High School Football Preview

Friday October 5, 2012

Wahconah at Hoosac

When: Tonight, 7 p.m., Renfrew Field, Adams

Records: Wahconah 3-1, 3-0 league; Hoosac 2-2, 2-2.

Last year: Hoosac, 23-20 (OT).

Outlook: Both teams enter tonight's game coming off disappointing losses. For the visiting Warriors, it'll be a chance to make up for what coach Gary Campbell Jr. called a poor performance in the loss at Northampton. QB Lane Grogan threw five interceptions, four more than he had thrown in Wahconah's first three games combined. Northampton did a good job defensively against the run, holding RB Eli Pease to 24 yards rushing. The Hurricanes will try to make the Warriors one-dimensional tonight. In both of Hoosac's losses, coach Dayne Poirot's charges failed to score a point. Greylock at Lee

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Records: Greylock 4-0, 4-0; Lee 1-3, 0-3.

Last year: Greylock, 28-14.

Outlook: There was a certain symmetry to last week's Greylock win over Hoosac. The Mounties won their 30th consecutive game and scored 30 points. Will it be 31 for 31 tonight? The host Wildcats have been hit hard by the injury bug. Maybe if coach Keith Thomson can keep one unit together for a couple of consecutive games, maybe the Wildcats can right the ship. For Greylock, so far, everything is going well. The Mounties are also running an 88-minute (two game) shutout streak and have only surrendered 20 points in four games. Ethan Ryan has been the feature RB for the Mounties, but Daivon Clement has been nearly as valuable. When you have a 1-2 running back punch, the defense can't key on one guy. That's why both runners have been as effective as they have been.

Greenfield at Monument

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Records: Greenfield, 4-0; Monument 1-3.

Last year: Monument, 36-30

Outlook: If you look at the records, this shouldn't be much of a contest. The Green Wave, ranked third in the latest Division III power ratings, are a perfect 4-0 and the Spartans a not-as-good 1-3. Greenfield's four wins are against teams with a combined 4-12 record while Monument's record is against teams with a combined 9-7 mark. The Green Wave will head to Great Barrington with revenge on their minds. After all, Monument ended its 36-game losing streak last year, beating Greenfield 36-30. QB Zach Bartak threw for 234 yards and 4 TDs. Monument coach Todd Tinker was quoted last year as saying "That kid's a senior right? Too bad we've got to face him next year. He's gonna go places." Bartak rushed for 135 yards in last week's win over Mahar. He has accounted for 15 of Greenfield's TDs. The Spartans are coming off a 36-22 win over Pittsfield. The Spartans had 342 total yards against PHS, with Malik Wilbon rushing for 177 yards on 15 carries.

Taconic at St. Joseph's

When: Tonight, Wahconah Park, 7 p.m.

Records: Taconic 2-2, 2-2. St. Joseph's 3-1, 2-1.

Last year: St. Joseph's, 36-8.

Outlook: St. Joseph's opens defense of its city championship tonight at the old ballpark on Wahconah Street. Last year, the Braves played St. Joe's at the back end of what was a four-game losing streak. This year, the Braves of Vin Barbarotta come in feeling good after shutting out Lee last week. Berkshire County teams like to talk about a "ground-and-pound" offense, but because of some injuries, Taconic has taken it to another level after being forced to move offensive lineman Jordan Pasquarelli to running back. Pasquarelli, who weighs in at 215 pounds, pounded the Wildcats on the ground for 94 yards and a touchdown. The availability of RB Trayvon Sims could be a game-time decision. After losing their first game, the Crusaders have gone 3-0 and have given up only 20 points in those three wins.

Easthampton at McCann Tech

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Records: Easthampton 2-2, 2-0 Tri-County; McCann 1-3, 1-2.

Last year: McCann, 21-6.

Outlook: The Hornets may be on a three-game losing streak, but this provides them an opportunity to get back into the thick of the Tri-County League race. The Hornets are going to have to score some points, something they've had trouble doing recently. After scoring 18 points in the season-opening win over Ware, McCann has only put 22 points on the board in its next three games. McCann is also 1-2 at home, and coach Bob LeClair's group would undoubtedly want to improve that record. Last week, the Hornets only ran the ball for 34 yards against Franklin Tech and threw for 120.

Drury at Pittsfield

When: Saturday, Wahconah Park, 7 p.m.

Records: Drury 1-3, 1-2; Pittsfield 1-3, 1-3.

Last year: Drury, 42-18.

Outlook: Last year's game was tight for a half, as the Blue Devils led only 13-6. But Drury outscored PHS 29-12 in the final 22 minutes to win going away. This is a big game for both teams. The Blue Devils have lost two straight and have been outscored 56-6, while PHS is coming off a tough 32-22 loss at Monument. The Blue Devils might be in a lot better shape had it not been for turnovers. In Drury's three losses, it has turned the ball over 11 times. Drury coach Bill Bryce has often said that is unacceptable. PHS coach Brian Jezewski could be saying much the same thing. In Pittsfield's three losses, the Generals have turned the ball over 10 times.

Week 4 power ratings

When the week 4 ratings came out, five Berkshire County teams were smiling, because they were all close to being in the top four in Division II and III. A top-four spot puts teams into the Super Bowl playoffs.

Despite its loss at Northampton on Saturday, Wahconah remains the No. 1 team in Division II, but the Warriors are only .50 ahead of second-place South Hadley. Hoosac Valley and Taconic are tied for fourth with Springfield Commerce.

In Division III, Mount Greylock is .33 behind leader Belchertown. St. Joseph's is fifth, one point behind No. 4 Frontier Regional.

Division I -- Northampton 12.0; Central 9.5; Longmeadow 9.0; Minnechaug 8.0; Chicopee 6.0; Holyoke 5.5, Agawam 3.0; Chicopee Comp, Westfield and West Springfield 0.0.

Division II -- Wahconah 10.0; South Hadley 9.5; Putnam 8.5; Commerce, Hoosac Valley, Taconic 6.0 (tie); Amherst 5.0; East Longmeadow 3.33; Pittsfield 3.0; Ludlow and Sci-Tech 0.0.

Division III -- Belchertown 13.33; Mount Greylock 13.0; Greenfield 12.0; Frontier 11.0; St. Joseph's 10.0; Athol 9.0; Drury, Mahar 3.5 (tie); Cathedral, Lee, Monument Mountain 3.0 (tie).

Division IV -- Pathfinder 10.5; Mohawk 8.0; Franklin Tech 6.5; Easthampton 5.5; Turners Falls and Pioneer Valley 5.0 (tie); Ware 3.33; McCann Tech 3.0; Dean Tech and Palmer 0.0 (tie).


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