PITTSFIELD -- Run patiently to the left. Look right. Cut back. Run to the end zone.
Mount Greylock's Ethan Ryan made it look that easy against the Pittsfield defense in the first half Friday night. The Mounties' used Ryan's three first-half touchdowns to fuel their season-opening 36-8 victory over Pittsfield. Greylock's winning streak is now 27 games, dating back to the 2009 season.
"You definitely want to start off on the right foot," coach Shawn Flaherty said. "We got the ‘W,' but we definitely got a lot of work to do."
Ryan's first score came on the Mounties' first drive. He took his fourth carry 40 yards on fourth-and-7 to the end zone with 3 minutes, 28 seconds left in the opening quarter. He did it again 3:26 later from 43 yards out. He capped off his stellar first half with the same run from the 7 with 1:36 remaining in the opening half. He finished the half with three touchdowns and 127 yards on 10 carries.
"I think the main thing is the over-pursuit by the ‘D.' Once you see that, as long as you keep your head up as a running back, you see that lane, you can take it and then use your speed to hit the hole," Ryan said. "That's a big thing is patience. Our line does a really good job of moving them out. I think that what helps me the most on the cutback [is] because the guys that are supposed to be there are already over-pursued because our line's already got them all the way out there."
Michael McCormack replaced him and made the most of his time. He finished off the drive with an 18-yard score, breaking numerous tackles off the right side before bounding into the end zone.
The Mounties also showed off quite a bit of their passing game with first-year starting quarterback Hank Barrett under center. His first line was a respectable 5 for 9, good for 97 yards. His shortest completion went for 13 yards to Tyrell Thomas, which was Thomas' first career reception. His longest was a 28 yard pitch and catch to Eric Leitch.
"I did have a lot of fun [playing quarterback]," he said. "[I'm] still getting used to it. I have a lot of room to improve. We're happy with how it went, but not satisfied."
The Greylock defense was solid, seemingly not missing a beat. It held the Pittsfield offense to just 111 yards, just 87 on 36 carries and came away with an interception.
The Mounties will put their winning streak that has no spanned four seasons on the line Friday, Sept. 14 at Monument Mountain.
"It's not that you have t focus on the streak, take it game-by-game," Ryan said. "It's not 27-0, it's 1-0. I think that's our main focus on the team."