McCann Tech football team tops Mohawk for first win of season

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TURNERS FALLS — A Friday night of twists and turns and things out of place proved the perfect setting for the Tri-County League football race to be thrown into midseason turmoil. Mohawk Trail Regional High School held a share of the TCL lead and an unbeaten record entering the weekend, while McCann Technical High School hadn't won a game yet, battling through key injuries. The teams met at Mohawk's "home away from home" for the weekend — Turners Falls High School, home of eight players now playing for the Mohawk/Turners co-operative team.

McCann used the one-two rushing punch of Darius Tovani (16 carries, 79 yards) and freshman David Delisle (16 carries, 62 yards) and a punishing defensive effort to grind its way to its first victory, 12-0, at Bourdeau Fields Complex.

Delisle got the Hornets (1-3, 1-2 TCL) started late in the first quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Darian Tovani converted a fourth-and-5 from the Mohawk 16 with a keeper around the right side into the end zone with 4:06 to play in the half. That second scoring drive started after the Hornets' Seneca Bolte partially blocked a Mohawk punt that Darian Tovani fielded and returned to the Warriors' 25, although an illegal-block penalty moved them back to the 35.

Mohawk came through to block both of McCann's extra-point tries, but the visitors had themselves a two-score lead that they protected right through the final 2 1/2 quarters.

The Warriors (3-1, 2-1 TCL) came closest to scoring on their first drive of the evening, advancing to the McCann 8 before losing ground to the 15, then Cullen Brown's 32-yard field goal try slid wide to the right.

Evan Shippee ran for a game-high 83 yards on 14 carries for Mohawk. Despite the 12-0 halftime deficit, the Warriors were narrowly outgained 119-102 in the first half, but managed only 28 yards of total offense over the final 24 minutes.

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"I'm really impressed with our defensive effort," said McCann coach Tony Skiffington. "We were nervous about it — these guys throw the ball all over the park — but our secondary played hard. They're small, they're young, but they might be the strength of our defense. We're finally getting healthy, and everybody stepped up."

Although Mohawk held the fort after falling behind by two touchdowns, lapses in discipline continued to plague the Warriors. Twice on the same third-quarter drive, Mohawk was called for offside penalties on fourth-and-short that gifted McCann a pair of first downs.

"They beat us up physically," said Warriors coach Doug McCloud. "They were in our backfield. We told our kids all week they weren't going to be a slouch, they're tough kids, and we chose to ignore that.

"I think we've got to run the ball a little bit. We'll bounce back — we'll get them going right again."

Shawn Davenport completed 6-of-19 passes for 38 yards for the Warriors. Cam Lococo caught three passes for 33 yards.

McCann ended with a 186-130 advantage in total offense.

The evening featured Turners Falls' Booster Night, in which two Turners Falls seniors, Mohawk players Liam Driscoll and Jaden Whiting, were honored in a pregame ceremony.


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