NORTH ADAMS -- It's been a while since Ethan Ryan had a first quarter like he did on Saturday. The tailback rushed for 100 yards and two scores in the first quarter and the Mount Greylock football team bounced back from its first loss in 34 games with a 34-6 win over McCann Tech.
Ryan finished with 200 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns. He had four carries of 20 or more yards.
"Our line came out strong. I found the holes and we just went," he said. "They were coming up, they were moving guys out of there.
"We came out strong, and I think that was good."
The line wasn't just making gargantuan holes for the tailback, but was also clogging them up on the defensive side of the ball. The Mounties held the Hornets to just 36 yards of offense in the first half (all on the ground).
The dominance started on the first drive of the game, as Greylock pushed McCann quarterback Justin Cote back for a loss of one yard on the first play from scrimmage. The Mounties closed out the first series with a blocked punt by Robbie Buffis and recovered by Matt Hogan for the game's opening score just 1 minute, 59 seconds in.
"In practice, we pride ourselves on ‘D.' " defensive end Tyler Picard said. "That's what we work mostly on to stop the other team's offense. Defense is our main priority because we know defense wins championships."
Ryan then added touchdown runs of 28 and 58 yards before the first quarter expired for a 22-0 lead.
By that point, the Mounties were well on their way. So it was time to get freshman quarterback Brodie Altiere, making his first varsity start, some passing attempts, and they did on their next offensive series.
After Greylock blocked another T.J. Therrien punt early in the second quarter, the Mounties started first-and-10 at the McCann 17-yard line. It took Greylock four plays to score its fourth touchdown and all were passes. The first three were incompletions, but the fourth found Tyler Picard for Altiere's first varsity touchdown pass, a 17-yarder.
The jitters Altiere had against Wahconah were non existent.
"It was actually pretty easy," he said. "After that first play, it just felt like a regular old game, nothing too special."
McCann finally got on the board in the second half. The Hornets recovered the first of two Ryan fumbles at the Greylock 49-yard line. Nine plays later, on third-and-8 from the 9-yard line, Cote found Anthony Duprat in the left corner of the end zone to get rid of the goose egg.
"We were revved up for [Saturday]," McCann coach Bob LeClair said. "We wanted to go out [strong], and it just wasn't a good start for us, that first quarter wasn't very good at all. So that was really tough, but we settled down after that and held them to two scores in the last three [quarters]."