H.S. Football: Monument Mountain blanks Smith Vocational, 45-0

  • Smith Vocational quarterback Alex Martinez (10) tries to evade Monument Mountain defenders during the Vikings’ 45-0 loss on Friday in Great Barrington. PHOTO BY MIKE HERMAN

For the Gazette
Published: 10/7/2022 11:19:12 PM

GREAT BARRINGTON — Less than two minutes turned Friday night's football game on its proverbial head.

Smith Vocational ran 12 plays and took nearly six minutes off the clock on the game's first drive, but came up empty. It took the Spartans five plays and less than two minutes to go 92 yards and get in the end zone, taking the lead and crushing the Vikings’ mojo.

Monument scored all four times it had the ball in the first half and threw in an interception by Cole Bissaillon for a second-quarter touchdown as the Spartans beat Smith Voc, 45-0, in Tri-County League action.

“By the response of our team, I'd say it definitely took a lot of the wind out of our sails. The first six minutes of the game we drive the ball down to the [eight], come away with no points. Three minutes later, they're running it into the end zone,” Smith Vocational coach Alex Subocz said. “You could tell that it took a lot of the energy away from our kids.”

Monument's Nick Henderson scored two touchdowns and ran for 162 yards on 17 carries. Bissaillon also had two touchdowns, his second coming on a 31-yard pass from Jay Howard in the second quarter.

Henderson had 112 of his 162 yards in the first half, scoring twice on runs on nine in the first quarter and three in the last minute of the second quarter

The visiting Vikings had 103 total yards in the first half, 65 of them coming on that first drive.

“Smith Voc has an extraordinary offense. They're really well coached,” Monument coach Chris Tucci said. “We put ourselves in a position on the back of our heels and they took advantage of that to start. What they showed is the maturity of our defense tonight. Being able to give up those plays, but to understand and see what was in front of them, remember their coaching, remember what they planned through during the week and they were able to lock it down.”

That first Smith Vocational drive was more than solid as Subocz successfully mixed passes and runs. The Vikings converted a third-and-one with a 19-yard pass play from Alex Martinez to Joseph Bonanno, and then Martinez gained six on fourth-and-five to give the Vikings first-and-goal on the Monument nine yard line. Four plays later, the Vikings gained a yard and turned the ball over on downs.

It only took Monument five plays to get in the end zone. Henderson ran over the Smith defense gaining 12 and then 37 yards on consecutive running plays. The Spartans moved to the Smith 24 when quarterback Howard followed right tackle Owen Wade, got into the second level and ran it 24 yards for a touchdown. Henderson's run gave the Spartans an 8-0 lead, and they never trailed.

If that didn't take the air out of Smith's balloon, the end of the first quarter and start of the second would have done it.

After a short punt, Monument went 46 yards for a touchdown. The big play was a 23-yard run by Henderson, who closed out the drive with a nine-yard TD run.

But on the next series, the hosts put the visitors behind the eight ball. Smith started on its three-yard line, got three yards on a first-down run by Jared Baer. After an incompletion, Martinez misfired on a pass intended for John Majewski. Bissaillon picked it off and went untouched 15 yards for the touchdown.

It is Monument's third straight win and the Spartans are now 3-1. All three wins have been via shutout.

The Monument defense was outstanding after that first drive, holding the Vikings to 47 yards the rest of the way. Monument also sacked the Smith Vocational quarterback six times.

“We’re a very young team,” Subocz said. “When it comes to the trenches, we’re battling. The kids play hard, but four of our offensive linemen are sophomores. At times, we had one freshman and two sophomores on the defensive line. They’re fighting, but when the other team has seniors and juniors, that’s really where the discrepancy shows up.”

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