NORTHFIELD -- In a rematch of last year's Division IV Super Bowl, Pioneer and McCann Tech engaged in another classic battle.
The Hornets simply had trouble holding onto the ball and ended up fumbling away the game. Pioneer hung on to beat McCann 16-12.
"It was a typical McCann-Pioneer game," coach Bob LeClair said. "We just pounded on each other like we have the last five times we've played each other."
McCann fumbled on its opening possession, setting up Pioneer on the Hornets' side of the 50-yard line. Pioneer turned it into eight points. It did the same thing with 1 minute, 5 seconds to play in the opening quarter when McCann fumbled again for a 16-0 lead. McCann fumbled four times on the day, losing all four.
But then the McCann defense shored up and pinned Pioneer it its own end most of the final three quarters.
The offense got a boost from quarterback Justin Cote in the third quarter. On the second play of the drive, he broke loose for a 52-yard touchdown run to get the Hornets on the board. It was a two-play drive that covered 53 yards.
Early in the fourth quarter, McCann had some of the fumble luck bounce its way. Pioneer had just stopped the Hornets on the 13, but a fumble on its first play was scooped up by Gustavo Montoya, who rumbled for a 15-yard touchdown.
McCann had one last drive with less than five minutes to play, but it stalled inside the Pioneer 20.