know if we’ve ever done this in history," Pittsfield fullback/linebacker Dom Traversa said. "It’s beyond me how amazing this team is."
Traversa ran the ball 18 times for a game-high 121 yards and a 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. The senior actually outrushed the Colts by himself. In the game, Pittsfield ran the ball 48 times for 253 yards.
Chicopee Comp quarterback Michael Whitsett, however, threw the ball 41 times and gained 232 yards in the air. His top target was 6-foot-2 wide receiver Mike Bombard, who caught 9 passes for 122 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. Whitsett ran for two scores.
"Our guys persevered over some things. We put the points up, and we pulled it out," Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski said.
Traversa had the two biggest plays of the game -- one on each side of the line of scrimmage -- in the second half.
The Generals led 18-8 at halftime and held the Colts on the first series of the third quarter. PHS quarterback Chad Shade, who was 5 of 12 for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns, was intercepted on the Generals’ third play of the series. Comp marched 37 yards for a touchdown, scoring on a 4-yard run by Whitsett. Tyler Velois’ kick pulled the Colts to within a field goal at 18-15.
Traversa came up big on offense after Pittsfield took the ball at its 37. Five plays later, the Generals had a first and 15 at midfield. Traversa took the handoff, followed a block by guard Gio Vega and turned on the jets. Fifty yards later, the Generals had a two-score lead again.
"The team likes to joke that I’m not the fastest out there. I’m more of a grinding through the tackles type of back," said Traversa. "I just saw a lane, made a move and I was gone. I give all the credit to the line. They did a great job blocking."
Traversa did his part on defense when Chicopee Comp got the ball back. The Colts moved the ball deep into Pittsfield territory and had a fourth-and-1 from the PHS 22. Whitsett lined up under center for the second time in the game and tried to sneak. Traversa burst through the line and stopped the Comp quarterback for no gain.
Pittsfield put the game away late in the fourth quarter on a 37-yard run by Tucker. It was one of three touchdowns the junior scored in the game, as he caught a 10-yard pass from Shade with 10 seconds left before halftime.
Tucker finished the game with 267 yards in all-purpose offense. He gained 92 yards rushing on 13 carries and caught 3 passes for 95 yards to go with the kickoff return.
The biggest smile from the junior came when he was asked about the three-game winning streak.
"It’s big for us, man, we haven’t done this in a while," said Tucker. "It’s great."
Comp 8 0 7 8--23
Pittsfield 12 6 6 8--32
PHS -- Evan Bossio 11 pass from Kyle Shade (Run failed), 4:41.
CC -- Michael Whitsett 9 run (Mike Bombard run), 1:47.
PHS -- Devon Tucker 80 kickoff return (Run failed), 1:33.
PHS -- Tucker 10 pass from Shade (Run failed), 0:10.
CC -- Whitsett 4 run (Tyler Velois kick), 5:59.
PHS -- Dom Traversa 50 run (Run failed), 3:12.
PHS -- Tucker 37 run (Shade run), 2:32.
CC -- Bombard 15 pass from Whitsett (Whitsett run), 1:27.
First Downs 16 22
Rushes-yards 48-253 20-105
Passing yards 110 232
Comp-att-int 5-12-1 20-41-3
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 8-60 3-20
RUSHING -- Pittsfield: Mason Papiro 2-(minus-3), Dom Traversa 16-121, Devon Tucker 13-92, Chad Shade 13-38, Tyler Cataldi 2-4. Chicopee Comp: Jonathan Martone 10-31, Michael Whitsett 9-61, Austin Clapp 1-(minus-1).
PASSING -- Pittsfield: Shade 5-12-1 110. Chicopee Comp: Whitsett 20-41-3 232.
RECEIVING -- Pittsfield: Tucker 3-95, Evan Bossio 1-6, Papiro 1-9. Chicopee Comp: Martone 3-20, Mike Bombard 9-122, Ben Asselin 4-41, Emily Doirion 3-8, Dave Pedraza 3-41.