GREENFIELD >> McCann Technical High School coach Bob LeClair spent much of Friday night's game trying to dodge the insects that were making their presence felt at Veterans Memorial Field.
In the fourth quarter, his defense was busy dodging Greenfield High School's offensive chances.
The Hornets came up with a pair of fourth-quarter turnovers in the red zone to thwart Green Wave drives, and McCann Tech held on for a 7-0 independent victory in the season opener.
McCann Tech scored the game's only touchdown in the first half courtesy of a Corbin Richardson's two-yard dive on the Hornets' second drive of the game. McCann started at its own 30 and used big runs by Richardson (26-yard carry) and quarterback Mike Ferrara (30-yard run) to move the ball to the Green Wave 5. Two plays later, Richardson carried the ball in from two yards out and Cody Jordan booted the ball through the uprights for the 7-0 lead with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
That was the best drive of the night by the Hornets, who never got into Green Wave territory again thanks to a Greenfield defense that was swarming to the ball. Wave coach Mike Kuchieski lauded his players after the game.
"They were flying around to the ball," Kuchieski said. "It was a nice opening day for those guys learning to play. And it's the same guys playing defense who are playing offense, but they hung in there, flew around, and I am very proud of how they played."
The Greenfield offense came out and struggled in the opening half, picking up just one first down on the first two drives of the game. The Wave came to life late in the second quarter following a fumble recovery after Ferrara had to leave the game for one play when his helmet was knocked off. The fumble set Greenfield up on the McCann Tech 24, and the Wave got as far as the 8 but came up short on a fourth-and-3.
Greenfield's offense played much better in the second half, taking the opening kick and putting together a 10-play drive that resulted in a punt, but seemed to give the players some confidence. Greenfield's next drive saw the offense move down to the McCann Tech 25 early in the fourth quarter, but quarterback Tyler Miner was picked off on a fourth-and-11 play at the Hornets' 15, ending the threat.
McCann Tech wound up punting back to the Wave following a short drive, and Greenfield took over at its own 49. The Wave moved the ball down to the Hornets' 9, but on a third-and-4 play with 1 minute, 23 seconds left in the game, the handoff from Miner to running back Tyler Townsley was never secured and the ball wound up on the ground. Hornets' defensive lineman Jake Therrien came away with the loose ball, and McCann Tech picked up two first downs to run out the clock.
"They really stepped up," LeClair said of his defense. "We were backed up pretty good. I think they had the ball in our end most of the second half. The defense came up big, not just that fumble, but a couple of other plays too. We dodged many bullets and there were many going by us, about as many as there were mosquitos that I was swatting away tonight."
Richardson finished with seven carries for 49 yards to lead the Hornets, while Dakota Bolte had 13 carries for 43 yards. Ferrara finished with 40 yards on six carries, and was also 2-of-6 passing for 6 yards.
Running back RJ Byrd and Townsley led the Wave offense. Byrd carried the ball 17 times for 32 yards, while Townsley picked up 47 yards on seven hauls. Miner, making his first start at quarterback, finished 3-of-10 for 33 yards and a pick.