DALTON -- Drury ran nine plays on its first two drives against Wahconah Regional Friday night. They added up to two Wahconah scores.
The host Warriors forced turnovers on each of those first two drives and turned those mistakes into points as Drury dropped a 28-0 decision.
"Those first two scores, I think, demoralized our team," said running back Jose Melendez. "Our team is young, so they can get down pretty easily. I try to motivate them. We've got to move past this."
Wahconah needed only two plays after a Jake DiLego interception to score the first touchdown. The hosts coverted a fumble into another first-quarter touchdown.
The Blue Devils lost two of four fumbles and had three passes intercepted.
In three games, Drury has fumbled the ball nine times and lost it five.
"I don't care who you think you are, you can't turn the ball over to a good football team five times in the first half and expect to win," Drury coach Bill Bryce said. "The fact that it was only 22-0 (at halftime) was kind of miraculous."
The Blue Devils won the coin flip and started the game's first drive at its 30-yard line. Drury faced a third-and-10 from its 42 when DiLego dropped back to pass and looking for Nolan Bird, threw an interception. Lane Grogan picked the pass off at midfield, giving Wahconah the ball.
Two plays later, Grogan hooked up with Jordan Fiske on a 40-yard catch-and-run for the game's first points. The
A short kickoff gave Drury the ball on its 44-yard line and Melendez, who rushed for 63 yards on 21 carries, took off on a 20-yard scamper. Three plays later, the Drury senior fumbled and Ethan Wells recovered.
It took Wahconah 10 plays to get on the board again. The Warriors were hurt by two penalties, but converted a fourth-down play and Grogan ran 30 yards for a touchdown. His two-point conversion pass to Darrow Brown made it 16-0.
"They're a good football team," Bryce said of Wahconah. "We continued to cough it up to them and we just can't do that. We made mistake after mistake after mistake on every side of the ball."
The Wahconah defense held Drury to 104 total yards on 41 plays. Wahconah had 43 offensive plays and had 317 yards in total offense. Pease outgained Drury himself, carrying the ball 20 times for 165 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
"The game plan was to have the better front seven," said Wahconah's Jordan Fiske. "If we could slow down Melendez and get our front seven going ... we'd have the win."
The Blue Devils had five turnovers in the opening 22 minutes, thanks to three DiLego interceptions and two lost fumbles. Three of those turnovers led to Wahconah's 22 points.
A 12-yard pass from Grogan to Brown with 13.5 seconds on the clock in the second quarter put Wahconah up 22-0. The Warriors tacked on a fourth-quarter touchdown for the final margin.
"It was so many in one half, it was kind of deflating," said Bryce. "Then you play a little bit of good defense. You don't line up the way you're supposed to, you leave big holes, and boom, they bust something out of there."
Things don't get a lot easier for the Blue Devils, who play St. Joseph's next week and a resurgent Pittsfield, Friday winners at Lee, one week later.
"We were feeling good" after beating Taconic, said Melendez, a senior. "I don't think we had the intensity that we needed. That's partly on me. I'll take the fault on that. I didn't get these guys ready."