Week 7 Football: Belchertown blows past Commerce, stays in playoff hunt

By BRADYN COTE

Staff Intern

Published: 10-21-2023 12:52 AM

SPRINGFIELD — It was a collective effort from the Belchertown football team that gave it a dominant 47-14 win against Commerce Friday night at Springfield Central High School’s Berte Field.

With Belchertown (5-1) occupying the 16th spot in the most recent MIAA Division 5 Power Rankings, the Orioles desperately needed a win – and they certainly delivered.

“It was a good win. I think there is a lot of stuff that we have to correct,” said Belchertown coach Dan McCarthy. “We came out and executed, and I’m proud of my guys as we’re one step closer in that playoff push.”

Wasting no time on the clock, Belchertown marched the ball down the field to Commerce's 2-yard line where Chris Daskam rushed the ball into the end zone on third-and-goal for his first of two touchdowns on the night.

In addition to his two scores, Daskam racked up 182 yards on the ground.

“It’s the line and my blockers that make it possible for me to run that way,” said Daskam.

Brian Carlin’s successful extra point with an even seven minutes to go in the first quarter made it a 7-0 game.

Assisting its offense was the Belchertown special teams – as it completed one of its two successful onside kicks the very next play. This led to another touchdown for the Orioles, this time from Joshua Grillo, as he caught a 6-yard pass in the corner of the end zone from Landon Andre to make it 14-0.

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Down two scores with 3 minutes, 58 seconds to go in the first quarter, Commerce (3-4) answered when Brandon Cotton caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Nathaniel Chacon-Medina that cut the deficit to 14-6.

Belchertown eliminated all hopes of a comeback in the second quarter however, as  Daskam, Rylan Queiros and Grillo (two) all found paydirt, and the floodgates were open to enable the visitors to take a commanding 40-6 lead into halftime.

“They’re a well coached team, and they put it on us,” said Commerce coach Jamar Holmes. “We got some work to do and we’ll come back and try to beat Easthampton next week.”

Late in the third quarter with 4 minutes, 56 seconds to go, Grillo was able to score his fourth and Belchertown’s final touchdown of the night as he ran in from 8 yards out to make it 47-6 after Carlin’s fifth extra point.

“[Carlin] can kick with both feet and is very talented,” said coach McCarthy. “We have our special teams coordinator work with him consistently every day in practice.”

Cotton was able to sneak in one more touchdown paired with Julio Ramos’ successful 2-point conversion making the final score 47-14.

“These guys are dudes out there and they just want the damn ball to sprint down the field,” said McCarthy. “It was a complete team effort in my opinion today, all three phases of the game.”

Looking ahead, Belchertown hopes to carry Friday’s win into next week as it faces Frontier (3-4) on the road Friday at 7 p.m. A win in South Deerfield could potentially lock up a postseason berth in the state tournament.