Not many football teams turn to a defensive tackle when they need an extra defensive back for the biggest game of the season.
Then again not many teams have accomplished what Mount Greylock has over the past three seasons.
The only team to beat the Mounties in three seasons did it by passing the ball. When Shawn Flaherty saw his team would be matched up against a team that liked to throw the ball even more than the Wahconah team that snapped the 33-game winning streak, he knew something had to change.
The five down linemen, three linebacker and three defensive back formation (also called a 53) wouldn't work against a team with a quarterback like Greenfield's Zach Bartak, who entered the semifinal game with more than 1,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards.
To prepare for the game, Flaherty simply had his team swap from a 5-3-3 to a 4-2-5.
"With four or five receivers and against the spread offense, I think that [formation] is the closest thing to answer for that," Flaherty said after his Mounties held Bartak to just 79 passing yards.
The changed caused a few players to change positions. Eric Leitch went from cornerback to safety, but the biggest change was Spencer Haley.
"On scout teams you can have a guy that will have a little fun playing in a different position and Spencer always chose defensive back," Flaherty said. "This year he went back during some scouting sessions and played defensive back and he always did a pretty good job. The joke quickly started to become that receivers were on Haley Island."
The senior who started his career playing center never thought he'd see any playing time as a defensive back. And then the playoffs rolled around.
"I think that was a big highlight in the win," Leitch said of the team's 62-0 semifinal win. "I like seeing him back there and playing really good coverage. He's been a lineman his whole high school career, but he played great for us Tuesday."
Haley had a little experience playing defensive back from his time in practice, but had never played the position in a game. Sure he had faced his team's receivers in practice, but never in a live scenario.
The biggest challenge for Haley was seeing the field. A lineman doesn't see much more than the guy he is trying to tackle. A defensive back has to keep tabs on his assignment, the quarterback and the ball.
"They are complete opposite positions," he said. "It's one totally different thing then switch to another.
"When you're playing on the line, you're trying to move your guy and get to the ball carrier. At defensive back, you're trying to play back and not get beat deep."
With the score favoring the Mounties by a large margin early in the first quarter, it could have been easy for them to back off and give up big passing plays to a Greenfield team desperate to make anything happen. But Haley and the rest of the defensive backs stayed solid. Bartak was just 7 of 20 for 79 yards and threw three interceptions.
The biggest pass play the defense gave up was a 32-yard throw in the second quarter. Only once did the receiver Haley was covering make a catch, and he was held to a short 5-yard gain.
"He never was beaten, he was always the deepest man and he never let the receiver get behind him," Flaherty said of Haley's performance. "He played real tough man-to-man type coverage and made some nice tackles. He even was able to jar his receiver a couple of times causing incompletions."
The last team standing in the way of the Mounties and a third straight Super Bowl title is Belchertown -- another pass-heavy offense. If the Mounties need to play another 4-2-5 expect Haley to be right back where he was Tuesday.