Sunday November 18, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The Pittsfield football team’s shortest drive was the only one that mattered.

The Generals were locked in a scoreless tie with Drury on Saturday in the second half at Taconic High School. Pittsfield had fumbled one touchdown away and had another called back on a penalty. But after a fumble gave the Generals the ball at the Drury 35-yard line, Devon Tucker reeled in a 31-yard pass and Dominic Traversa scored on a 4-yard run to open the fourth quarter. It took only those two plays to give Pittsfield all the points it needed in a 16-0 win.

"We’ve moved the ball on everybody. It’s just a question of punching it in," said Generals coach Brian Jezewski. "That’s something we’ve been struggling with the last couple weeks. We got it done when we needed to."

Traversa rolled over the Blue Devils (3-7) all day long in the Plus-One matchup, finishing with 179 yards on 20 carries. But he fumbled the ball in the end zone in the first half and Tucker had a touchdown run of his own nullified by a penalty in the third quarter.

Drury wasted its own opportunities. The Blue Devils got inside the 10 twice in the first half and left with zero points. Running back Jose Melendez had a 61-yard run on his team’s second offensive play but he struggled to pop off big plays after that.

Drury was still able to buckle down when they needed to, keeping the game scoreless into the fourth quarter. But when Traversa took the ball to start the final period, he wasn’t going to be denied.

"We were getting the yards, it was just a matter of punching it in," he said. "We just kept believing what we were doing, fixing anything that was wrong and we just kept going."

After those two red-zone drives in the first half, the Blue Devils couldn’t find much offensive momentum in the second half. Drury turned the ball over four times, including an interception that Tucker returned to the end zone with 4:04 to play. That score all but sealed the game.

Another turnover set up the game-winning score. The Blue Devils had just stopped Pittsfield (6-5) inside the red zone when a fumble gave the ball right back to the Generals. Two plays later, and the tie was broken.

"It’s unfortunate," said Drury coach Bill Bryce. "We turn the ball over four times today. We got away from that the past few weeks. Once you start turning the ball over, you put yourself behind the eight ball. We did it again today."