CHESHIRE -- The Hoosac Valley football team hasn’t been behind much this season, but that’s exactly the position it found itself in Saturday.
During a first-half stretch that saw five consecutive drives result in touchdowns, the Hurricanes trailed Pittsfield 14-13 at one point. Then Hoosac scored to take a halftime lead and scored on each of its first four possessions of the second half for a 44-14 win.
"It was a close first half. This was like a playoff game to us, though," Hoosac’s Colby Gage said. "We had to come out hitting and win this game."
Matt Koperniak found Matt Braman on a swing pass to the outside, and he took it 49 yards for his second score and a 20-14 lead with 5 minutes, 50 seconds left in the first half.
Then the Hurricanes’ defense dominated the Generals, holding them to five first downs (three in second half) the rest of the way, two of which came on the final drive.
A stark difference from the back-to-back scoring drives the Generals manufactured to take a brief lead in the second quarter.
"Defensively, we kind of shut them down. But we knew, we watched the Wahconah-PHS game and we knew that PHS is going to keep coming and coming," coach Dayne Poirot said. "So we tried to really emphasize that to our kids and they keep responding.
"They kept playing, and they played hard in the second half."
Pittsfield never would have been in the lead if not for quarterback Chad Shade. Throw any complimentary adjective toward his 13-yard touchdown run -- which gave Pittsfield the lead -- and it’ll apply.
His Magellan-like route to the end zone featured cutbacks, side-steps, jukes and the like before he eventually, finally crossed the goal line.
That was the final highlight the Hoosac defense was willing to give up, save a 25-yard, third-quarter jaunt from Devon Tucker when the game was all but decided. Pittsfield accrued 107 yards after Shade’s touchdown run and turned the ball over four times.
"We just had to stay home, do our jobs, hit hard. Definitely be physical, and that’s what we did," Hoosac defensive lineman Jameson Coughlan said. "We know [Dom] Traversa’s a really good player. He’s big and tough, we just got to fill the gaps."
As the Hoosac defense stuffed Pittsfield, the offense produced again and again.
Ty Mach scored his second touchdown of the game on the sixth play of the second half from 37 yards out. Like many of his big-yardage plays Saturday, he actually had the easiest job on the play.
Hoosac ran an option to the right side. Koperniak nearing the line of scrimmage and sideline, made an unusually late pitch to Mach, who took it the distance within inches of the sideline.
Mach didn’t even need to shift out of first gear for his 24-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter. With more lead blockers than he needed, he waited for blocks to form before accelerating into the open for an easy touchdown.
"The holes were big, our line did great," Mach said. "I was just able to make something happen."
Hoosac Valley 44, Pittsfield 14
Pittsfield 6 8 0 0 -- 14
Hoosac Valle 13 7 17 7 -- 44
HV -- Matt Braman 14 run (Hill kick good), 6:12.
P -- Chad Shade 45 run (Dom Traversa run failed), 5:37.
HV -- Ty Mach 2 run (Hill kick failed), 3:31
P -- Shade 13 run (Traversa run good), 7:43.
HV -- Braman 49 pass from Matt Koperniak (Hill kick good), 5:50.
HV -- Mach 37 run (Hill kick good), 8:34.
HV -- Hill 25 field goal, 4:35.
HV -- Mach 24 run (Hill kick good), 10:54.
HV -- Koperniak 39 run (Hill kick good), 6:11.
First downs 12 14
Rushes-yards 42-228 37-347
Comp-att-int 0-0-2 6-8-0
Passing yards 0 60
Fumbles-lost 3-3 0-0
Penalties 3-15 2-10
RUSHING -- P: Dom Traversa 11- 53, Devon Tucker 16-84, Chad Shade 85, Alex Teichert 2-6, Mason Papiro 1-0; HV: Ty Mach 13-173; Ian Hill 11-67, Matt Braman 4-19, Matt Koperniak 7-86, Brenden Ellsworth 1-1, Colby Gage 1-1.
PASSING -- P: Chad Shade 0-7-0-2; HV: Matt Koperniak 5-7-60-0, Matt Braman 1-1-0-0.
RECEIVING -- HV: Mach 1-0, Braman 4-60, Brandon Tworig 1-0.