Warriors halt skid, bottle up Devils

  • Mohawk Trail tight end Matthew Pollen (10) stretches for a first down with a trio of Drury defenders draped all over him during the visiting Warriors’ 23-7 win in Tri-County League action, Saturday in North Adams. FOR THE RECORDER/JAKE MENDEL

  • Mohawk Trail quarterback Shawn Davenport winds up for a pass during the visiting Warriors’ 23-7 win in Tri-County League action, Saturday in North Adams. FOR THE RECORDER/JAKE MENDEL

For the Recorder
Published: 11/3/2019 10:14:44 PM

NORTH ADAMS — Two teams playing in their first seasons as cooperative programs met in the regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon. Mohawk Trail’s defense locked down Drury, as the Blue Devils struggled to get anything going offensively and the visiting Warriors rolled to a 23-7 victory in Tri-County League action.

The Warriors (4-3, 3-3 TCL) halted a three-game losing streak with the much-needed victory, and will now get a crack at local foe Greenfield High School on Friday night. The teams were paired together in the non-playoff set of matchups, giving the Turners Falls players on the Mohawk Trail co-op roster a chance to tussle with Green Wave players since they won’t be able to this year on Thanksgiving.

Drury (5-3), which co-ops with Mount Greylock, went on a five-game winning streak earlier in the season on the legs of its rushing attack. It was non-existent in the first half however, as the squad was held to just 14 yards on the ground and did not register a first down.

“Mohawk runs a 3-5 (defense) that lets the skill players roam free so you have to be very disciplined,” Drury coach Al Marceau said. “As a linemen you're taught to attack, but we were trying to get a big hit when skill guys could just dance around and hit a hole. I thought we did a better job in the second half after talking about it.”

Drury trailed 14-0 at the break, but caught some momentum as the Warriors fumbled away the kickoff to begin the third quarter. Dante Woodson and Louis Guillotte split time at running back for most of the season, but the offense hit the field with both in the huddle.

“It is kind of a heavy package that gives us some flexibility because we can throw and run out of it,” Marceau said. “It gives defenses a different look and we have had some success with that.”

Guillotte carried the rock for 33 yards on five carries in the second half and gave the Blue Devils their first red zone try of the game with a 15-yard scamper. Drury was backed up to the 21 after a negative play, which forced it to take to the air. Woodson, who was on the line as a tight end, ran a post route while quarterback Keeghan Vidal rolled to the left before dropping the ball into his arms for the touchdown. Patrick Ross nailed the extra point and suddenly the Blue Devils were back into the game trailing 14-7.

The funny thing about momentum, though, is that it is great to have on your side — until it is used against you.

Sophomore edge rusher Tim Brazeau disrupted the ensuing Mohawk Trail drive with a sack of quarterback Shawn Davenport. The Warriors were approaching the red zone before the play, but now a fourth-and-16 was looming. To make matters worse for the road team, the sack was followed by a false start penalty, pushing them back even farther. It was looking like not only would the Blue Devils have an opportunity to tie the game, but also start the drive around midfield.

With a flurry of Blue Devils bearing down on Davenport on the fourth-down try however, the junior signal caller tossed a screen pass to running back Evan Shippee, who squirmed his way 22 yards to keep the drive alive while killing Drury's momentum. Davenport finished 16-for-22 through the air for 166 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Jaden Whiting was a threat on the outside all afternoon with two touchdowns and 104 receiving yards, but the Warriors iced the game on the ground. Following the conversion on fourth down, Cam Lococo took a sweep to the outside and went 12 yards to the house. A safety late in the fourth helped Mohawk sour Drury's senior day with the 23-7 victory.

“I give them credit, they ran the ball and threw it well,” Marceau said of the Warriors. “Our secondary has been a strength and I thought we played pretty well bend-don't-break until the last touchdown, which was kind of a dagger. We had some momentum, but we couldn't carry it through.”

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