2nd-half surge carries Orioles past Frontier
BELCHERTOWN — Belchertown High School scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to erase a seven-point halftime deficit and defeat Intercounty League foe Frontier Regional School, 28-14, Friday night.
Quarterback Nick Leduc had a monster night for the Orioles (3-7), completing 11-of-19 passes for 284 yards and all four Belchertown scores. Perhaps his biggest play of the night came with 9 minutes, 53 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Orioles still trailing the Red Hawks, 14-7. On a first-and-10 play from the Orioles’ 27, Leduc called an audible and found Jake Bradway streaking down the Frontier sideline. The senior signal-caller hit Bradway in stride for a 73-yard touchdown pass. Leduc then kicked the extra point to tie the score.
The ensuing possession for the Red Hawks ended in disaster when Jack Hebert’s ill-advised halfback option pass was picked off by Belchertown’s Steve Boudreau at the Orioles’ 45 and returned 10 yards to set up Belchertown in Frontier territory. Three plays later, Boudreau was rewarded with a 32-yard touchdown reception from Leduc to put the Orioles in the lead for good with 6:58 remaining. Leduc’s extra point was true for a 21-14 lead.
Frontier appeared poised to climb back into the game, marching 44 yards down to the Orioles’ 19, but a holding penalty against the Red Hawks stalled the drive and a fourth-and-11 play ended with a sack of Frontier quarterback Matt Ackerman. The Orioles would seal the game from there, as Leduc hit Bradway with a 67-yard touchdown pass with 1:03 on the clock.
Despite the loss, the Frontier defense played well. The Orioles only managed 14 yards on the ground against a stout Frontier front line that was constantly in the Orioles backfield. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the Orioles took advantage of big plays to score the four touchdowns.
The Hawks took a 8-0 lead with 11 ticks remaining in the first quarter when Hebert ran in untouched from 1-yard out and Ackerman converted the two-point run. An interception by Frontier’s Justin Blake on the third play of the Orioles’ ensuing driv,e set up the Hawks on the Belchertown 24. Frontier needed just one play to make it 14-0, as Ackerman lofted a pass into the end zone where 6-foot-4 receiver Tim Hoar used his height-advantage to haul it in for the score.
Belchertown got on the board with 6:16 remaining in the second quarter when Leduc hit Boudreau for an 11-yard score.
Hoar had a nice all-around game for the Hawks, finishing with 55 yards receiving and 53 yards rushing. Ackerman wound up 4-for-11 passing for 76 yards and added 68 yards on the ground.
Frontier will host rival Mohawk Trail Regional High School in the teams’ Thanksgiving eve rivalry to cap off the season.