Belchertown stumbles, falls 43-13 to Turners in coach Chris Bourget’s debut
BELCHERTOWN — After a disappointing three-plus quarters, the debut of new Belchertown head football coach Chris Bourget ended on a positive.
The Orioles traveled 61 yards late in the fourth and capped the scoring in the final minute in a 43-13 loss to Turners Falls.
“That score kind of picked up our spirits at the end of the game, and hopefully we can build some momentum off that to bring into next week,” Bourget said. “When we look at the tape, I’m sure we’ll find some good things.”
Quarterback Nick Leduc, who completed 11-of-19 passes for 105 yards, found Jake Mastorakis from a yard out on fourth-and-goal with 28 seconds left.
“That was a nice feeling to end the game on,” Leduc said. “We can’t be afraid of losing. Even with all the success we’ve had the past few years, this is a pretty new team with new coaches. So it might take some time. Obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’re going to fight hard every week.”
Belchertown turned the ball over four times, including on its first play from scrimmage as Alex Carlisle pounced on a Leduc fumble.
Three of the first four Orioles possessions ended in turnovers. The Indians converted the takeaways into 21 points.
“Tough way to start, giving them short fields,” Bourget said. “In football you have to execute, so that was the story of the game.”
Turners (1-0, 1-0 Intercounty) utilized a diverse offensive attack. Running back Trent Borbeau rushed for a game-high 159 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns.
“We’re a young team, especially on defense, and we had some trouble tackling,” Bourget said. “But we’re going to keep working and stick together.”
The Orioles (0-1, 0-1) took advantage of the only Turners turnover to cut the deficit to 20-7 midway through the second quarter. From the Indians 29, Leduc hit Jake Bradway for a 23-yard reception to the 6. Two plays later, Leduc took it in around the right side from 4 yards.
But the Indians answered with a 78-yard march, capped by a Turners quarterback Malcolm Smith run from a yard out for a 28-7 halftime advantage.
“We felt a little push when we scored, then they go on a long drive and get it right back,” Bourget said. “We were hoping for a three-and-out, but we gave up some big plays on third down. I loved the kids’ effort, we just have to keep grinding and get better.”
A holding penalty on the drive put Turners in a third-and-16 from the Orioles 35. Smith rolled to the right and delivered a perfect strike to a diving Melvin Moreno for a 25-yard pickup to the 10.
Turners then took the opening kickoff of the second half and took the first 7 minutes off the clock on another scoring drive. Borbeau went in from 5 yards to make it 36-7.
Belchertown gained much of its yardage on receiver screens. Steve Boudreau (four catches, 51 yards) and Jake Bradway (3-41) enjoyed solid games on the outside.
The Orioles found it much more difficult on the ground. Leduc was the team’s leading rusher with 58 yards on 17 attempts, many of them scrambles.
But they only gained six other rushing yards, and a pair of muffed exchanges led to fumble recoveries by the Indians.
“We had some issues on the exchanges, which we’ll definitely get figured out,” Leduc said. “I take most of the blame on those. I’m a senior and I’m the quarterback, so it’s mostly on me. I have to lead the team.”
Smith was highly efficient, going 8 for 11 with 90 passing yards and a passing touchdown. He also ran for 44 yards and a pair of 1-yard scores.
Daytona Barrows had a fumble recovery for Belchertown.
“We have a lot of good athletes and the potential is there,” Leduc said. “I really like the new system and the coaches put everything they have into helping us. So we have to give all we have. For me as a senior, the coaching change was an adjustment, but we’re getting used to it.”
Michael Wilkinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turners Falls 43, Belchertown 13
Turners Falls 12 16 15 0—43
Belchertown 0 7 0 6—13
TF-Jalen Sanders 3-yard run (kick failed), 7:23
TF-Malcolm Smith 1 run (pass failed), 3:50
TF-Trent Borbeau 4 run (Sanders pass from Smith), 9:56
B-Leduc 4 run (Leduc kick), 6:58
TF-Smith 1 run (Borbeau run), 2:19
TF-Borbeau 5 run (Brody Markol pass from Smith), 3:05
TF-Sanders 7 pass from Smith (Melvin Moreno pass from Smith), 0:19
B-Jake Mastorakis 1 pass from Leduc (run failed), 0:28
PASSING—Turners: Smith 8-11-90-0; Belchertown: Leduc 11-19-105-1
RUSHING—Turners Borbeau 21-159, Smith 8-44, Sanders 5-11, Markol 2-6; Belchertown: Leduc 17-58, Cass 3-2, Beaudry 2-4
RECEIVING—Turners: Sanders 5-43, Markol 2-22, Moreno 1-25; Belchertown: Boudreau 4-51, Bradway 3-41, Mastorakis 3-12, Beaudry 1-1