Thanksgiving football: Cam Otto eclipses 1,000 passing yards as Belchertown beats Pathfinder

For the Gazette
Published: 11/28/2019 2:34:49 PM

THORNDIKE — The first half was a bit of a struggle for Belchertown.

The Orioles knew they just weren’t on top of their game and things needed to improve following halftime if they were to avoid an upset.

Fortunately, the necessary adjustments were made, and Belchertown rolled to a 44-7 Thanksgiving Day victory over Pathfinder at St. Joseph’s Field.

“We’re not happy that we missed the playoffs by a game, but this is a good way to finish the season,” senior quarterback Cameron Otto said.

A new offensive line came together, and Otto grew as a quarterback. The biting 35-mile-per-hour wind made passing difficult. But Otto rebounded nicely after missing his first seven attempts and hit Sam Winston with a 35-yard completion to eclipse the 1,000-yard passing mark this season. He accomplished that milestone despite missing two games with a broken wrist.

“He’s a tough competitor,” Belchertown coach Ed Wyzik said.

So is Cal Daskam, who earned game MVP honors after rushing for 96 yards and gaining several key first downs during scoring drives.

Early on, Pathfinder’s best defense was its ball-control offense. The Pioneers (2-8) chewed up more than six minutes off the clock, but failed to score.

Belchertown (6-5) opened the scoring on Matt Czupryna’s 2-yard run with three seconds left in the first quarter.

The Orioles trailed, 7-6 early in the second quarter. Pathfinder quarterback Jordan Talbot, who is from Belchertown, scored on a 2-yard run and Rich Martin booted the extra point to put the Pioneers out front.

Otto scored the lone touchdown of the second quarter on a 4-yard run that provided the Orioles with a 12-7 lead.

“I think the kids took Pathfinder for granted, and we had to yell at them at halftime,” Wyzik said.

The Orioles got the message and dominated the second half.

Belchertown outscored Pathfinder 32-0 over the final 24 minutes to win going away.

“We were a lot more focused in the second half,” Otto said. “We came together.”

The Orioles saw their confidence grow after Otto and Daskam continued to make big plays. The defense bottled up Pathfinder’s ground game.

Sam Winston scored on a 4-yard run, Otto completed a drive with a 2-yard run and Daskam added an 8-yard run to lift the Orioles to a 36-7 advantage.

Chris Merullo closed the scoring in the final quarter following a 5-yard run with 8:56 remaining.

Belchertown 44, Pathfinder 7













First quarter

B—Matt Czupryna 2 run (Run failed) 0:03.

Second quarter

P—Jordan Talbot 2 run (Rich Martin kick) 7:56

B—Cameron Otto 4 run (kick failed) 4:39

Third quarter

B—Sam Winston 3 run (run failed) 8:29

B—Otto 2 run (Jay Fuentes run) 6:12

B—Cal Daskam 8 run (Jake Delaney run ) 5:56

Fourth quarter

B—Chris Merullo 5 run (Hunter Englert run) 8:56


RUSHING—Belchertown-Daskam 8-96, Otto 6-48, Winston 5-42, Francisco Marrero 2-11, Cyortba 2-7, Fuentes 1-1, Merullo 1-2. Pathfinder-Jesse Griswold 21-70, Hunter Niccoson 8-53, Jordan Talbot 7-13, John Marty 4-8.

PASSING—Belchertown-Otto 2-9-46. Pathfinder-Talbot 2-7-10.

RECEIVING—Belchertown-Winston 2-46. Pathfinder-Griswold 2-10.

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