This was the football game that fans of the Brattleboro Colonels were waiting to see.
It wasn’t just that the Oct. 13 game at Natowich Field was the rivalry game with the Mount Anthony Patriots for the Albert Elwell Trophy and a year’s worth of bragging rights, or that it was Senior Night and a chance to honor the five seniors on the youthful squad.
No, fans were waiting to see if the flashes of ability displayed by the Colonels this season could be sustained and turned into a win.
While the Colonels 28-14 victory over MAU wasn’t a work of art, it was a much-needed win and a much-needed confidence booster for a struggling young team.
“This was the kind of game I knew they could play all season,” said Colonels head coach Chad Pacheco. “There’s still some things for us to clean up, but we finally put a full game together.”
The Colonel defense gets a lot of credit for this victory, with the play of the game coming from junior defensive back Brenden Gilbeau.
With MAU trailing 20-14 and driving toward a potential tying score in the fourth-quarter, quarterback Will Fischer floated a pass toward the flat that Gilbeau plucked out of the air. With nothing but green grass in front of him, he raced untouched into the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown with 6:31 left in the game.
“That took all the wind out of them,” said Pacheco.
Brattleboro’s offense did its part also, with a balance that had been lacking in previous games. Quarterback Tyler Millerick was 9-for-13 for 126 yards and touchdown passes to Chris Carroll and Kyle Derosia. Carroll finished with seven catches for 98 yards. Running back Chris Frost rushed for 86 yards on 21 carries with one touchdown.
Carroll caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Millerick for Brattleboro’s first score with 3:53 left in the first quarter. The Pats responded with a 63-yard TD run by Fischer, and the point-after kick with 2:13 remaining in the first put them ahead, 7-6.
The Colonels then did something they haven’t done all season — take a lead into the locker room at halftime. Derosia reeled in an 18-yard TD pass from Millerick for a 12-7 lead with 11:23 left. Frost’s two-yard run and his catch of a two-point conversion pass from Millerick with 6:12 remaining made it 20-7.
Brattleboro’s offense struggled in the second half, leaving an opening for MAU to come back. Fischer ran for a five-yard touchdown, and Caleb Hay’s point after cut the lead to 20-14 with 4:08 left in the third. It took Gilbeau’s clutch interception to give the Colonels their third straight win in the Elwell Trophy series.
The Colonels celebrated their first win, a win that was sweeter because it was against their rival.
“If you can’t get up for this game, there’s something wrong with you,” said Pacheco.
Now 1-6, Brattleboro will finish the regular season at Colchester (2-5) this Friday at 7 p.m.
• In a game where the lead changed hands seven times, Fair Haven pulled out a 35-34 win at home over Bellows Falls in a key Division II matchup on Oct. 13.
The Slaters won the game when wide receiver Jesse Tucker caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cam Coloutti with 1:18 left in the game. Parker Morse’s point after kick then provided the margin of victory.
BF had taken the lead earlier in the fourth quarter on back-to-back scores by Shane Clark, who finished the game with four TDs. The go-ahead score came on a 71-yard pass from quarterback Logan Cota that made it 34-28, Terriers.
Clark had a monster game on the ground with 186 yards of rushes and scoring runs of 61, 68, and 10 yards. Cota also ran in a touchdown in the second quarter that gave BF a 20-13 lead at the half.
However, it was Coloutti who was the star of the game. He was 28-for-42 for 400 yards of passing, with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Now 5-2 and ranked fourth in Division II, the Terriers will host U-32 (4-3) in the regular season finale this Friday at 7 p.m.
• Even a veteran field hockey coach like Brattleboro’s Sherryl Libardoni was impressed with the way that Bellows Falls played the game after the Colonels lost, 5-0, to the undefeated Terriers on Oct. 10 at Tenney Field.
“It’s like watching a clinic,” Libardoni said.
Brattleboro played to the best of its ability and held the Terriers to a single goal through the first 30 minutes of play. But the quality of the Terriers came through with four goals in the second half.
“We haven’t had a ton of good games, so we needed a challenge,” said BF coach Bethany Coursen. “Brattleboro played us hard all the way, and we had to play well to win tonight.”
Aside from a couple of counter attacks by forward Kharisma Boyd, the Terriers kept the Colonels bottled up in their own end and put constant pressure on Brattleboro goalie Natalya Forkin. BF finished with 15 shots and 20 penalty corners, while the Colonels had no shots on goal and just one corner.
Dani Marchica got BF’s first goal with 20:51 left in the first half, Molly Kelly assisted. The Terriers opened with a rush in the second half, and got a second goal after the ball went off a Brattleboro player just 72 seconds in.
Abbe Cravinho scored off a Reaghan Baldasaro pass with 20:42 left in the game, and Kelly converted on a penalty stroke for another goal with 19:06 remaining. Alice Salter-Roy set up Marchica’s second goal late in the half.
BF then picked up its 35th straight win with an 8-0 skunking of Rutland, leaving the hosts just two wins away from a second consecutive undefeated regular season. In their first 12 games, the Terriers have outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 83-3.
Marchica and Kelly scored twice for BF, who took a 4-0 lead to the break. Madison Streeter, Cravinho, Baldasaro and Sophia Hyslop added one goal apiece. Salter-Roy was again the distributor of the scoring chances, with two assists. Emma Lober made two saves in goal to earn the win for the 12-0 Terriers.
• Brattleboro lost to Hartford, 3-0, at Tenney Field on Oct. 12 to finish the week at 3-8.
• Brattleboro got into the win column on Oct. 11 with a 2-0 road victory over Springfield. The Colonels put 16 shots on goal, and had numerous near misses. Rachel Rooney scored in the first half, and Kai Boyd found the back of the net in the second half.
The Colonels then lost another close one, a 2-1 decision to Rutland, on Oct. 14. Axis Balsley got Brattleboro’s only goal in the first half and, despite putting 12 shots on goal, the Colonels could not get another score. Goalkeeper Megyn Ayotte made eight saves for the 3-9 Colonels.
• Twin Valley’s Tatyana Bowman made her varsity debut on the forward line, and responded with three goals as the Wildcats beat Bellows Falls, 3-1, on Oct. 11 in Westminster.
Moving Bowman from her stopper back role wasn’t the only change for the Wildcats. Goalkeeper Tayler Courchesne got switched to the midfielder spot, with Jayden Crawford taking over after BF scored early in the first half.
Twin Valley has been looking for offense, and the experiment seemed to be a success. Bowman scored three goals in the last 11 minutes of the game, with Courchesne, Olivia Genella, and Kylie Reed all earning assists.
Two days earlier, Twin Valley pulled out a 3-2 win at home over BF. In the rematch, the Terriers once again kept it close, holding the Wildcats scoreless in the first half. Both teams had chances, and both teams failed to cash in until BF’s Madison DiBernardo took a lead pass from Amyra Terena and scored in the 52nd minute.
Twin Valley then took control of the came from there, as the Wildcats put eight shots on goal, with Bowman earning a natural hat trick in the process.
• Micah White scored two goals as Green Mountain defeated Leland & Gray, 5-1, on Oct. 11 in Chester. The Chieftains led 3-0 at halftime, thanks to a goal from Paige Karl and the two tallies from White. Sierra Kohoe and Maddie Wilson added insurance goals in the second half.
The Rebels then shut out Twin Valley, 3-0, in Wilmington on Oct. 14. Leland & Gray finished the week at 6-6, while Twin Valley’s record fell to 4-7-1.
• Brattleboro missed a chance to pick up some ground in the Division I standings last week with two road losses. The Colonels fell to Hartford, 3-1, on Oct. 10 and lost 3-0 to Burr & Burton on Oct. 12. Brattleboro finished the week at 4-7-1.
• Logan Park and Jack McHale each scored two goals to help Twin Valley to a 7-1 victory at home over Windsor on Oct. 10. James McGovern finished with one goal and three assists.
Colin McHale and Owen Grinold also scored, while Cooper Pell, Gunnar Nilsen, Colin McHale, and Dylan Howe all were credited with assists. Goalkeepers Logan Boyd and Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn made two saves apiece
Twin Valley followed that effort up with a 6-0 win over Springfield on Oct. 13 at Hayford Field. The Wildcats started off slowly with Park getting the first half’s only goal. They then turned up the heat in the second half as Grinold, Neilsen, Finn Fischer, Pell, and Kasey Sibilia all scored for the 11-1 Wildcats.
• Leland & Gray finished the week at 7-4-1 after a 3-0 win at home against Fair Haven on Oct. 12.
• Bellows Falls had another tough week with a 4-0 loss at home to Springfield on Oct. 10 and a 7-2 loss to Black River on Oct. 13 in Ludlow. The Terriers have a 1-10-1 record.
• Brattleboro is rolling toward a big finish to its cross-country season. Both Colonel teams swept a multi-term meet in Manchester on Oct. 10.
The Brattleboro boys scored 17 points to easily win the team event, followed by Mount Anthony (61 points), Rutland (94), host team Burr & Burton (110), Mount St. Joseph (121), St. Michael’s School (145), and Long Trail (194).
Isaac Freitas-Eagan led the Colonels by winning in 18 minutes, 34 seconds. Colin Costa-Walsh was third in 19:15, followed by Trevor Kipp (sixth, 19:45), Evan Koch (eighth, 20:04), and Bram Tabachnik (10th, 20:15), David Pierce (15th, 20:58) and Noah Holmes (20th, 21:19).
In the girls race, Brattleboro was first in the team scoring with 33 points, followed by Burr & Burton (55), Mount Anthony (59), and Rutland (80).
The Putney School’s Delaney Bullock was the girls’ winner in 22:01, while Brattleboro’s Sarah Gallagher was third in 22:16. Other Colonel runners in the top 20 included Annie Takacs (eighth, 23:45), Liz Morse (12th, 24:57), Alexandra Miskovich (13th, 24:58), Molly Patenaude, (17th, 25:43), Emilia Dick-Fiora del Fabro (19th, 26:07), and Kathryn Wocell (20th, 26:07).
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 7 (22-8) remains in the lead after Week 6 of the fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 1 (20-10) held on to second place, Team 10 (19-11) is in third, and Team 2 (17-13) is alone in fourth. Team 3, Team 8, and Team 5 (all 14-16) are tied for fifth, followed by Team 6 (13-17), Team 9 (11-19), and Team 4 (6-24).
Pat Putnam had the women’s high handicap game (260) for the second week in a row. and also had the high handicap series (694). Warren Corriveau Sr. again had the men’s high handicap game (252) and series (659). Team 2 had the high team handicap game (877) and Team 10 had the high handicap series (2,512).
Corriveau (644) rolled another 600-plus series, with a pair of 200-plus games (247, 207). Jerry Dunham (546) again rolled a 500-plus series; he was joined by Wayne Randall (506). Marty Adams (210) and Dunham (210) had 200-plus games.