High School Football Preview

Friday September 21, 2012


Pittsfield at Lee

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Records: Pittsfield 0-2, Lee 1-1.

Last year: Lee, 35-0

Outlook: Both teams had fairly impressive bounce-back games last week. Visiting Pittsfield fell to 0-2 but rallied from a 40-8 halftime deficit against Wahconah, and put a few gray hairs on the head of Wahconah coach Gary Campbell Jr. The Generals were led by Devon Tucker's 116 yards rushing and four others had at least 40 yards on the ground. PHS coach Brian Jezewski likes to move the ball with the option offense, that now seems like it is getting into gear. Stop us if you've heard this before: Lee loses the opener to Hoosac Valley and then beats Mahar. That happened last year, and it happened again last week. The Wildcat defense was tough, filibustering the Senators in a 19-0 win and holding Mahar to 103 yards in total offense. The Wildcats rushed for 159 yards with QB Deaglan Giarolo and RBs Dan Griffen and Ryan Hurley. The Wildcats might be a handful for anyone right now. Mount Greylock at Taconic

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

Records: Greylock 2-0, Taconic 1-1

Last year: Greylock, 26-0

Outlook: Make it 28 and counting for Greylock (and Duxbury in Eastern Massachusetts). The Mounties put the winning streak on the line as they venture to Wahconah Park for the second time in three weeks. Shawn Flaherty's team had three road games to begin the season, and had little trouble against PHS and Monument Mountain. Against the Spartans, they scored the game's first six touchdowns. RB Ethan Ryan had three in the second quarter. Greylock is not a run only team. QB Hank Barrett threw two TD passes and is 8 of 14 in two games. The Mounties have yet to turn the ball over. Taconic opened with a win but fell to Drury last week. QB Troy Ziter had to throw the ball 17 times and completed 9 passes for 106 yards. Coach Vinny Barbarotta would like to run the ball more than 20 times. RB Trayvon Sims will be key. He ran for 71 yards, and the Mounties will have to keep him from getting outside.

Drury at Wahconah

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Records: Drury 1-1, Wahconah 2-0.

Last year: Drury, 26-21

Outlook: On paper, this might be the game of the night. The Blue Devils bounced back from an opening-night thrashing at Athol with a solid victory Saturday at Taconic. Some of the stats tell you what you need to know about Drury's improvement. Against Athol, the Blue Devils had 2 turnovers and 85 penalty yards. Against Taconic, they had one turnover and 21 yards in penalties. RB Jose Melendez had his second consecutive 100-yard game. Coach Bill Bryce has settled in with Jake Dilego at QB. Not sure what to think about Friday's 40-36 Wahconah win over Pittsfield. Was the first half (40 points) the real Wahconah team? Did the second half (28-0 PHS) give you important notes about what the Warriors are going to be like. In the opener against St. Joseph's, Wahconah ran the ball 38 times but only 25 against Pittsfield. QB Lane Grogan was busy, completing 9 of 18 for 169 yards and 3 TDs to Darrow Brown. That will make things tough for the Drury defense.

Monument Mountain at Hoosac Valley

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Records: Monument 0-2, Hoosac 1-1.

Last year: Hoosac, 28-0

Outlook: The Hurricanes look to rebound after a disappointing loss to St. Joseph's with a third-straight home game. Monument comes to Cheshire and don't let their 0-2 record deceive you, the Spartans are a better team than 12 months ago. Greylock did a good job containing sophomore RB Malik Wilbon, who went over the 100-yard mark against Taconic but had only 41 against Greylock. In the loss to St. Joe's, the Hurricanes were gashed for 253 yards rushing on 43 carries. Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot is a defensive guy, and there can be no doubt that was a point of emphasis during practice this week. The loss had to hurt at Hoosac because the Hurricanes looked so good in the opener against Lee. Hoosac ran for 202 yards against Lee and only 105 against St. Joe's. A total like week 1 could lead to victory.

Greenfield at
McCann Tech

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Records: Greenfield 2-0, McCann 1-1.

Last year: McCann, 30-8

Outlook: The Intercounty League's Green Wave made noise two weeks ago by beating Commerce, one of last year's Division II Super Bowl finalists. Greenfield is 2-0 thanks to a 38-6 win over Sci-Tech. QB Zach Bartak does it all for the Wave. He ran the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, rushed for 102 yards and scored a TD and threw for 110 and had a TD pass. That will provide a challenge for the Hornets, who were gashed by 31 unanswered points in last week's loss to Pathfinder. Coach Bob LeClair has been working on his pass defense this week, as both of Pathfinder's second-quarter scores were on long pass plays. If the Hornets shore up their defense, this will be a quality matchup.

St. Joseph's at Easthampton

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Records: St. Joseph's 1-1, Easthampton

Last year: St. Joseph's, 22-8

Outlook: The Crusaders hit the road for Saturday's tilt against the Easthampton/Hampshire Regional co-op team. The Eagles and Crusaders both bounced back last week after tough losses. The Eagles lost in OT to Belchertown before beating Palmer 30-6. St. Joe's lost to Wahconah at Wahconah Park and came back with a 28-0 road win at Hoosac. The Eagles have a one-two punch of RBs Shane Andrews and Lucious Bunnell. Andrews ran for 142 yards and 2 TDs against Palmer and Bunnell had 123 yards and 2 TDs. The Eagles' defense will be tested by a Crusader offense that literally and figuratively found its footing last week in Cheshire. Coach Gary Bianchi's team ran the ball 43 times for 253 yards. St. Joe's backs Lavante Wiggins and Tank Roberson and QB Jon Bianchi all averaged at least 4 yards every time they carried the ball. The Eagles may not have an answer for Wiggins, who toted the pigskin 24 times for 165 yards last week.


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