Mount Greylock uses interception return to beat Belchertown 18-7
Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect who intercepted a pass for the Mounties in quarter 2.
BELCHERTOWN - Turnovers often change the complexion of football games. Mount Greylock found that out in a positive manner on Friday night.
On the road at Belchertown, the host Orioles had the ball on their own 15-yard line with just 37.2 seconds to play in the first half. Instead of heading into the half with a one-point lead, Belchertown ran the ball twice to gain nine yards before passing on third and one with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Quarterback John Flink's pass was jumped by Mounties' Jason Betti and returned for a touchdown to put the Mounties up 12-7 at halftime. The lead was insurmountable, as Greylock kept the Orioles off the scoreboard in the second half to post an 18-7 victory.
"We have a smash route that we run, and I tell them always if it's not open, to take it and run," Orioles head coach Ed Wyzik said of the end-of-half miscue. "Our guy kind of froze and he didn't step up and hit the hitch."
Betti's interception wasn't the only Orioles' mistake.
A pair of poor snaps on fourth down resulted in botched punts by Belchertown that gave Greylock the ball inside the Oriole 15-yard line. Mounties quarterback Michael Wellspeak hit receiver Zeke Locklear on a slant for a 12-yard touchdown to put Greylock (2-1, 2-0 Intercounty South) up by 11 late in the third quarter.
Flink (123 passing yards) tossed an interception on the second to last drive of the third quarter, and on Belchertown's final offensive play before the Mounties ran out the clock on the Orioles second consecutive defeat.
"We knew they would be more methodical, and we knew the more field they had to cover, that played into our hands," Mount Greylock head coach Andrew Agostini said of Belchertown's second half game plan.
The Mounties kicked off the scoring on their first drive, thanks to a 48-yard rush by Wellspeak on an option play that put Mount Greylock up 6-0, going 97 yards on 10 plays. The Orioles answered on the second play of the second quarter, as Cal Daskam dove forward for a one-yard touchdown run to cap a 78-yard drive. Hunter Klingensmith's extra point gave Belchertown its lone lead of the game.
"Defensive touchdowns probably swing most games if you get one," Agostini said. "You never expect or anticipate those plays happening, but tonight it proved to be a big moment in the game.
"Tough game on the road. We'll take it."
Three turnovers were the nail in the coffin for the Belchertown offense, but its defense held the Mounties to 231 yards of total offense. Receivers Jason Betti (40 yards) and Sean Malloy (41 yards) were the leading receivers for Mount Greylock.
Greylock now turns its sights to a critical Intercounty South showdown with Lee next Friday at home.
Belchertown 0 7 0 0 — 7
Greylock 6 6 6 0 — 18
M — Michael Wellspeak 48 run (no good), 5:40.
B — Cal Daskam 1 run (Hunter Klingensmith kick good), 10:19.
M — Jason Betti 24 interception (no good), 7.3.
M — Zeke Locklear 12 catch (no good), 1:54.
RUSHING — MG: Taylor Cummings 15-37, Wellspeak 7-57, Sean Malloy 4-32. B: Joel Wyzik 10-43, Sam Winston 4-30, John Flink 5-(-6), Dennis Denehy 1-3, Cal Daskam 3-11
PASSING — MG: Wellspeak 6-11-95-1. B: Flink 7-17-123-0.
RECEIVING — MG: Jason Betti 2-40, Malloy 2-41, Zeke Locklear 1-12, Waynick 1-2. B: Winston 1-17, Matt Fournier 2-47, Wyzik 2-14, Cameron Otto 1-28, Klingensmith 1-17.
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