Frontier dominates in trenches to shut out Monument Mountain
GREAT BARRINGTON — Visiting Frontier owned the trenches and won a war of attrition in besting Monument Mountain on Friday night.
A couple moments could've altered the Spartans' fate, but ultimately the Red Hawks left Berkshire County with a tidy 33-0 victory.
Frontier (1-1) hit the ground running, literally, dominating the line of scrimmage in the first half. Coach Don Gordon's Red Hawks scored on a pair of long drives to stake themselves a 14-0 advantage in the second quarter.
"Beginning of the game, all credit to them. They came out and hit us hard," said Monument coach Dennis Martin.
The Spartans (1-1) were far from out of things at that point, though. Martin's offense had moved the ball well on its opening drive before an untimely holding penalty stalled things out.
An Ashton Aloisi sack forced a Red Hawks three-and-out, and the Spartans took over at midfield with 4 minutes, 35 seconds to play with.
Aloisi charged 20 yards on a second-and-short, and senior Jack O'Brien earned tough yards up the middle, driving into the red zone and down to the six-yard line with a minute to go before the half. With no timeouts remaining, things got rushed.
O'Brien had two tries from the four, but both were stuffed by Frontier, the second of which came on fourth down as time expired.
"Just taking care of business," said Gordon. "Everybody has a responsibility. Down linemen filled the gaps, linebackers came up, played with emotion. That's what you need."
It was a devastating blow to the Spartans, who also kicked off to open the second half.
"We tried a lot of different things, just couldn't break through," said Martin. "We're a young team, had some success last week, but we're thin."
The Spartans couldn't find the groove they had against Drury in the opener. Instead, Frontier started the third quarter much like it had opened the first.
Frontier took the night's first kickoff 12 plays — 11 rushes — to travel 80 yards into the Spartan end zone. Ito McMillan, who finished with 132 yards on the ground and three total touchdowns, punched in the ice-breaker from seven-yards out. The visitor's second drive went 12 plays as well, this time 84 yards before a Josh Semaski TD.
Frontier racked up 11 first downs on its first two drives. Monument Mountain, on the other hand, had just six until its final drive of the game.
After a failed onside-kick attempt to start the third quarter, Frontier went 52 yards in 10 plays to get McMillan his second score and the 20-0 lead.
Monument faced a fourth-and-one on its own 33, electing to punt with 5:30 left in the third. The kick sailed into McMillan's arms at the Frontier 29. The senior speedster burst through the first line of gunners and broke to the left sideline, before blasting the rest of his 71 yards to the end zone for the back-breaker.
"I was trying to tell the guys, as disappointing as this might feel to you, we grew tonight," said Martin. "If you think about the game, end of the second quarter, we were a yard-and-a-half from making it a one-score game.
"I'm proud of them. We're on to Athol."
Frontier 7 7 19 0 — 33
Monument 0 0 0 0 — 0
F — Ito McMillan 7 run (Dylan Apanell kick), 6:36.
F — Josh Semaski 7 run (Apanell kick), 8:36.
F — McMillan 6 run (Nick Henderson block), 8:01.
F — McMillan 71 punt return (kick no good), 5:11.
F — Semaski 9 run (Apanell kick), 1:56.
First Downs 14 11
Rushes-Yards 33-267 35-170
Comp-Att-Int 1-1-0 2-5-0
Passing Yards 13 17
Total Yards 280 187
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 3-1
Turnovers 0 1
Penalties-Yards 6-85 4-30
RUSHING — F: Ito McMillan 12-132, Josh Semaski 13-92, Garrett DeForest 4-29, Alec Kirkendall 3-12, Jack Vecellio 1-2; MM: Jack O'Brien 17-79, Ashton Aloisi 11-54, Reece Mullen 4-25, Ty Duquette 1-5, Hunter DeGrenier 1-3, Nick Henderson 1-4.
PASSING — F: DeForest 1-1-0 13; MM: DeGrenier 2-5-0 17.
RECEIVING — F: Donovan Hoffman 1-13; MM: Aloisi 2-17
Mike Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.
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