keanu arce-jackson goes for a pass

Pittsfield High's Keanu Arce-Jackson rises up amid the Chicopee defense to haul in a Patrick Rindfuss pass.

PITTSFIELD — The Generals entered action on Friday with 110 points scored over the previous two games. On Senior Night, though, Pittsfield’s defense was the headliner in a 40-0 win at Berkshire Community College.

Pittsfield’s first drive on offense featured two penalties before the ball was snapped and quarterback Patrick Rindfuss was stopped two yards short of the marker on fourth down. In turn, Chicopee started its first offensive possession on its own 31-yard line.

From that moment on, at 10:23 in the first quarter, Pittsfield changed its tune and junior Keanu Arce-Jackson was the team’s maestro.

The Pacers threw the ball on their opening play and it went to Arce-Jackson for a 31-yard pick-six. Rindfuss muscled in the 2-point try and Pittsfield led 8-0.

The Chicopee offense didn’t have much time to regroup as Pittsfield’s Bashee Canada devoured Jammar Privette for a loss of two on the first play of the following drive. The Pacers took to the air on third-and-8, and Arce-Jackson was there again to take the ball away. Kieran Coscia was within striking distance of quarterback Jason Lee Lozado, forcing the errant throw.

“That is a great kickstarter,” Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski said of the two interceptions. “Keanu is a fundamentally sound player and when you do things right you get those opportunities.”

Chicopee quarterback Lee Lozado featured the speed to escape the pocket. However, the Generals (3-1) had a plan in place to squeeze the Pacers offense with their senior quarterback stuck in the middle.

“We preach that we want to collapse the pocket and the outside guys have to stay outside,” Coscia said. “It is all about reading the offense and keeping everything inside.”

Pittsfield’s third drive began on Chicopee’s 43-yard line following Arce-Jackson’s second interception. The junior was rewarded for his efforts on the flip-side of the ball, taking a screen pass 39 yards for six points. Both Damario Powell and Louis Rhodes made the play possible with strong blocks downfield.

The Generals, with 16 points in the bank, took advantage of a Chicopee (0-4) offense that needed to start moving the ball. Collin Wellman came through with a fourth-down sack. Coscia recorded his second sack, a 7-yard loss, with 2 minutes left in the first quarter.

Brayden Bunnell leaped into the action for Pittsfield’s offense with a 25-yard touchdown reception from Rindfuss. The senior quarterback finished with a game-high 104 rushing yards on 11 carries and also scored on a 30-yard touchdown scamper late in the first half. Rindfuss pushed his touchdown total to 16 through four games with three on Friday night.

Coscia and Wellman met at the quarterback to squash Chicopee’s threat at the Pittsfield 31-yard line with a sack with nine minutes left in the first half. The skunking of the Pacers was a sweet ending to Pittsfield’s Senior Night.

“I really do love these guys,” Coscia said of the class he grew with. “I’ve been with them for a long time, but even the first-year seniors, they’ve bought in and we’re a pretty close-knit group.”

The Generals feature a handful of first-year seniors, but Jezewski sees a group that looks pretty good in purple.

“These first-year guys, they are program kids that have bought into everything we’ve done and fit right in,” he said.

Rindfuss and Coscia are part of Pittsfield’s 13-member senior class.

“You listen to the [Senior Night] announcements, not only are these guys excellent football players, they’re excellent in the classroom, they’re excellent in the hallways and excellent in the community,” Jezewski said. “That is what this is really about. Nobody remembers what type of football player you are — you’re remembered for your character and that is the stuff we care about in our program.”

Next up for the Generals is an away game at South Hadley next Friday night. Pittsfield, now on a three-game winning streak, has just three games left on the schedule before the playoffs begin in early November.

“We’re just hard-working guys and we all love football,” Coscia said, “that is all you can really ask for.”

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———
Chicopee 0 0 0 0 — 0
Pittsfield 16 24 0 0 — 40
First Quarter
P — Arce-Jackson interception return (Rindfuss run), 10:11.
P — Arce-Jackson 39 pass from Rindfuss (Rindfuss run), 7:26.
Second Quarter
P — Bunnell 25 pass from Rindfuss (Powell run), 10:46.
P — Solomon 50 onside kick recovery (Solomon from Rindfuss), 10:33.
P — Rindfuss 30 run (Powell run), 3:45.
———
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Rushing — C: Privette 1-(-3), Lee Lozado 3-(-4), Beach 4-16, Blanton 3-18; P: Rindfuss 11-104, Powell 3-8, Mestre 2-11, Jubrey 6-21, Dozier 1-(-4).
Passing — C: Lee Lozado 7-19-0 34 yards; P: Rindfuss 6-10-2 117 yards.
Receiving — C: Serrano 5-22, Patterson-Ford 1-5, Rivera-Mackin 1-7; P: Rhodes 4-53, Arce-Jackson 1-39, Bunnell 1-25.

Jake Mendel can be reached at jmendel@berkshireeagle.com or 413-464-3655. On Twitter:

@JMendel94.

Sports Reporter

As a lifelong Pittsfield resident, Jake gravitates to the nearest field or park. He joined The Eagle as a paperboy in 2005 and worked his way up, becoming a full-time reporter in 2018. He's currently a sports reporter.