NORTH ADAMS >> In a game that featured over 100 combined penalty yards, several miscues and negative plays, Drury had just enough offense to pull out a 12-6 win at rival McCann Tech on Saturday.
Jamal Beda led the way with two rushing touchdowns for the Blue Devils (2-4, 1-1 Intercounty West). His second score came with 5 minutes and 13 seconds left in the game, putting the Blue Devils up for good. The diminutive running back showed surprising power, breaking multiple tackles on his way into the end zone from 11 yards out.
"I just keep pumping my feet. I think like I'm a train and I just keep going," Beda said on his running style.
Beda added that beating rival McCann was all the motivation he needed to power the ball in the end zone.
The win for the Blue Devils is their first over the Hornets (1-5, 0-3) since the last time the teams met back in 1997.
McCann Tech Bob LeClair said he had a lot of mixed emotions heading into the game. Not only was he the head coach of Drury during the '97 game, but he was an assistant coach on the last McCann team to defeat Drury in 1992. After the loss, his main emotion seemed to be disappointment after a sloppy performance from his players.
"It's different. I can't say that it isn't," LeClair said on being the opposite sideline from Drury. "This is the first time here going against them. ... You can't say you don't think about the game. I showed them the '92 game as motivation, not that they needed it, but it's tough."
McCann's entire season has been challenging up to this point and the bad breaks continued to mount. On the first play of the game, the shotgun snap went over quarterback Justin Meczywor's head for a big loss and a turnover. Drury could not capitalize on the turnover, but the bad start signified how the rest of the game would go.
The team's traded punts and once McCann got the ball back, the Hornets seemed to be stringing positive plays together. Meczywor hit Dakota Bolte near the sideline for a 19-yard gain on second and long, but Bolte had to leave the game due to injury with 2:03 left in the first quarter. He did not return.
Playing without their top playmaker made offense even more difficult for the host. They had to punt on the drive, leading to Drury's first touchdown. Meczywor also left the game twice after big hits, but returned each time.
McCann finally got on the board after a 12-play scoring drive, capped by a Meczywor six-yard run. He completed passes of seven and nine to Hank Stockman and Alex Kimok, respectively. A 15-yard personal foul also extended the drive, leading to the score. The extra point attempt was blocked.
The teams traded punts again, before Drury scored its winning touchdown. McCann had a chance to answer, but Nate Hillard made a diving interception from his knees, scooping up the ball just before it hit the ground, icing the game.
The win gives Drury two in a row and its first in the Intercounty West.
"It looks like [this game] is going to be a new tradition we can start and I challenged the kids to come out and play hard," Drury coach Seth Shepard said.
"[McCann's] had a lot of success over the last few years. They've had to hear about how successful McCann's been. They've done it the right way, they have a lot of good players and I challenged the kids to show them how Drury football plays. Show them Berkshire County football. Start a new tradition that you can be proud of."
D — Jamal Beda 29 run (run failed), 4:36.
M — Justin Meczywor 6 run (kick failed), 9:49.
D — Beda 11 run (run failed), 5:13.
RUSHING — Drury: Jamal Beda 22-92, Obilio Rodriguez 3-0, J.J. Middleton 5-20, Nate Hillard 2-30. McCann: Justin Meczywor 13-23. Dakota Bolte 2-10, Conner Berard 1-(minus 2), Mason Field 7-17, Darius Tovani 8-6.
PASSING — Drury: Rodriguez 4-12-0 68. McCann: Meczywor 6-10-1 57.
RECEVING — Drury: Beda 1-5, Hayden Bird 2-27, Middleton 1-16. McCann: Bolte 1-19, Field 1-0, Hank Stockman 2-7, Alex Kimok 1-9, Tovani 1-22.
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252