WILLIAMSTOWN -- It's no secret Wahconah snapped Mount Greylock's 33-game winning streak Oct. 26 with a strong passing game.
Lane Grogan made good on 9 of 15 pass attempts, two of which went for scores, to compile 199 yards through the air.
Knowing Wahconah enjoyed the most success of any team against his Mounties in more than two seasons, coach Shawn Flaherty has no reason to believe Wahconah coach Gary Campbell Jr. will change his plan of attack for Wednesday's Berkshire County championship.
"You know if you got a kid like Grogan, you're going to fling it around," he said.
Berkshire County defenses are accustomed to playing against run-oriented offenses because consistent passing isn't something often seen in the county. Even more seldom is passing done with four and five receivers all running pass patterns.
Defenses can typically handle one or two receivers down field, but bump that up to four or five and all of a sudden the confusion escalates. That's exactly what happened the last time Wahconah and Greylock faced off.
"Just not knowing where to go," defensive back Michael McCormack said was the biggest problem with defending the pass. "I guess we just weren't used to [four and five receivers] because we hadn't seen them a lot, and that's what hurt us."
Injured senior quarterback Hank Barrett was a defensive back until his collar bone was broken in two places in the Oct. 26 game. Freshman Brodie Altiere has taken over under center, but likely won't be used on the defensive side because he's Greylock's last serious option at quarterback.
That leaves the Mounties with seniors Ethan Ryan, Tyrell Thomas and Eric Leitch. On paper Greylock has plenty of experience at the corner back and safety positions, but Thomas is a first-year football player.
"I still think I have a great crew of defensive backs," Flaherty said. "I think looking back at [the Wahconah] game, I don't think we played as well as we had in other games. The challenge has been thrown out there to step up.
"We've got to make the plays when they pass. Period."
The Mounties have had 17 days (counting today's practice) to implement some new wrinkles into their pass-coverage defenses. But they contend the schemes haven't changed because that's not what needs changing.
"Obviously it was very bad, as we saw on tape," Leitch said. "I think just staying with your own [guy], just knowing who you have and sticking on him like glue. Reading the quarterback and just don't let any passes [be completed]."
Thomas knows that as much as anyone, as he was beaten for a touchdown because he lost track of his man. In trying to regain position, he took his eye off the ball and before he could do anything else the ball was in the end zone.
"I felt like ‘Damn, I can't take that back,' " he said. "So I just got to do my job and everything will be fine."
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