By: Kyle Prudhomme
Leading every offensively sound football team is a dynamic quarterback that welcomes the high pressure situation and flourishes in those big game moments. Fitchburg State quarterback Garrett Dellechiaie has excelled, leading the Falcon’s dynamic offense since he joined the team as a freshman in 2012.
The year before Dellechiaie joined Fitchburg State, the Falcons were finishing up their second consecutive 2-8 season. Meanwhile Dellechiaie, then an 18 year-old senior in high school, was leading the nearby Leominster Blue Devils to their second consecutive Division 1 Central Mass. Super Bowl Championship.
His performance at Elliot Field that night foreshadowed things to come for the Green and White as he amassed 300 total yards offensively – tossing a pair of touchdowns and rushing for another two in the Blue Devils’ 42-32 victory over St. John’s Shrewsbury.
Now Dellechiaie’s name is plastered throughout the Fitchburg State record books. The junior gunslinger hold the school’s single season record for pass completions (218). He broke the single season record for touchdowns his freshman season (25) and then did it again during his sophomore campaign (28), which wound up giving him the record for career touchdown passes (58).
This season he again entered the books as his 294-yard performance through the air against conference rival Worcester State gave Dellechiaie sole possession of the all-time passing yards record with a whole year of eligibility awaiting him.
“Those records aren’t just me. My receivers, like Phillip Saint-Juste my freshman year and Ty Spencer have played a huge part in a lot of that and now I’m getting help from Devin Summiel and Jesse Lastra. It’s easy for me,” said Delleciahie.
By throwing to talented receivers like Saint-Juste, the school’s leader in touchdown receptions, during the 2013 and 2014 seasons and now having multiple targets with Spencer, Summiel, and Lastra, the situation at wide receiver for the Falcon’s is somewhat of a quarterback’s dream, and Dellechiaie is living it.
“I’ll throw a screen pass to Devin Summiel and he’ll take it 60 yards for a touchdown. I get those 60 yards, but I only threw the ball 10 so those guys should get the credit for making crazy plays,” remarked the junior.
Dellechiaie has been extremely effective distributing the football among his receivers through the team’s seven games. His top target has been sophomore Jesse Lastra, who has brought in 37 passes while junior Devin Summiel leads the team with 558 yards and seven touchdown grabs. Ty Spencer has also been significant for the Falcons as the 6-foot senior recently tied the record set by Saint-Juste for career touchdown receptions.
“Those records are great and all but that’s not what we’re here for. We want to get wins,” Dellechiaie said.
The Green and Gold have their record sitting at 5 and 2 with three games left on the schedule. The few blemishes coming in the form of a week three loss to conference leader Framingham State and this past week when the Falcons dropped a high scoring affair with Western Connecticut State by a final of 57-30.
Despite allowing 57 points in the loss, this year’s defense has been fundamentally sound and, like the offense, shows vast improvement from the 6 and 4 seasons of 2013 and 2014.
“If you work hard you’ll get far and that’s what our defense is based around”, said senior defensive captain Luis Feliz, “last game [West Conn.] we tried doing a little bit too much and that hurt us so we just need to go back to square one” he continued.
The Falcons currently have the top ranked defense in the MASCAC allowing a mere 18.1 points per game with opposing offenses managing on average 295.3 yards of total offense. Their most complete performance came in a shutout victory against Worcester State, 23-0.
“The guys are still hungry”, said Dellechiaie, “we just need to understand we’re a good team, we have the athletes to get it done. We just need to execute, keep the turnovers low and make stops defensively”.
Dellechiaie and company are off this weekend with a bye before looking to bounce back in conference play against Westfield State on Halloween day.