SPRINGFIELD — For the Pittsfield High football team, it was mission accomplished.
“After having last week off, with stuff out of our control, we really preached getting back to basics and fundamentals,” Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski said after the Generals dispatched Putnam 58-8 at Berti Field Friday night. The Generals had their game last Friday with Westfield postponed because of COVID-19 issues within Pittsfield. “I think our guys up front did a hell of a job.”
“Last week, we only practiced on Monday,” Pittsfield quarterback and safety Patrick Rindfuss said. “The rest of the week, we couldn’t practice, which was unfortunate. We got back this past Monday, and it felt really good to get back out there.”
The Generals led 52-0 at halftime, and scored once in a second half with a running clock. Rindfuss, who only played the first half, accounted for 343 of Pittsfield’s 426 yards in first-half total offense. The rangy quarterback carried the ball 12 times for 216 yards and completed 3-of-6 passes for 127 yards. He scored four touchdowns rushing, on runs of 1, 5, 60 and 54 yards. He threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Lou Rhodes. And for good measure, Rindfuss intercepted a pass by Putnam quarterback Jaylon Devane, one of two QBs used by the Beavers in the game.
No coach thinks his or her team plays a perfect game. Jezewski said that the defense didn’t tackle as well as it might have. Putnam sophomore Jaddan Williams, who ran for 37 yards on seven carries, had a couple of big gainers, including a 16 yarder where he broke several tackles.
“Defensively, it really showed that we hadn’t played in a week or so,” the Pittsfield coach said. “Our fundamentals were bad. We didn’t tackle well. We’ll clean that stuff up and get right back to basics on Monday.”
Pittsfield had six possessions in the first half, and each one of them was capped off by a touchdown.
Putnam won the coin toss and elected to receive, recovering a Pittsfield squib kick on the Generals’ 48-yard line. The Beavers went three-and-out quickly, punting the ball away. The Generals started drive No. 1 on their 24-yard line.
On first down, Rindfuss took the shotgun snap and went up the middle for 17 yards and a first down. Not even a holding penalty against Pittsfield could slow the Generals down. The big play of the drive was a 31-yard pass from Rindfuss to Brayden Bunnell that set the Generals up first-and-goal on the Putnam 9. Rindfuss had all the time in the world and threw a high-arching pass that Bunnell ran under. Two plays later, Rindfuss scored on a 1-yard run. Damario Powell ran the conversion in, and it was 8-0.
“It’s always nice running through a hole the size of a truck,” Rindfuss said. “Our line, they work really hard every day in practice and in the offseason in the weight room. They open huge holes. They drive defenders back and they make my job easy.”
Another squib kick gave Putnam the ball on the Beaver 40. On first down, Williams broke up the middle and then cut to the outside for a 23-yard gain. All of a sudden, the Beavers were in business.
Not so fast, because while Putnam did get one more first down on the drive, the Beavers were stopped on fourth down at the Pittsfield 31, when Adrean Martinez’s pass for Isaac Anaya was incomplete.
The next Pittsfield scoring drive took exactly 13 seconds, which was how long it took Lou Rhodes to catch a pass from Rindfuss, beat defensive back Dwight Payton and take it 69 yards to the house. Powell’s second PAT run put the Generals up 16-0.
While Pittsfield dominated the lines of scrimmage and pushed the Beavers around at will, the second big highlight of the first half came on defense.
Putnam faced third-and-10 from its 48. Martinez had thrown a pair of incompletions. The third pass was intended for Anaya, but it was thrown to the inside of the receiver, where Keanu Arce-Jackson caught the ball. The Pittsfield defensive back, who later played quarterback in the third quarter, went 50 yards for his first-ever defensive touchdown, and first-ever varsity touchdown
“I just read the play and attacked it,” Arce-Jackson said, adding that his eyes got big when the ball came his way.
“It was the best, man,” he said, when asked what he thought about 50 yards of wide open turf in front of him. “I took it and I ran as fast as I could into the end zone.”
Pittsfield 22 30 6 0 — 58
Putnam 0 0 0 8 — 8
PHS — Patrick Rindfuss 1 run (Damario Powell run), 7:23.
PHS — Lou Rhodes 69 pass from Rindfuss (Powell run), 4:51.
PHS — Rindfuss 5 run (Pass failed), 1:10.
PHS — Rindfuss 60 run (Pass failed), 9:16.
PHS — Rindfuss 54 run (Jonathan Mestre run), 5:43.
PHS — Keanu Arce-Jackson 50 interception return (Mestre run), 5:22.
PHS — Mestre 6 run (Powell run), 2:42.
PHS — Georgios Zamakis 6 run (Run failed), 2:10.
Put — Jerome Jackson 17 run (Jaylon Devane run), 6:41.
First Downs 15 7
Rushes/Yards 30-340 14-58
Passing yards 127 55
Comp-Att-Int 3-6-0 7-21-2
Punts/Avg. 0-0 2-32.0
Penalties/Yards 7-70 3-25
Fumbles/Lost 1-0 3-1
RUSHING — Putnam: Adrean Martinez 2-5, Jaddan Williams 7-37, Jaylon Devane 2-0, Dakoda Bradshaw 1-(minus-11), Jerome Jackson 2-27. Pittsfield: Patrick Rindfuss 12-216, Damario Powell 1-10, Jonathan Mestre 7-47, Georgios Zamakis 6-50, Keanu Arce-Jackson 1-14, Elliot Trainor 2-(minus-8), Kiernan Conway 1-3.
PASSING — Putnam: Martinez 4-16-1 28, Devane 3-5-1 27. Pittsfield: Rindfuss 3-6-0 127.
RECEIVING — Putnam: Isaac Anaya 2-15, Alex Oyola 1-5, Williams 3-21, Jesus Diaz 1-14. Pittsfield: Brayden Bunnell 1-31, Lou Rhodes 1-69, Aidan Kennedy-Mutz 1-27.