ORANGE -- Ethan Ryan took his first touch of the game and took it 48 yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately for the Green field Green Wave, the Mount Grey lock running back was just getting started.
The senior running back ran for 223 yards and five touchdowns in the first half alone. The Mounties showed why they have won two straight Western Massachusetts Division III Super Bowls by trampling Greenfield 62-0 Tuesday night to get to a third straight.
"Coach [Shawn] Flaherty told us 18-toss was going to be our first play we run," Ryan said. "That's what we did. Everyone executed great and I just brought it to the end zone."
Ryan was just getting started. He added to his total with just one touch in the second half, a 63-yard run for a touchdown. He finished the game with 286 yards and the Mounties collected 491 yards on the ground in the victory. The six touchdowns and 286 yards are the most he has ever scored in one game, he said.
"Ethan is one of our studs and we're going to use him," Flaherty said. "If he piles up that kind of yardage, then so be it."
Ryan had touchdown runs of 48, 42, 2, 25, 8 and 63 in the win. He was able to hit pretty much every hole his line opened for him. Daivon Clement also had big runs on the night, breaking a 45-yarder for a touchdown. Michael McCormack finished up the scoring with a 54-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter.
"Ethan's runs were really the best I have ever seen,"
While Ryan added to his already impressive yardage total on the season -- he now has 1,839 this year -- the defense prevented Green field's 1,000-yard rusher and passer from getting anything going on the ground.
Zach Bartak ran for just 55 yards and added just another 79 through the air. The Mounties changed their defensive approach for this semifinal matchup and it seemed to work. Greylock switched to a 4-2-5 defensive scheme and recorded three interceptions on the night.
"We just tried to contain him," Picard said. "We know he is a great passer and he is going to get his completions. We just wanted to eliminate the big plays. We gave them the little 5 and 10-yard passes, and I think that really slowed him down."
The Mounties started the game with heavy pressure on the Green Wave, forcing a quick three-and-out. Green field ran for just 70 total yards on the night and got the ball inside the Mountie 20 only once.
Greenfield earned a first-and-goal from the Greylock 5 trailing 18-0 in the second quarter. Even with an already large lead, the Mounties weren't about to give up any points as Matt Malloy stopped Bartak on the 5 on fourth down.
"That was a big momentum swing," Ryan said. "They were coming hard there. No one ever wants to see anything more than a zero on the scoreboard, so we dug down and did what we needed to."
Because the Mounties switched defensive schemes before the game, a defensive lineman was forced to play defensive back. Spencer Haley was forced to play in the defensive backfield and didn't allow a catch. McCormack, Picard and Ryan had interceptions on the night.
"We played that 4-2-5 and it seems to be the new defense with all these modern offenses," Flaherty said. "With the spread offenses, I think this defense is the closest thing to an answer for that."
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