H.S. Football: Pittsfield pulls away from South Hadley for big win

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  • South Hadley sophomore Brady Currier, left, loses his glasses but holds onto the ball after intercepting Pittsfield quarterback Patrick Rindfuss, who was under pressure after fumbling the snap, in the first half of their game in South Hadley on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. On the tackle was the Generals' Louis Rhodes (8). STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley senior Evan Piquette runs in for a two-point conversion after a Owen Dawson touchdown in the first half of the Tigers game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley sophomore Owen Dawson rushes for a touchdown from the Tigers' 29 in the first half of their game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley sophomore Owen Dawson rushes for a touchdown from the Tigers' 29 in the first half of their game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley junior Brock Fitzell, left, carries past Pittsfield in the first half of their game in South Hadley on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley sophomore Noah Marion (18) gets a touch but not a tackle on Davon Solomon of Pittsfield on his touchdown run for the Generals in the first half of their game in South Hadley on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley sophomore quarterback Noah Marion prepares to hand off to Evan Piquette (obscured) in the first half of the Tigers' game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley' Evan Piquette, right, is congratulated by fellow sophomore Owen Dawson (4) after scoring the Tigers' second touchdown in the first half of their game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley sophomore quarterback Noah Marion, center, hands off to Evan Piquette in the first half of the Tigers' game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley senior Evan Piquette runs in for a two-point conversion after a Owen Dawson touchdown in the first half of the Tigers game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • South Hadley coach Scott Taylor meets with players during a time out in the first half of their game against Pittsfield on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in South Hadley. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 10/15/2021 11:34:49 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — South Hadley couldn’t seem to find an answer for Pittsfield quarterback Patrick Rindfuss on Friday. 

The Generals ran their big signal caller early and often with much success and capitalized once the Tigers were forced to come up and defend the run with deep passing. 

Rindfuss finished with 25 carries for 193 yards and three touchdowns while also going 7-for-11 for 139 yards and a pair touchdowns through the air to lift Pittsfield to a 44-20 victory. 

South Hadley (2-4) suffered multiple injuries in the game, leaving it shorthanded in the second half. 

“We were a shell of ourselves,” Tiger coach Scott Taylor said. “They’re a great team but so are we. We have too many injuries. That’s the bottom line. It’s frustrating because we didn’t have all our guys. I’d love to play them with all our guys and see what would happen.” 

It was the first time Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski has beaten South Hadley in his 18 years with the program. 

“I’m really proud of our guys,” Jezewski said. “That’s a full team effort. South Hadley is no joke. They’re well coached, a physical team and our guys stepped up. I thought we dominated the second half physically. Our offensive and defensive line came together. This feels good for our guys. I think this solidifies us as a team to deal with in the Div. 5 playoffs.”   

Multiple big runs by Rindfuss brought Pittsfield (4-1) into the red zone on the opening drive of the game, culminating with Rindfuss finding Brayden Bunnell for a 9-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-four. Rindfuss ran in the two-point try to make it 8-0 Generals with 6:47 to play in the first quarter. 

South Hadley answered with a touchdown drive of its own, with Owen Dawson breaking off a 29-yard scoring run with 3:38 to play in the first quarter. Evan Piquette converted the two-point try to tie the game, 8-8. 

Rindfuss made his lone mistake of the game on the first play of the ensuing possession, picking up a bad snap and trying to throw the ball away. Brady Currier was there on the sideline to make the interception for the Tigers. 

Set up at at the Generals 25, Piquette was stopped on a fourth-and-three to give the ball back to Pittsfield. 

The explosive plays for the Generals began in the second quarter. Rindfuss found Davon Solomon for a 50-yard touchdown strike to put Pittsfield ahead, 14-8. Once again South Hadley answered, with Piquette running in untouched up the middle for a 17-yard touchdown to tie the game back up 14-14 with 4:28 to play in the first half. 

Rindfuss opened the ensuing drive with a 39-yard strike to Soloman to set Pittsfield up at the Tiger 11, where Rindfuss ran it in himself and found Louis Rhodes for the two-point try to put the Generals ahead, 22-14, with 3:52 in the first half. 

The lights went out on South Hadley’s final drive of the half, causing a delay. When the teams emerged from the locker room, the Tigers had a chance to score before the half but Noah Marion’s pass was picked off by Tobias Gaulden-Wheeler to preserve the General lead at the half. 

Rindfuss brought Pittsfield down in the third quarter and ran in a touchdown from one yard out to extend the lead to 30-14 with 4:02 to go in the third quarter. Rhodes raced in for a 58-yard rushing score to make it 36-14 with 7:47 to play in the game. 

The Tigers made it a two-score game with 5:36 to play on a 14-yard touchdown run by Piquette but Rindfuss ran in a 39-yard touchdown on the next possession to prevent any sort of comeback from South Hadley. 

“Patrick had an unbelievable game,” Jezewski said. “That’s what good players do. They play well in big games and he’s an unbelievable player. He’s a big strong kid and he’s the hardest worker on the field.”

With all the injuries, the Tigers will look to get healthy and rebound next Friday against Putnam. 

“We had kids playing who had no business being on a varsity field but they gave it everything they had,” Taylor said. “This is the first time Pittsfield has beaten us so hats off to them.”




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