Saturday October 13, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Matt Braman is looking pretty comfortable in his new backfield position.

The Hoosac Valley junior took off against Pittsfield High School on Friday, ripping off 196 yards in his second week at running back and scoring twice in a 20-6 win over the Generals at Wahconah Park.

"It's a little bit different than I'm used to but I'm just trying to help the team win," Braman said. "Do my part. It was a long time ago that I played [running back] but I still remember a few things from it."

Braman was the Hurricanes' workhorse, busting a 27-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and tacking on jogs of 57 and 61 yards later. It helped Hoosac (4-2, 4-2 Berkshire County) get past a five fumble night. Pittsfield (2-4, 2-4) twice recovered those fumbles and held the Hurricanes to Ian Hill field goals twice.

"We gave up a lot of possessions," said Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot. "We have to execute. We didn't execute."

Execution was also a problem for Generals coach Brian Jezewski, especially on offense. Pittsfield didn't gain a first down until late in the third quarter and the offense struggled to move the ball against a staunch Hoosac defense. The Generals had just 49 rushing yards.

"They're a big, strong physical team," said Pittsfield quarterback Chad Shade. "We're working hard on offense but they're sending guys through every single gap. It's tough. It's tough to get all the blocking assignments down."

Pittsfield finally started moving the ball late in the game. Chad Shade connected with brother Kyle for a 37-yard gain to end the third quarter. Seven plays later, Chad Shade was in the end zone to cut the deficit to 13-6.

Braman was more than prepared to respond. He busted loose for 57 yards on the second play of the ensuing drive, taking the Hurricanes all the way inside the Pittsfield 10-yard line.

"There's a big cutback lane," Braman said. "The line made a huge hole I got to go through. A little bit of overpursuit by them, a big cutback lane and I kind of got upfield."

Braman was in the end zone for his second two-yard touchdown of the day two plays later, putting the game out of reach. Pittsfield went three-and-out on its next possession and the Hurricanes simply ran out the clock.

Poirot said he was pleased with the win, but also acknowledged mistakes that kept the game close into the fourth quarter. He said the Hurricanes will need to be even better when they leave the county for the first time next weekend.

"They're doing well but I think we've seen that they have a long way to go still," Poirot said. "We've got to have a good focus week in practice this week to play Chicopee Comp."

To reach Christopher James:
cjames@berkshireeagle.com,
(413) 496-6252.
On Twitter: @BECJ2K.