Byrd, Cloutier power Green Wave, 22-8

For The Recorder
Friday, November 10, 2017

BUCKLAND — Football fans should be on the lookout for a green and white two-headed monster in the backfield when the Greenfield High School football team invades Turners Falls on Thanksgiving Day.

The rushing tandem of RJ Byrd and Colin Cloutier combined for 232 of Greenfield's 240 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Green Wave defeated Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 22-8, in an independent football game Friday night at Pollard Field.

"They both run well and it's nice to have them," Greenfield coach Mike Kuchieski said. "Where the offensive line goes, they go." 

Byrd had the lion share of the carries, rushing 20 times for 173 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown run on the Wave's first series, which was set up by a 30-yard Cloutier (11 carries, 59 yards) run one play earlier. Byrd took the two-point conversion run up the middle to make it 8-0.

Greenfield recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Mohawk 40, and was in the end zone again six plays later courtesy of a Cloutier 4-yard touchdown. Byrd took in the two-point conversion run to make it 16-0 before the Mohawk offense had a chance to get on the field.

Once it did, the Warriors had pretty good success moving the ball, thanks to some tough north-south running by tailback Seth Hoynoski (12 carries, 99 yards), and running backs Jordon Grenier (10 carries, 44 yards) and Evan Shippee (four carries, 32 yards). Mohawk was unable to convert those yards into points, and went into the first half trailing by two touchdowns.

The Warriors would get only as far as the Greenfield 20 in what would be a scoreless third quarter. Mohawk pulled to within a touchdown in the fourth, when Hoynoski converted on a 3-yard touchdown run followed by a Grenier two-point conversion to make it 16-8. Greenfield recovered Mohawk's onside kick attempt, and appeared to put the game out of reach six plays later when Byrd took it to the house from 41 yards out. Mohawk managed to stop Cloutier's attempted conversion run to keep the score 22-8. 

Any hopes of a Mohawk comeback ended on the next series, when Byrd intercepted a Cam Lococo halfback option pass with less than a minute left to seal the win for Greenfield, which now prepares for its Thanksgiving Day showdown in Turners at 10:30 a.m.. Mohawk will finish its season on Thanksgiving Eve in South Deerfield at 6 against Frontier Regional School.