WILLIAMSTOWN -- Late in the third quarter and trailing by five points, the Lee football team needed a statement drive.
The Wildcats leaned on their running game. Pounding the ball methodically down the field, they ate several minutes off the clock during a 12-play drive. Lee capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Cam Abderhalden to John Graziano to take a one-point lead.
It seemed as though Lee sent a message to Greylock through its physical play. The Mounties had an answer.
From its own 35-yard line, Greylock quarterback Brodie Altiere hit Mike McCormack for a 65-yard touchdown pass to re-take the lead for the Mounties. The pair hooked up again for the two-point conversion to give Greylock a 16-9 lead and that clinched the victory for the Mounties.
The Mounties made the big plays when they needed to, but Lee had success on the ground against them. Matt Kelley led the Wildcats with 113 yards rushing on 24 carries. Greylock Daivon Clement lead all rushers with 122 on 19 carries.
Lee had a chance to tie or take the lead late in the game, but Matt Malloy notched two sacks including one on fourth and long to squash Lee's comeback attempt. Malloy said the quickness of the defensive line allowed them to generate pressure.
"They were blocking pretty well on the run, but in the pass they were kind of slow. We beat them with foot speed," Malloy said.
For Lee, a chance at valuable playoff points slipped through its hands. Sitting at fourth place in Berkshire County before play began, a victory Friday could have improved their playoff positioning.
Lee players were noticeably distraught after the game, but coach Keith Thomson said his team still has work to do.
"We don't worry about [playoff positioning]. We take it one week at a time and when it's all over, if you're good enough to be there you'll be there," Thomson said. "We're focused on Monument right now and we'll see what happens with all that stuff we can't control down in Springfield."
With a big showdown against undefeated Wahconah looming next week. Greylock coach Shawn Flaherty said he stressed to his team how important is was not to overlook the Wildcats.
"We know when we play Lee it's going to be a defensive battle. [Thomson] knows our stuff, we know their stuff and we couldn't get consecutive drives going," Flaherty said. "To me this was week one of the playoffs and I said every game counts. Every game is do or die."
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