SOUTH HADLEY >> Teddy Doyle stabilized the South Hadley football team.
The Tigers batted penalties and turnovers in a sloppy first half Friday.
They punted on their only first quarter offensive drive after a block in the back, chop block, false start and offsetting penalties forced a third and 48 from South Hadley's 7-yard line. Pittsfield even declined an ineligible man downfield penalty that drive.
The second quarter featured a South Hadley fumble after the Tigers stopped the Generals on fourth down, another Tigers fumble recovery before they handed the ball to Doyle for the first time with 10 minutes, 18 seconds left in the second quarter.
His first carry of the game was negated by a chop block.
He ran 11 times for 117 yards and a touchdown in a 48-6 win at home.
"We just started giving the ball to Teddy. We had to mix up our offensive line tonight, we had a couple guys out," South Hadley coach Scott Taylor said. "We had to figure out the right combination. Giving it to Teddy, Sean (O'Grady) and Jason (Fernandes) made it easier, too."
Doyle also put the Tigers ahead during their adventurous first half with a 69-yard fumble return for a score 8:45 left in the first quarter.
"That was huge for us. I think it helped get the momentum going, get the ball going in our direction," Doyle said.
The Tigers celebrated Senior Night before the game. Taylor attributed that to some of their early struggles.
"That first quarter, I think the kids were too fired up," Taylor said.
Doyle's fumble recovery ended the Generals' first drive, and the Tigers forced three other turnovers. They had the two first-half fumbles and interceptions by Jack Dawson and Fernandes.
After South Hadley's second fumble recovery, the drive with Doyle's first carry, the Tigers' offense began to resemble its earlier-season self.
O'Grady capped the drive with a 48-yard touchdown that put South Hadley up 14-0 with 5:32 to halftime.
He found the end zone again 4:20 later to give the Tigers (4-2, 2-1 Suburban North) a 21-0 halftime lead.
"The line always gets us going," Doyle said. "They're our ride or dies."
He did some of the work himself on his first carry, and South Hadley's first play, of the second half: a 26-yard touchdown run up the middle that featured a cut left and two broken tackles.
South Hadley found the end zone on its next three drives.
Fernandes (four carries, 57 yards) took it in from 38 yards with 8:08 to go third quarter before Pittsfield (3-3, 0-3) got on the board.
Fullback Edwin Rodriguez powered in from three yards out to make the score 34-6 with 1:44 left in the third qurter.
South Hadley quarterback Ryan Mooney made sure that touchdown didn't go unanswered before the end of the quarter. He leapt into the air to clear a defender to finish a 7-yard run and score as the third quarter buzzer sounded.
O'Grady closed out the Tigers' scoring on the ground. He ran 30 yards to the end zone with 7:09 left, capping a three touchdown night with 153 rushing yards.
That score ended the South Hadley starters' nights. Taylor turned the game over to his backups to preserve the modicum of health the Tigers achieved.
Mooney played after missing last week, and O'Grady returned to form after leaving South Hadley's loss to Wahconah with a hip injury.
Offensive line shuffling non-withstanding, the Tigers avoided starting a losing streak ahead of next week's visit to Taconic, which knocked off previously unbeaten Wahconah.
"We've got our work cut out for us," Taylor said. "We've got to get some guys back. We've still got a couple guys out who are key seniors we could really use. We'll have to see what happens."
SH–Ted Doyle 69 fumble return (Emily Wojnowski kick), 8:45
SH–Sean O'Grady 48 run (Wojnowski kick), 5:32
SH–O'Grady 13 run (Wojnowski kick), 1:04
SH–Doyle 26 run (Kick failed), 11:40
SH–Jason Fernandes 38 run (Wojnowski kick), 8:08
P–Edwin Rodriguez 3 run (Kick failed), 1:44
SH–Ryan Mooney 7 run (Wojnowski kick), 0:00
SH–O'Grady 30 run (Wojnowski kick), 7:09
RUSHING—Pittsfield – Rodriguez 14-48, Tyrell Boire 8-30, Ian Benoit 2-9, Johnson D'Andre 3-8, Trevon Taylor 3-6, Griff Manns 4-0. South Hadley–O'Grady 7-153, Doyle 11-117, Fernandes 4-57, Mooney 2-37, Hunter Borowski 1-(-1), Ben Watkins 3-(-11).
PASSING—Pittsfield– Boire 8-20-82-2. South Hadley– Ryan Pratt 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING—Pittsfield–Benoit 2-45, Manns 3-22, Rodriguez 3-15. South Hadley–None.