Pittsfield football falls in heartbreaker to Frontier

Pittsfield quarterback D'Andre Johnson hits Donte Cruz for a touchdown.
HOWARD HERMAN - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
Pittsfield's Edwin Rodriguez tries to score on the final play of the game.
HOWARD HERMAN - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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PITTSFIELD — One drive, and Pittsfield would have locked up its first victory of 2017. That drive never came.

Twice, the Generals marched the ball into Frontier Regional's red zone, and came up empty.

The Red Hawks, however, scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on long drives, the last a 78 yarder that was capped off with Bryce Dobosz's touchdown with 15 seconds left as the visitors escaped with a most improbable 40-36 win Friday night at Wahconah Park.

"We're a really good team. We play hard. This season means a lot because I know we can go really far. But we need to keep working," said Pittsfield's Edwin Rodriguez. "I know this first game doesn't really define us.

"We have to live with it, but it's in the past and worry about next week."

Pittsfield outgained Frontier 447 yards to 344. The Red Hawks, however, ran off 60 plays to 50 for PHS. The Generals did not punt in the game and scored the first four times they had the ball.

Rodriguez had a stellar night for the Generals, rushing for 203 yards on 22 carries. Jamal Beda also took a turn in the spotlight, as he carried the ball 12 times for 155 yards and scored on runs of 62, 70 and four.

"This is a tough pill to swallow," said PHS coach Brian Jezewski. "I thought we outplayed them most of the game. They had a couple of good drives. Offensively, I thought we played really well. Defensively, I thought we played well for the most part.

"I'm proud of my guys, they continue to fight. I take my hat off to [Frontier]. Like I said to the guys, I think we lost the game. I don't think they beat us."

This game turned as the third quarter ended and the fourth quarter started.

Pittsfield's defense roared up and stopped Frontier's option attack at the Red Hawk 44. A seven-yard punt gave Pittsfield the ball on its 49, as the Generals held a 36-24 lead.

The Generals marched to the Frontier nine, where PHS had four chances to punch the ball in. A fourth-down pass from D'Andre Johnson to Ian Benoit was incomplete and Frontier took over on its own 10.

The Red Hawks ran the ball nine times on the 10-play, 90-yard drive and scored on the 10th — a five-yard pass from quarterback Matt Hildreth to Aaron Landry. The two-point conversion made it 36-32.

PHS fielded a squib kick on its 48 and drove to the Frontier 21. But on third-and-12, Johnson's pass for Shawn O'Shea was picked off by Hildreth at the 22 yard line.

Frontier had two big pass plays on third downs to keep drives alive. Hildreth hit Dobosz for 24 yards on third-and six from the Frontier 26 and then on third-and-nine from the Pittsfield 32. On the next play, Dobosz, who gained 103 yards on 16 carries, scampered around the right end for the game-winning score.

"Two times in a row," said Jezewski. "Two times in a row, they were bringing everybody and we tried to get the ball to the perimeter. One was an interception, it happens. He underthrew [the receiver] and the kid from the other team made a nice play. We had a slant open and missed the throw."

The Suburban North Generals continue their non-league play next week at Suburban South's East Longmeadow and return to Wahconah Park in two weeks to play Holyoke of the AA League.

"We'll be fine. We'll let this hurt because it hurts," said the Pittsfield coach. "This is not going to define who we are."

———

Frontier     8     16     0     16          40

Pittsfield     16     14     6     0          36

First Quarter

P — Donte Cruz 4 pass from D'Andre Johnson (Johnson run), 6:29.

F — Stephen Worthy 17 run (Bryce Dobosz run), 2:29.

P — Jamal Beda 62 run (Cruz pass from Johnson), 2:12.

Second Quarter

P — Beda 70 run (Run failed), 10:30.

F — Dobosz 2 run (Garrett DeForest run), 7:09.

P — Beda 4 run (Johnson run), 4:08.

F— Andrew Logan 11 pass from Matt Hildreth (DeForest run), 1:01.

Third Quarter

P — Ian Benoit 3 run (Pass failed), 6:26.

Fourth Quarter

F — Aaron Landry 5 pass from Hildreth (Dobosz run) 5:56.

F — Dobosz 7 run (Dobosz run), 0:15.

———

     PHS     Fro

First Downs     15     23

Rushes-yards     42-404     52-259

Passing yards     43     85

Comp-Att-Int     3-8-1     6-8-0

Punts-Avg     0-0     2-17.5

Fumbles-Lost     1-0     1-0

Penalties-Yards     5-45     0-0

———

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Pittsfield: Edwin Rodriguez 22-203, Jamal Beda 12-155, D'Andre Johnson 5-32, Joe Traversa 3-14. Frontier: Bryce Dobosz 16-103, Stephen Worthley 13-64, Aaron Landry 8-54, Matt Hildreth 10-26, Garrett DeForest 5-12.

PASSING — Pittrsfield: Johnson 3-8-1 43. Frontier: Hildreth 6-8-0 85.

RECEIVING — Pittsfield: Donte Cruz 2-19, Rodriguez 1-24. Frontier: Landry 3-23, Andrew Logan 1-11, Dobosz 2-51.

Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253, @howardherman.

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