Berkshire Eagle Staff
TURNERS FALLS -- Calling a trick play is always a gamble for a football coach.
Saturday, Franklin Tech used two successful trick plays to clinch a 14-12 victory over McCann Tech.
The Eagles handed McCann it’s first loss of the season in this Tri-County matchup.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, and McCann Tech coach Bob LeClair said he couldn’t help but feel like his team let one slip away.
"Offensively we struggled quite a bit. We had a few good series but not enough. They’re upset over [the loss]. We’re just going to put it aside a get back to work next week," LeClair said.
With two minutes left in the first quarter Franklin Tech decided to dialed up its first trick play.
Eagles’ quarterback C.J. Daignault pitched to wingback Ethan Wickline along the left side. Daignault took off down the sideline. McCann sniffed out that part of the play, but Franklin Tech sent two other receivers on streaks down the middle of the field. Wickline pulled up after faking as if he was running the ball and threw the ball down the field. Two defenders looked to be in position for McCann but just missed tipping the ball. 56 yards later Drew Stebbins scored the first touchdown of the game.
"The wing threw the ball into double coverage. They just misjudged their jumps. ...A foot away from making a good play," LeClair said.
McCann answered with a 1-yard touchdown run from Nick Lincoln to bring the score to 7-6.
The Hornets looked to go into halftime trailing by a point, but Franklin went to its bag of trick again.
With seven seconds left in the half the Eagles lined up with a center and two guards on the ball. Franklin split its two offensive tackles out wide with receivers behind them. Daignault hit Nate Crocker on a slant, Crocker broke a tackle and scored from 33 yards out.
LeClair said that was a big blow to his team going into halftime.
"That was tough one to swallow, but we had our chances to not get in that situation," LeClair said.
The two made extra points from Crocker also proved to crucial to the final outcome of the game.
Lincoln scored his second touchdown with 3:16 left in the third quarter. Trailing by 2, LeClair went to a play that is usually money for the two-point conversion.
Lincoln took the snap and rolled out of the pocket looking for his wing back in the flat. Quick pressure from Franklin blew up the play forcing an incomplete pass from Lincoln.
McCann would not score again in the game and Franklin intercepted a pass from Lincoln late in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
McCann Tech 0 6 6 0--12
Franklin Tech 7 7 0 0--14
FT -- Drew Stebbins 56 pass from Ethan Wickline (Nate Crocker kick), 2:07.
MT -- Nick Lincoln 1 run (run failed), 1:08.
FT -- Crocker 33 pass from CJ Daignault (Crocker kick), :07.
MT -- Nick Lincoln 5 run (pass failed), 3:16.