NORTH ADAMS -- Ian Hill couldn't believe the punt team was heading onto the field on a fourth-and-4 from the Drury 44 yard line late in the second quarter.
"I went over to the sideline and was like ‘Coach why aren't we going for it?' " the Hoosac Valley junior said. "One of the coaches said we were setting them up, so I'm thinking ‘OK, next time.'
"All of a sudden, I hear we're faking it to me."
He lined up in a normal punt formation and prepared to take the snap. It bounced off the turf, but Hill picked it up and rumbled to a first down. Two plays later he was in the end zone on a 13-yard jaunt up the middle, giving Hoosac Valley a 14-0 lead.
It was all the points the Hurricanes needed as they defeated Drury in the 128th edition of the Drury versus Hoosac Valley rivalry, 14-0.
"I didn't know if we wanted to go for it or punt it," Hoosac Valley coach Dayne Poirot said. "So I called the fake ... We thought we could get it.
"[Hill] is the kid that if he needs fours yards, he's going to do everything he can to make sure he gets them."
Hill's touchdown came with just under a minute left in the first half and gave the Hurricanes all the momentum they needed.
Both teams struggled to gain yards on the day, managing just four first downs each in the first half.
"I think we were all just wicked intense," Drury senior Alex Bush said. "We had a good week and we knew what we were going to see, so we tightened up the defense."
The biggest play of the day came from sophomore running back Tyler Mach. On a third-and-long six minutes into the second quarter, Mach got his first touch of the game for the Hurricanes. Before his run, the team had managed just 23 yards of total offense and picked up one first down.
He took the ball up the right side, broke a few tackles and was off to the end zone for a 68-yard touchdown that broke the scoreless tie.
"He's one of those players that can touch the ball once and make special things happen," Hill said of Mach. "He's a special kid and we're happy to have him on our side."
Hill accounted for much of the Hurricanes offense, running for 106 yards -- matching the output of all of Drury's backs combined. Matt Braman was the work horse, pounding short runs up the middle of the Blue Devils' defense to help kill the clock. He finished the day with 14 carries for 44 yards. Mach had only two carries in the game, his second going for zero yards.
"Obviously, there was a huge momentum swing there when Mach had that long touchdown run," Drury coach Bill Bryce said. "I mean, we were pushing them back all day and then boom. He broke that thing and it was definitely the biggest swing of the day."
While Hill and Mach had the big plays for the Hurricanes on offense, the defense spent the afternoon swarming to the ball and held the Blue Devils to 188 yards of total offense. Bush led the way for the Blue Devils with 51 yards on the ground. Senior Jose Melendez left the game with an apparent ankle injury in the second half and came back for only two carries in the fourth quarter. He ran for 50 yards in the contest. It was enough to put him over 1,000 yards on the season.
The Blue Devils offense was able to get the ball into Hoosac territory only three times and crossed the 20-yard line just once.
"We just kept the intensity up, that's when we shine the best," Hoosac defensive end Jake Hall said. "Trevor [Alibozek] and I really like to get back there. We always want to be hitting the quarterback."
They got their chances to hit Drury's Nolan Bird who finished the game, but got up slowly several times. He was sacked twice and hit on eight of the 10 passes that he threw. Melendez also had two runs end in negative gains.
"I think right now, [Bird] is very sore," Bryce said. "They knew we were down by two touchdowns and they pinned their ears back and blitzed him. We didn't pick the blitz up very well at all. Nolan did everything he could to try and stick it out and stay in there and throw the ball, but he got hit pretty good."
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