READING — Reading quarterback Drew Belcher completed just three passes, but on his final one of the game, he displayed the accuracy of one of the best in the state.
In the third quarter, Belcher fired an 8-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin to give Reading a 12-0 lead — which was all that was needed to stun sixth-ranked Brockton Friday night.
Two Brockton defensive backs blanketed Godwin, but Belcher placed the ball into the diamond formed by his receiver’s outstretched hands.
“The line gave me plenty of time, and Chris Godwin just found the window and sat in that window and was able to make the catch,” Belcher said, who finished with 28 passing yards.
The pass capped a 14-play drive, which chewed up 7:48 of the third quarter. Reading (2-0) relied heavily on its running game, as Belcher, Alex Valente, and Liam Kenneally combined for 46 yards on the drive.
“Coming in, we knew they had a really good secondary and we decided to go to the run game,” Belcher said. “We just came out and executed and the O-line was great.”
On the ensuing possession, Brockton (1-2) made a push for the end zone and worked their way down to the 11-yard line — threatening to cut into Reading’s lead.
On fourth and 6 with the ball on the 11, quarterback Austin Roberts rushed toward the first-down marker but came up short.
As Roberts fell to the ground, he pitched the ball to running back Ricardo Calixte, who ran for a first down and what may have been a touchdown but the play had been blown dead.
After discussing the call, the referees decided that an inadvertent whistle was blown, resulting in a replay of the down.
Roberts’s pass to Moise Edouard was dropped, and Reading took over on downs.
“I thought Auggie [Roberts] made one of his miracle plays and we had an inadvertent whistle that took away what would have been a one-score game with most of the quarter to go,” Brockton coach Peter Colombo said. “But we had to live with that and we’ll learn from it.”
Brockton had two more possessions to try to score in the fourth quarter, but both ended with interceptions, as Roberts was 1 for 10 in the second half, and 3 for 17 in the game.
Reading, who entered the game ranked No. 13, controlled the line of scrimmage and rushed for 244 yards.
Belcher rushed for 120 yards, highlighted by a 12-yard score in the second quarter, while Kenneally and Valente chipped in 81 and 43 yards, respectively.
“The backs, the tight ends and the O-line were just fantastic,” Reading coach John Fiore said. “This is a big test for us. Brockton just beat BC High last week and we were able to pull it off tonight.”
Anthony Gulizia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org