PITTSFIELD -- Saturday afternoon, the Pittsfield High School football team decided that senior day required no second-half suspense.
A pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns by Devon Tucker, including one to break a tie to close the first half, and stingy second-half defensive play led the Generals to an 18-12 defeat of Burke at Taconic High School.
The game was played as part of a doubleheader at Taconic High School due to safety concerns at Wahconah Park, the Generals’ home field, as a light stanchion blew over last week following Hurricane Sandy.
"That’s a big, physical, tough Boston team," he said. "They really played us hard."
Pittsfield (5-5) wasted no time getting on the board, as Tucker took the Bulldogs’ opening kickoff 80 yards, giving the Generals an early 6-0 lead. The Generals would tack onto their lead, converting twice on fourth down during an 11-play drive which resulted in a Chad Shade quarterback keeper, putting Pittsfield up 12-0.
Unable to generate much offense in the first half, Burke quarterback Elvin Perez took matters into his own hands, busting a 24-yard run to bring the ball into PHS territory for the first time. With 1:05 left in the half, Burke cut the lead to 12-6 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Perez to Emoni Vicente.
The Bulldogs would get an opportunity to tie the game quickly, when Tucker would lose a fumble deep in his own territory with 31 seconds remaining.
Jezewski had high praise for Perez, who rushed 12 times for 92 carries.
"We did a poor job of containing the quarterback," Jezewski said. "He’s a very good player and we knew that coming in. If we don’t make the tackle early, he’s going to break one, and unfortunately we didn’t make the tackle early."
Having to kick off with 10 seconds remaining in the half, the Bulldogs chose to play aggressively and kicked the ball deep, but Tucker returned the kick 95 yards to give the Generals the lead for good.
The second half would prove to be a defensive battle, with neither team able to get on the scoreboard. Burke’s closest chance came near the end of the third, as a 10-play drive brought them within 26 yards of the PHS end zone, but Perez was unable to convert on fourth-and-13.
The Bulldogs quickly got the ball back, but any hope they had was erased when a Burke defender interfered with a fair catch by Ty Discoe, giving Pittsfield good field position and 3 minutes to run out the clock.