The first playoff game of a football postseason can pose a challenge, especially for teams that haven’t been there before.
Bellows Falls doesn’t have that problem. With a team loaded with talented juniors and seniors, many of whom were on last year’s Division II state championship team, the No. 4 Terriers were raring to go against No. 5 Lyndon on Oct. 27 in a quarterfinal game at Hadley Field.
The Terriers scored a touchdown on each of their first eight possessions as they walloped the Vikings, 61-21.
Shane Clark scored on a 28-yard run and Logan Cota ran in the two-point conversion to open the scoring for BF. The Vikings then made it an 8-7 game as Connor Whitehead reeled in a pass from quarterback Justin Joyal for a 75-yard touchdown.
That’s as close as the Vikings would come. Cota pushed the lead to 16-7 with a 1-yard touchdown, then made it 24-7 with a 61-yard TD pass to Ryan Kelly. Julian Christiansen scored on a 1-yard run and McGregor Vancor scored on a 6-yard run before Cota closed out the first-half scoring with a 22-yard scramble to make it 47-7 at the half.
BF racked up 315 yards of total offense in the first half for six touchdowns, five two-point conversions, and one extra-point kick by Svent Bossart. With Griffin Waryas taking over Cota at quarterback in the second half, the BF juggernaut didn’t skip a beat in the third quarter.
Spencer Clark scored on a 9-yard run and Shane Clark added a 45-yard TD run. With two more point-after kicks from Bossart, BF led, 61-7, with 5:41 left in the third. Whitehead caught another touchdown pass from Joyal late in the third, and Ryan Ware had a 28-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for Lyndon against the BF reserves.
Shane Clark finished with 211 yards of rushing on 13 carries, while Cota was 5-for-7 through the air for 134 yards. The BF first-string defense was superb as Jeff Rainville and Aiden Smith both recovered fumbles, Reno Tuttle had a sack, Ben Asack had a tackle for a loss, and Andrew Elliott broke up a pass.
BF will be in Manchester this Saturday at 1 p.m. to face Burr & Burton in a semifinal that will be a rematch of last year’s state championship game.
Colonels win consolation game
• Brattleboro ended its football season with a 21-20 win over Spaulding in a Division I consolation game in Barre on Oct. 27.
Kyle Derosia had a 49-yard touchdown run, and Tyler Millerick and Durin Hoyer also ran the ball into the end zone as the Colonels finished with a 2-7 record.
Spaulding’s Ryan Walbridge rushed in for a touchdown with 3:55 left in the game, but the Crimson Tide’s two-point conversion attempt was denied, allowing the Colonels to hang on for the win.
• Putney School’s Delaney Bullock won the Division III individual title, and Brattleboro’s Sarah Gallagher and Isaac Freitas-Eagan and Bellows Falls’s Tim Salter-Roy and Lia Clark all had top-10 finishes in the Vermont State Cross-Country Championships on Oct. 28 at Thetford Academy.
Bullock covered the 5-kilometer course in 20 minutes flat to win the Division III girls’ race for the second straight year.
The BF boys were fourth in Division III, while the BF girls were fifth. In Division I, the Colonel boys finished sixth, and the Colonel girls were seventh.
Freitas-Eagan led the Colonels with a fifth-place finish in the Division I boys’ race in 17 minutes, 25 seconds, followed by Trevor Kipp (29th, 18:30.4), Colin Costa-Walsh (36th, 18:45.9), Bram Tabachnik (52nd, 19:24.9), Evan Koch (56th, 19:41.8), David Pierce (70th, 20:19.7), and Martin Sipowicz (75th, 20:57.3).
Gallagher took seventh in the girls’ race in 20:34.8, followed by teammates Emily Dick-Floria de Fabro (37th, 22:34.4), Anne Takacs (40th, 22:40.1), Alexandra Miskovich (50th, 23:19.5), Liz Morse (67th, 24:27.7), Elery Loggia (69th, 24:38.8), and Mollie Patenaude (74th, 24:56.5).
Salter-Roy was the top Terrier in the Division III boys’ race, finishing ninth in 18:52, followed by Ian Wallace (18th, 19:19.8), Colton Baldasaro (32nd, 20:08), Collin Robertson (37th, 20:20.6), Nic Potter (38th, 20:25.3), and Gabe Hakimoglu (62nd, 21:15.8).
Clark was fifth in the girls’ race for the Terriers in 21:48.4, followed by Molly Hodsden (28th, 25:06.6), Haley Covillion (32nd, 25:21.2), Jasmine Boucher (44th,26:19.6), and Brigid Hodsden (52nd, 27:56.7).
Steven Borst was the top runner for St. Michael’s School, finishing 59th in 21:07.5. The St. Mike’s boys finished 12th in Division III.
BF reaches field hockey semis
• There’s a reason why the Bellows Falls Terriers have scored so many goals this season. They have so much talent that it is impossible to shut them down.
Against No. 9 Middlebury on Oct. 27, the Terriers cruised to a quarterfinal 6-0 home win. Abbe Cravinho set the table with four assists and a goal. Dani Marchica was one of the beneficiaries, as she scored two goals. Molly Kelly deflected a Cravinho shot for another goal and Reaghan Baldasaro also scored off a Cravinho pass.
There could’ve been even more goals. Madison Streeter put six shots on goal, and came up empty. Kelly and Marchica also had good chances taken away by Middlebury goalie Bridget Audet.
Baldasaro got her second goal, and the team’s 100th goal of the season, with 55 seconds left in the game. It was the second most suspenseful moment, the first being when would BF get its first goal. That question was answered with 23:02 left in the first half, when Marchica scored.
It was a totally dominating performance for the Terriers, who have allowed only four goals all season. Once again, goalie Emily Lober did not face a shot.
BF then beat No. 4 Burr & Burton, 3-0, in the Division II semifinals at Middlebury College on Oct. 30. Now 16-0 and riding a 39-game winning streak dating back to the 2015 season, we’ll more details on that victory, and the Terriers’ bid for a third straight state title this weekend, in next week’s Commons.
• No.7 Brattleboro came oh-so-close to pulling off an upset against No. 2 Spaulding in a Division II quarterfinal in Barre on Oct. 27 before losing to the Crimson Tide, 3-2.
Spaulding’s Ali Ahearn scored first in the seventh minute. But Brattleboro Kayla Leonard-Houle tied the game up a minute later, assisted by Kharisma Boyd.
Kalin Noble gave the Colonels a 2-1 lead when she scored in the 17th minute, but Ahearn struck again — first with a goal off a penalty corner, and then converting a penalty shot — to give the Tide the lead to stay.
Spaulding had a 20-4 advantage in penalty corners, but goalie Natalya Forkin made 13 saves and kept the Colonels in the game.
Three days earlier, Brattleboro beat No. 10 Springfield, 2-0, in a first-round game played at the BFUHS field. Boyd and Leonard-Houle were the goal scorers for the Colonels.
The Colonels finished 5-11 in their first season in Division II, but the team played better than it had in years. Field hockey is definitely on the upswing in Brattleboro.
Wildcat boys reach semis; girls fall in quarterfinals
• Third-seeded Twin Valley easily dispatched No. 14 Oxbow, 3-0, in a Division III first-round boys’ soccer playoff on Oct. 24 at Hayford Field.
Colin McHale scored in the 30th and 75th minutes, while James McGovern got a goal in the 33rd minute. Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn (three saves) and Logan Boyd (one save) were in net for the Wildcats. Oxbow goalkeeper Orin Mahikoa made 18 saves to keep it close.
The Wildcats had a tougher time of it in the quarterfinals against sixth-seeded BFA-Fairfax. Jack McHale scored the game’s only goal with 28 seconds left in regulation to give Twin Valley a 1-0 win at Hayford Field on Oct. 28.
Dylan Howe set up the winning goal with a long throw-in and goalkeeper Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn made four saves as Twin Valley posted its 11th shutout of the season. BFA goalkeeper Isaac Collins made 15 saves. BFA’s best scoring chance came late in the second half when Jake Millette’s 20-yard kick hit the cross bar.
With the win over BFA-Fairfax, Twin Valley has made it to the semifinals for the seventh straight year. However, since moving up into Division III in 2015, they have not been able to get past Stowe, which is vying for its sixth straight state title.
The Wildcats lost the title game to Stowe in 2015, and lost in the semis in 2016. They hope their luck will be different on Oct. 31, when they are scheduled to travel to No. 2 Stowe (12-1-1) for a semifinal.
• The No. 8 Twin Valley girls’ soccer team edged ninth-seeded Sharon Academy, 1-0, in a Division IV playdown on Oct. 25 at Hayford Field. Freshman Jayden Crawford made three saves to pick up the win in her first varsity start in goal. Jordan Bolognani got the game-winning goal just a minute into the second-half. It was the first playoff victory for the Wildcats since 2013.
Twin Valley then faced the top-seeded Arlington Eagles in the quarterfinals on Oct. 28 and lost, 3-1. Tess Belnap got two goals for the Eagles, and Lilah Ward added another goal. The 5-10-1 Wildcats’ only goal came off a direct kick by Tatyanna Bowman.
Rebel teams fall in quarterfinals
• Townshend was soccer town on Oct. 25. Heavy rain the day before cancelled the boys’ game, and gave Leland & Gray’s fans a rare treat — two playoff soccer games running concurrently.
On the lower field, the fifth-seeded boys scored seven goals in the first 28 minutes and shut out the No. 12 Richford Falcons, 8-0.
The upper field had the more dramatic match, as the No. 7 Leland & Gray girls rallied from a 3-2 deficit to force overtime. After two 15-minute overtimes, the game remained tied, 3-3, and the Rebels survived a dramatic penalty kick sequence to beat No. 10 Randolph, 2-1.
• The Rebel boys kept constant pressure on Richford as the freshman trio of Riley Barton, Matt Emerson, and Liam Towle scored two goals each. By the time the Rebels’ star midfielder, Pat McDonald, scored the seventh goal in the 29th minute, the games was all but over.
Unfortunately for Richford, they had to play the full 80 minutes, and even though the Rebels used their reserves the rest of the way and mostly passed the ball around the midfield, the visitors could not muster a single goal. Aiden McCormack got his first varsity goal in the 78th minute to close out the scoring for the Rebels.
• In the girls’ game, freshman forward Ellie Longo scored all three Rebels’ goals in regulation time, with sophomore midfielder Arin Bates assisting on all three of them. Longo scored twice in the first half, and got the goal that forced overtime with 12:59 to play.
Leland & Gray got the bulk of the scoring chances in overtime, but it came down to penalty kicks to settle it as the light was fading. Rebels coach Lucas Bates made an important decision as the sequence began, that Longo was more valuable as a goalkeeper than as a shooter.
Randolph’s Rielle Brassard and Leland & Gray’s Erin Cutts both converted their kicks. But Brassard’s shot would be the last one that got into the net for Randolph. Longo, who replaced starting goalkeeper Kelsi Bostrom, saved shots by Randolph’s Emily Grady, Tricia Eaccarino, and Bailey Wing.
Randolph goalkeeper Kiara Nonemacher was also putting up zeros. After Bay Holmes hit the crossbar and Mariah Hazzard missed the net, Nonemacher stopped a shot by Sierra Fillion to keep it a 1-1 tie. But Randolph’s Shea Fordham missed her kick, and Arin Bates did not. Bates’ blast to the left corner would be the game-winner as she was mobbed by teammates and fans afterward.
• The Rebel boys had a considerably tougher game on Oct. 27 against the No. 4 Peoples Wolves in Morrisville, and lost, 2-1.
Peoples also had an easy first-round game, as they dismantled Bellows Falls, 8-2, in Morrisville on Oct. 25. The Wolves scored their first goal 14 seconds into the match and overwhelmed the Terriers. Goalkeeper Riley Daniels made 14 for BF, who finished the season with a 1-13-1 record.
After a scoreless first half in the quarterfinal match, the Rebels got the first goal in the 66th minute when Patrick McDonald converted a penalty kick after he was tackled in the box. Max Carr got the equalizer for the Wolves just three minutes later, and scored the game-winner in the 70th minute.
Peoples advances to the semifinals, where they face top-seeded Winooski (15-0) on Oct. 31. The winner of that match will play the winner of Twin Valley/Stowe semifinal for the state championship this Saturday at the BFUHS field in Westminster.
• No. 2 Thetford knocked out the Rebel girls, 3-0, in a quarterfinal match on Oct. 27. Casey MacVeagh had a goal and two assists for the Panthers, and goalkeeper Danielle Robinson made 10 saves.
The Rebels ended their season at 9-7.
Early exits from playoffs
• No. 5 Middlebury edged 12th-seeded Brattleboro, 2-1, in a Division I boys’ soccer first-round playoff on Oct. 25. Camden Simpson and JD Goettelmann both scored for the Tigers, with Goettelmann’s game-winning shot coming in the 58th minute.
Alex Lier scored for the Colonels, who finished with a 5-9-1 record. Brattleboro goalkeeper Emmett Dews made eight saves.
• Top-seeded Green Mountain overwhelmed the 16th-seeded Bellows Falls Terriers, 10-1, in a Division III girls’ soccer first-round playoff in Chester on Oct. 25.
Paige Karl scored four goals and Avery Prescott had a hat trick to lead the undefeated Chieftains. Lexi White, Micah White and Hannah Buffum also scored. Leanna Mager got BF’s lone goal in the second half.
GM later shut out Windsor, 2-0, to advance to the Division III semifinals.
Ski & Skate Sale at the Rec
• The annual Phil & Mary Dunham Ski, Skate, Snowboard, & Hockey Equipment Sale, directed by the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department and the Brattleboro Outing Club, will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, from 8 to 11 a.m., at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St.
If you are interested in selling or buying snowboards, skis, ski boots, poles, and bindings (both downhill and cross country), skates, all winter sports clothing and hockey equipment, this is the event for you. People who wish to enter items in the sale must bring them to the Gibson Aiken Center, Friday, Nov. 3, between noon and 7 p.m., only.
Any winter sport article can be listed for sale, but only 20 items per person will be accepted. Equipment brought in for the sale will be checked for DIN numbers. This means that sports shops might not service those items without a DIN number. Equipment that does not have a DIN number will be marked with a red dot on the price tag.
All those who displayed articles in the sale must return to the Gibson-Aiken Center on Monday, Nov. 6, between noon and 6 p.m. If you have any questions, contact the Recreation & Parks Department Office at 802-254-5808.