Mistakes doom Belchertown football team in loss at Ludlow
LUDLOW — This was supposed to be a competitive game dominated by defense, but it turned into a rout after a mountain of mistakes by the Belchertown football team Friday night.
The Orioles, a team that lacks experience and depth, could not overcome the miscues and suffered a 46-6 Intercounty League loss to Ludlow.
Belchertown (1-6, 1-5 Intercounty) won the opening toss, but elected to kick off. The theory was sound because the Orioles figured they could stop the Lions and try to gain momentum on offense.
But Ludlow’s Brian Pacheco took the kickoff, broke though a pack of defenders and raced 85 yards to the end zone as the Lions took a 6-0 lead before the game was a minute old.
Belchertown then was unable to overcome a flurry of miscues that included bad snaps, fumbles and an interception. Ludlow (2-5, 2-5) turned those into points and the Orioles never recovered.
“We gave them too many short fields and they took advantage of our mistakes,’’ first year Belchertown coach Chris Bourget said. “Every time we turned the ball over, they were able to capitalize.’’
Still, it was a 6-0 game until the final 91 seconds of the first half. That’s when the Lions struck for two quick scores to vault to a 20-0 halftime lead.
Ludlow took advantage of a short field after a breakdown during the punting game and the Lions marched 36 yards in eight plays.
Quarterback Dan Rodrigues capped the short drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and connected with Pacheco on the conversion to give Ludlow a 14-0 lead.
Then came a costly turnover.
An interception gave the Lions the ball on the 26 with 10 seconds remaining in the half. Rodrigues hit Andrew Conchinha with a 26-yard touchdown toss for a 20-0 lead at intermission.
Sean Fournier had a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the third quarter and Dustin Martin scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth.
“Turnovers changed the complexion of the game,’’ Bourget said.
The Orioles never were able to get untracked on offense and a hand injury that knocked quarterback Nick Leduc out of the game late in the first half didn’t help. Belchertown had minus 35 yards in total offense and ran for positive yards only five times during the game.
“Nick is one of the best quarterbacks in western Mass. and to have him taken away hurt our offense,’’ Bourget said. “When injuries happen, we expect other guys to step up.’’
The Orioles failed to complete a pass in the game, going 0 for 10.
The only points for Belchertown came when Jake Bradway returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown with 5:07 remaining.
But Ludlow finished the scoring when Pacheco ran 48 yards for a score before backup quarterback Greg Babin scored on a 1-yard run during the final minute.
“Our goal is to continue to get better,” Bourget said.
Ludlow 46, Belchertown 6
Belchertown 0 0 0 6—6
Ludlow 6 14 6 20—46
L-Brian Pacheco 85 kickoff return (pass failed) 9:53
L-Dan Rodrigues 1 run (Pacheco pass from Rodrigues 1:31
L-Andrew Conchinha 26 pass from Rodrigues (run failed) 0:00
L-Sean Fournier 5 run (run failed) 5:05
L-Dustin Martin 1 run (pass failed) 5:19
B-Jake Bradway 84 kickoff return (pass failed) 5:07
L-Pacheco 48 run (Brandon Wheeler run) 4:41
L-Greg Babin 1 run (pass failed) 0:52
Passing: Belchertown Nick Leduc 0-5, Jackson Leduc 0-5; Ludlow Dan Rodrigues 2-3 28 yards 1 TD
Rushing: Belchertown Casey Boudreau 1-1, Cameron Cass 1-0, Nick Leduc 7-14 Ludlow: Babin 2-5 Pacheco 9-31
Receiving: Ludlow Fournier 1-9, Andrew Conchinha 1-35