Dobosz’ late TD lifts Frontier in opener

For The Recorder
Friday, September 08, 2017

PITTSFIELD — One drive, and Pittsfield High School would have locked up its first victory of 2017. That drive never came.

Twice, the Generals marched the ball into Frontier Regional School’s red zone and came up empty.

The Red Hawks, however, scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on long drives, the last a 78-yarder that was capped off with Bryce Dobosz’s touchdown with 15 seconds left as the visitors escaped with a most improbable, 40-36, win Friday night at Wahconah Park.

“That’s a huge win, sir. That is a huge win beating a Berkshire team,” Frontier quarterback Matt Hildreth said to a reporter. “We lose up here every year. This year it’s going to be different. We’re stronger.”

Pittsfield outgained Frontier 447 yards to 344. The Red Hawks, however ran off 60 plays to 50 for PHS. The Generals did not punt in the game and scored the first four times they had the ball.

Edwin Rodriguez had a stellar night for the Generals, rushing for 203 yards on 22 carries. Jamal Beda also took a turn in the spotlight, as he carried the ball 12 times for 155 yards and scored on runs of 62, 70 and 4.

“We’ll be fine. We’ll let this hurt because it hurts,” said Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski. “This is not going to define who we are.”

The game turned as the third quarter ended and the fourth quarter started.

Pittsfield’s defense roared up and stopped Frontier’s option attack at the Red Hawk 44. A seven-yard punt gave Pittsfield the ball on its 49, as the Generals held a 36-24 lead.

The Generals marched to the Frontier 9, where PHS had four chances to punch the ball in. A fourth-down pass from D’Andre Johnson to Ian Benoit was incomplete and Frontier took over on its own 10.

The Red Hawks ran the ball nine times on the 10-play, 90-yard drive and scored on the 10th — a five-yard pass from quarterback Matt Hildreth to Aaron Landry. The two-point conversion made it 36-32.

PHS fielded a squib kick on its 48 and drove to the Frontier 21. But on third-and-12, Johnson’s pass for Shawn O’Shea was picked off by Hildreth at the 22-yard line.

“We had to start moving it down the field, get to our basics, spread them out and throw the ball,” said Frontier’s junior quarterback.

Frontier had two big pass plays on third downs to keep drives alive. Hildreth hit Dobosz for 24 yards on third-and six from the Frontier 26, and then found Kiernan Freeman on third-and-9 from the Pittsfield 32. On the next play, Dobosz, who gained 103 yards on 16 carries, scampered around the right end for the game-winning score.

Hildreth said the throw to Dobosz was key.

“We were in a spread and he runs like a corner route. He got pushed in a little but it turned out to be a seam route,” said Hildreth. “He made the athletic play.”

Pittsfield will remember how they scored early and often in the first half, but coming up empty on those red-zone drives hurt.

“Two times in a row,” said Jezewski. “Two times in a row, they were bringing everybody and we tried to get the ball to the perimeter. One was an interception, it happens. He underthrew [the receiver] and the kid from the other team made a nice play. We had a slant open and missed the throw.”