WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Mount Greylock football team has accomplished quite a bit in the past few seasons.
The Mounties won 33 straight games, have won three straight Berkshire County championships, and are headed to a third consecutive Super Bowl. In the past three seasons, Greylock has recorded 14 shutouts. The Mounties have had a running back break the 1,000-yard mark in four straight seasons.
There is one thing the Mounties haven't accomplished in recent memory. The team has not had a 2,000-yard rusher. That could change Saturday, however. Senior running back Ethan Ryan has a chance to do just that when his Mounties face off against Belchertown for a shot at a third straight Western Massachusetts Division III Super Bowl.
"It definitely sweetens the pot," Ryan said. "I mean we have broken a few records already this year, so it's just another one.
"I'm definitely thinking about the game first and making sure we win the game. I don't want to count our chickens before they hatch."
The 2,000-yard mark is in sight in part to an impressive performance Tuesday night against Greenfield. Ryan ran for 286 yards -- 223 in the first half. He also accounted for most of the scoring. Six of his 16 carries went for touchdowns in the 62-0 rout, bringing his touchdown total to 32 on the season.
Ryan had just one carry in the second half of the semifinal win, something that has become a trend for the running back. He has seen
He enters the final game of his high school career with 1,839 yards on the season. The number makes his total of 1,182 from 2011 look mediocre. Ryan is the first back to touch the 1,800-yard mark since Jason Pilot did it in 2010. According to Pilot, he ran for 1,861 yards in his final year as a Mountie.
"It's awesome to see what he is doing," said Pilot, who has been in attendance for most of the games this year. "It's really a tribute to him, the line and the coaches. I think it's cool that they are going to the Super Bowl again, and I think they are going to win it."
As every good running back knows, success hinges on the offensive line. To start the season, almost the entire offensive line was new to the position.
Only tight end Tyler Picard had experience on the line prior to opening day. The rest of the line moved from other positions to pave the way for Ryan.
"Coming into the year, I was a little skeptical about the line," Ryan said. "I mean we only had a few guys who had ever played on the line before. But they have all done a hell of a job and really stepped up."
The line has opened up hole after hole for the 5-foot-8 senior on his way to the 1,800-yard mark. A perfect example was his 63-yard jaunt to the end zone on Tuesday night, which was also his longest run of the year.
"I ran down the field and just stopped cold and waited for the line to come up," Ryan said. "They floated up the field and blocked for me the rest of the way."
It hasn't been all Ryan all the time this season, however. The team has amassed 2,818 yards on the ground, with Ryan accounting for just about 65 percent of those. Greylock has also added 590 yards through the air and the senior back has just two catches for 26 yards.
Of his 32 touchdowns, 14 have been of 20 yards or more and 10 have been 40 yards or longer.
"Ethan is a great running back," lineman Robby Buffis said. "Yea, you can't run without good blocking, but Ethan is just a great back. He has earned all 1,800 of those yards. The line has worked hard to get him that success, but without him it doesn't happen."
The Mounties are obviously a run-first offense and plan to use the run attack once again Saturday.
"That would be quite an accomplishment," coach Shawn Flaherty said of the 2,000-yard mark. "We're playing for a championship here, so all bets are off. We're trying to accomplish some big things here, we're certainly not going to hold back the reins any."
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On Twitter: @NAT_DigitalSam