Lee football D's up in 16-0 shutout of Greenfield

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GREENFIELD — To put the finishing touches on an impressive shutout, the Lee High School defense ratcheted things up in the fourth quarter on Friday night.

With host Greenfield trying to pull within one score, the Green Wave put themselves in first-and-goal from the Lee 1-yard line with eight minutes remaining in regulation. But, like they did all night, the Wildcats responded on the defensive side of the ball. The visitors stuffed Greenfield on four straight plays, including a gang-tackle of quarterback Jake Sak on fourth down that preserved the shutout and lifted Lee to an impressive 16-0 win at Veterans Memorial Field.

"I wasn't sure what to expect there," Lee head coach Keith Thomson said of his defense facing a first-and-goal from the 1. "[Greenfield has] a size advantage up front on us but we sent some pressure and made the plays when we needed to. It was nice to see our guys rise to the occasion in that situation."

Lee (1-0) was originally scheduled to play Turners Falls in Week 1, but when the Powertown suspended its program two weeks ago, the Wildcats reached out to Greenfield to fill the void in the slate.

"We were down to six games just a couple of weeks ago," began Thomson. "It's a tough thing. We had a nice rivalry with Turners and I know Adam [Graves] and Chris [Lapointe] did all they could to keep that program afloat. Hopefully they'll be back in the future. But we needed a game so I reached out to [Greenfield coach Mike Kuchieski] and we were able to get this together. Give Greenfield credit. They did a good job up front. But I take my hats off to our kids. We buckled up when we needed to."

Greenfield (0-1) was unable to break big plays against Lee's stout defense. The Wildcats held the hosts to just 143 yards of total offense, and a mere 3.1 yards per carry.

"They're a good team," lauded Kuchieski. "We lost the game but I'm wicked proud of the kids' effort. They played hard, they didn't quit. We just didn't put the ball in. It was a good first-game effort but it definitely looked like a first game. We'll get better every week. That's what our focus is going forward."

Lee broke through for the game's opening score on the first play of the second quarter. Senior Jack Purcell took a carry up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown, and Cole Redstone hauled in the two-point conversion pass from quarterback Jimmy Purcell to give the visitors an 8-0 lead.

It stayed that way until the third quarter. Out of the locker room, Lee marched 63 yards in eight plays, doubling its advantage when Redstone caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Purcell on fourth down. Jack Purcell's two-point run made it a 16-0 game with 7:49 remaining.

Greenfield's best scoring chance came thanks to a lengthy drive that began with 7:40 left in the third quarter and carried well into the fourth. The 16 play drive lasted a whopping 14 minutes and 28 seconds, and saw the Wave ride the legs of Sak. The junior signal caller ran the ball six times for 29 yards on the drive, and his 12-yard scamper set up first-and-goal from the Lee 1.

That set the tone for the big defensive stand however. The Wildcats didn't budge, and a delay of game penalty — one of seven Greenfield penalties on the night — backed the Wave up. On fourth down from the 9, Sak ran around the right side for seven yards, but Lee swarmed and prevented the touchdown.

The visitors ran out the final 6:48 to preserve the shutout.

Jimmy Purcell finished 5-for-7 for 105 yards through the air. Jack Purcell (11 carries, 57 yards), Nick Nicotra (9 carries, 58 yards) and Gabe Kelley (6 carries, 46 yards) paced the Lee ground attack. Luke Patella caught two passes for 55 yards, including a 40-yard completion on the team's first offensive snap.

Sak was 2-for-3 for 41 yards and an interception for Greenfield. He also intercepted a Purcell pass on defense. Bobby Provost paced the Wave ground attack with 14 carries for 57 yards in addition to a 14-yard reception, while Jared Hart had eight carries for 10 yards. Freshman Ryan Pulizari caught a 27-yard pass from Sak in his varsity debut.

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———

Lee 16, Greenfield 0

Lee     0     8     8     0     —     16

Greenfield     0     0     0     0     —     0

———

Second Quarter

L — Jack Purcell 12 run (Redstone pass from Jimmy Purcell)

Third Quarter

L — Redstone 4 pass from Jimmy Purcell (Jack Purcell run)

———

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — (L) Jack Purcell 11-57, Nicotra 9-58, Kelley 6-46, Jimmy Purcell 1-8. (G) Provost 14-57, Sak 10-28, Hart 8-10, Cardenales 1-7.

PASSING — (L) Jimmy Purcell 5-7-105-1-1. (G) Sak 2-3-41-0-1.

RECEIVING — (L) Patella 2-55, Roosa 1-16, Nicotra 1-30, Redstone 1-4. (G) Pulizari 1-27, Provost 1-14.

Greenfield     0     0     0     0     —     0

———

Second Quarter

L — Jack Purcell 12 run (Redstone pass from Jimmy Purcell)

Third Quarter

L — Redstone 4 pass from Jimmy Purcell (Jack Purcell run)

———

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — (L) Jack Purcell 11-57, Nicotra 9-58, Kelley 6-46, Jimmy Purcell 1-8. (G) Provost 14-57, Sak 10-28, Hart 8-10, Cardenales 1-7.

PASSING — (L) Jimmy Purcell 5-7-105-1-1. (G) Sak 2-3-41-0-1.

RECEIVING — (L) Patella 2-55, Roosa 1-16, Nicotra 1-30, Redstone 1-4. (G) Pulizari 1-27, Provost 1-14.

———

Second Quarter

L — Jack Purcell 12 run (Redstone pass from Jimmy Purcell)

Third Quarter

L — Redstone 4 pass from Jimmy Purcell (Jack Purcell run)

———

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — (L) Jack Purcell 11-57, Nicotra 9-58, Kelley 6-46, Jimmy Purcell 1-8. (G) Provost 14-57, Sak 10-28, Hart 8-10, Cardenales 1-7.

PASSING — (L) Jimmy Purcell 5-7-105-1-1. (G) Sak 2-3-41-0-1.

RECEIVING — (L) Patella 2-55, Roosa 1-16, Nicotra 1-30, Redstone 1-4. (G) Pulizari 1-27, Provost 1-14.


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