PITTSFIELD -- Fumbles and penalties once again plagued the Drury Blue Devils on Saturday night, as Pittsfield High School ran to a 28-14 victory.
Drury committed four turnovers, including three lost fumbles. The Blue Devils also committed five penalties for 40 yards. Most of the errors came at crucial points in the contest and Pittsfield was able to take advantage of the opportunities the Blue Devils gave them.
"It’s the same thing every week, we don’t get any better at protecting the ball or limiting mistakes," Drury coach Bill Bryce said. "I told them if we don’t get any better or change up what we’re doing, we’re going to be in trouble for the rest of the year."
Trailing 28-14 with nine minutes to play, Jose Melendez broke off a 71-yard run down the right sideline to bring his team within one score, but yellow flags littered the field. The touchdown was called back on a block in the back penalty to Nolan Bird. The drive came to an end when Melendez had a pass intercepted by Kyle Shade.
The Generals took the ball and ran it straight up the middle to kill the final seven minutes of the clock.
Full back Dominic Traversa was a key in killing the clock with heavy runs up the middle. He carried the ball a total of 11 times for 79 yards in the game.
Pittsfield has had similar problems this season with turnovers, but didn’t give the ball up once on Saturday and forced Drury to turn it over early and often.
"All week we stressed that we needed to hold onto the ball and create turnovers," Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski. "If we did that we were going to be okay."
On Drury’s opening drive, Pittsfield forced a fumble and took control at their own 48-yard line. Three plays later, the Generals had a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. The big play came when Chad Shade found Ty Discoe on a pass play that brought the Generals down to the 1-yard line. Shade bounced into the end zone on the next play.
Following a Kyle Shade touchdown from 11 yards out, Drury fumbled once again and Pittsfield took over at its own 34 yard line.
Devon Tucker found the end zone to finish off the drive for a 20-0 lead.
"Every week we turn the ball over three, four, five times," Bryce said. "We don’t tackle people, we don’t stay discipline and no matter what we do in practice, that seems to be the way we play. So until that gets changed we’re going to struggle to beat anybody.
"It’s just a comedy of errors and until we fix it, we’re in trouble."
Drury once again coughed up the momentum late in the second quarter after driving for its first touchdown and forcing Pittsfield into a three-and-out. A bad pitch from Jake DiLego to running back Melendez ended up on the ground and Melendez had to jump on the ball to keep possession, setting up a third and 20 for the Blue Devils.
Drury had no answer for a fast paced offense from the Generals that featured four running backs and a timely passing game. The Generals went no-huddle for much of the game.
"We needed to change something up from last week," Jezewski said "We have a lot of depth at the skill spots we’re going to utilize it there. Our guys are in shape so we’re going to go hard and fast and pound the ball."
Devon Tucker led the way with 11 carries for 114 yards and one touchdown. Kyle Shade had a touchdown and 76 yards. Dominic Traversa had 79 yards on the ground, as well.
Melendez had a good game for the Blue Devils running the ball 19 times for 188 yards.