Belchertown sacks Greenfield’s playoff hopes with 20-0 win

For the Gazette
Published: 10/27/2018 1:04:06 AM

BELCHERTOWN — The goal for Greenfield was to leave nothing to chance.

For Belchertown, it was all about playing spoiler.

To the victor went the spoils and Belchertown took advantage of four turnovers to pin a 20-0 loss on Greenfield Friday night.

Greenfield entered the game as the projected fourth seed in the Western Massachusetts Division 8 playoffs and needed a victory to assure itself of a postseason berth.

But the Green Wave (5-3) never got going as the Orioles (4-4) refused to let star running back RJ Byrd beat them.

“He’s not going to run up the middle against our line,” Belchertown coach Ed Wyzik said. “We executed well and shut them down.”

Byrd was fresh off a five-touchdown, 347-yard rushing game against Athol. He missed last season’s meeting with Belchertown due to a leg injury.

The Orioles got a tremendous effort from their defensive line, led by Joel Wyzik, and held Byrd to 105 yards yards on 18 carries. Greenfield was unable to sustain its drives and Byrd had less than half the carries he had the week before.

Greenfield (5-3) has not been to the playoffs since 2012.

“We knew we controlled our own destiny,” Greenfield coach Mike Kuchieski said. “I’m more disappointed with the way we played than I am with the loss.”

Belchertown (4-4) saw its slim playoff hopes squashed after last week’s loss to Ludlow. The Orioles snapped a two-game losing streak.

“Belchertown came out and smacked us in the mouth,” Kuchieski said. “They played hard and were aggressive.”

Belchertown’s previous two losses were to playoff-bound teams. The Orioles had hoped to be in the mix, but then the injury bug hit. But the Orioles got running back Brad Lovett back and his touchdown with 9 minutes, 40 seconds remaining provided them with a 20-0 advantage.

It capped a three-play, 31-yard drive.

“We’ve missed Brad all year,” Wyzik said. “I wish we had him last week.”

In a fast-moving first half dominated by the running game, the game remained scoreless until the waning seconds. Belchertown capitalized on the second of four Greenfield turnovers to take a 6-0 lead.

The Orioles gambled and went for it on fourth-and-4 from midfield. But John Flink’s pass fell incomplete and the Green Wave had the ball in excellent field position.

But Greenfield gave the ball right back to Belchertown. Matthew Fournier recovered a bad snap and Belchertown was able to score.

“That was a huge turnaround and we just couldn’t overcome those fumbles,” Kuchieski said.

It took the Orioles nine plays to march 50 yards — all on the ground — and produce the game’s first score. It came on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Flink with 14.1 seconds remaining.

Greenfield lost the ball again, this time during the ensuing kickoff, but there was only 6.5 seconds left on the clock and Belchettown had to settle for a 6-0 halftime lead.

Greenfield had the ball for only seven plays during the second quarter.

“Hopefully, we’ll bounce back from this,” Kuchieski said.

Belchertown 20, Greenfield 0

Greenfield

0

0

0

0

—0

Belchertown

0

6

7

7

—20

Second quarter

B-John Flink 1-yard run (kick failed), 14.1

Third quarter

B-Joe Douillard 15 run (Klingersmith kick), 7:52

Fourth quarter

B-Brad Lovett 10 run (Klingersmith kick), 9:40

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Greenfield: Byrd 18-105, Phelps 3-(-3), Kilgour 1-5, Carlo 1-3. Belchertown: Wyzik 5-21, Flink 3-14, Daskam 11-52, Douillard 3-59, Lovett 10-61

PASSING—Greenfield: Phelps 2-9-7, Vega 1-1-13; Belchertown: Flink 1-7-7

RECEIVING—Greenfield: Vega 1-1, Byrd 1-6, Phelps 1-13; Belchertown: Fournier 1-7.


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