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Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons

Brattleboro linebacker Jack Gagnon (23) intercepts a pass intended for St. Johnsbury tight end Brodie Talbot (82) during the second quarter of their football game on Sept. 9 in Brattleboro,


Hilltoppers spoil Colonels’ football opener, 28-12

Brattleboro football coach Chad Pacheco adopted the motto “Win The Day,” for his team. The Colonel booster club handed out white “rally towels” printed with that motto to fans at the home opener at Natowich Field last Friday.

But it was the visiting team, the St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers, who won the day with a strong second half in a 28-12 victory over the Colonels.

Ill-timed penalties and so-so tackling did in the Colonels, who had a chance to win this game because the Hilltoppers also committed a bunch of ill-timed penalties in the first half.

“We faced a good team, but without a doubt, we had plenty of chances,” said Pacheco. “We shot ourselves in the foot all through the game.”

Clinging to an 8-0 lead at the half, the Hilltoppers scored on their first possession of the second half, then successfully recovered an onside kick and quickly scored a second touchdown to take a 22-0 lead with 7:32 left in the third quarter.

Brattleboro made it interesting with a pair of touchdowns by running back Cheick Diakite — on runs of one and 26 yards — to get within 22-12 with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. But a 10-yard touchdown run by Hilltopper quarterback Collin Urie with 4:52 left clinched it.

Urie did it all. He was 10-of-18 through the air for 134 yards and a touchdown, and he ran the ball 22 times for 168 yards and two more touchdowns.

After sitting out the first game with a knee sprain, Diakite carried the ball 18 times for 113 yards to lead the Brattleboro offense. Quarterback Tony Martinez, back from a one-game suspension, completed 4 of his 10 passes for 21 yards and ran 14 times for 40 yards. Linebacker Jack Gagnon had the defensive highlight for the night with a second quarter interception.

The Hilltoppers improved to 2-0, while the Colonels fell to 0-2 and face another tough opponent this Friday night when they travel to Middlebury.

Terriers crush Mt. Abe

• Quarterback Caleb Lisai threw for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Terriers rolled over Mount Abraham, 39-14, last Friday night in Bristol.

Running back Logan Cota chipped in with 79 passing yards and one touchdown. Fullback Jacob Streeter had an 87-yard touchdown catch and tight end Liam Hackett reeled in an 80-yard touchdown catch.

Tailback Jahyde Bullard had a team-high 76 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns for the Terriers.

Now 2-0, BF hosts North Country at Hadley Field this Friday night at 7.

Girls’ soccer

• Leland & Gray senior forward Ashley Bates scored five goals against Mount St. Joseph in the Rebels’ first girls’ soccer game of the season.

On Sept. 7 in Townshend, Twin Valley coach Chris Walling and his players were determined that Bates would not have a repeat of that career performance.

The Wildcats kept Bates off the scoring sheet for 80 minutes of regulation play, but she came through with the winning goal in overtime in a 4-3 thriller between two evenly matched rivals.

The final score was not indicative of the way the game was played. Leland & Gray kept the ball mostly in the Twin Valley end of the field and put 18 shots on goal, yet Twin Valley pushed the game into overtime by taking advantage of any defensive lapses by the Rebels.

“Chris knows how we play, and knows the way to score on us is to counterattack,” said Rebels coach Lucas Bates. “Twin Valley kept their heart in it, right into the overtime.”

Leland & Gray took an early 2-0 lead as senior midfielders Jessie Stockwell and Rachel Borgesen scored in the first eight minutes of the game, but Twin Valley senior midfielder Caitlin Hunt tied the game with goals in the 18th minute and the 30th minute.

The teams were deadlocked 2-2 at the half, and the match stayed tied until Borgesen scored midway through the second half.

“We knew they were going to mark Ashley, but there’s a lot of other skilled players on this team,” said coach Bates. “Rachel’s normally a defender, but she adapted well to playing in the midfield and gave us two goals today.”

But when the Rebels thought they had the win sewn up in regulation time, Twin Valley senior midfielder Karlee Walkowiak scored with four minutes left in the game.

“It seems like every game we play against each other, someone scores late to give us overtime,” said Walling. “But how we played was dictated by what they were doing. Leland & Gray clogged up the middle of the field on defense, so we needed to counterattack to get our goals.”

In the overtime, it was Ashley Bates and the Rebels who had the best chances. She used her speed to get open and take a 25-yarder that clanged off the crossbar in the 84th minute.

Two minutes later, she took a through pass into the box from her sister, freshman midfielder Arin Bates, and gently tapped into the right corner of the net out of the reach of Wildcat goalkeeper Celia Betit for the game-winner.

“It was a tough miss on the first try,” said coach Bates, “but she figured out that she didn’t need to blast the ball to get it over the line.”

• Brattleboro ran into a buzz saw when they faced Division I runner-up Burr & Burton in the opening game of the Lady Patriot Tournament in Bennington on Sept. 8.

The Bulldogs outshot Brattleboro, 19-6, and generally dominated play in a 7-0 win over the Colonels.

• Bellows Falls had a rough afternoon against Long Trail, giving up eight goals in the first half on the way to a 11-2 loss at home on Sept. 6, Briana Donahue got both of the Terriers’ goals.

It didn’t get better when the Terriers hosted Twin Valley last Friday. Hunt and Walkowiak both scored three goals as the Wildcats rolled to a 9-1 win. Brianna Donahue scored her third goal of the season for BF in the second half.

Goalkeepers Grace Rizio and Betit combined for eight saves for the 2-1 Wildcats, while Madi Pencek had 14 saves for the 0-3 Terriers.

Boys’ soccer

• Brattleboro coach Paul Sather says it is tough for young players “to gain their soccer IQ” in just a season or two. “We’re a young team learning to play,” he said. “Games are the best teacher.”

The lesson learned the Colonels’ 3-1 loss to Mount Anthony on Sept. 8 was a simple one — if you make a lot of mistakes against a skilled team, you will probably lose.

Mount Anthony got the first two goals. Josh Comalli scored six minutes into the game, then, in the 23rd minute, a throw-in by Ben Winslow deflected off a Brattleboro defender for an own goal. But Brattleboro cut the lead in half when Tanner Bell found the net in the 38th minute to make it 2-1 at the half. Ian Fulton-Black’s crossing pass set up Bell’s goal.

Brattleboro would get no closer as Winslow scored in the 68th minute. Great goalkeeping by Brattleboro’s Jacob Bailey kept the game from turning into a rout.

“It was pretty much back-and-forth in the second half,” said Sather. “We had a few decent chances, but we couldn’t turn them into goals.”

• Leland & Gray salvaged a 2-2 tie on the road against Proctor on Sept. 6. Patrick McDonald got both of the Rebels’ goals, while Gaige Astley and Luc Dugrenier combined for five saves in goal.

The Rebels followed that up with a 4-1 home win over BFA-Fairfax on Saturday. Pat Meyer and Bryce Karg each had one goal and one assist. Karson Petty and McDonald also scored.


• The Bellows Falls boys came in first, while he Brattleboro boys and girls each placed third in their first meet of the season, on the 3.1-mile course at Thetford Academy on Sept. 6.

Going up against Thetford and Brattleboro, the Terrier Harriers put five runners in the top 10: Cody Tallent (20:03), Nic Potter (20:42), Ian Wallace (21:39), Tim Salter-Roy (21:53), and Jackson Purdy (22:40).

The Colonel boys’ top five were led by Isaac Freitas-Eagan (18:46), followed by Spencer Loggia (20:20), Colin Costa-Walsh (20:29), Trevor Kipp (20:45), and Phelan Muller (26:06).

Sarah Gallagher (23:03) led the Colonel girls’ top five, followed by Elery Loggia (24:42), Alexandra Miskovich (25:51), Annie Takacs (25:24) and Emilia Dick-Fiora del Fabro (26:05). BF’s Liz Clark was the Terriers’ entrant, but she finished fourth in 25:07.

Field hockey

• Bellows Falls kept up its early season roll, as Abbe Cravinho and Reaghan Baldasaro each scored three goals to lead the Terriers to an 8-2 beatdown of Mount Anthony at home on Sept. 6. Molly Kelly and Dani Marchica also scored for the Terriers; Kelly and Cravinho each had two assists.

The Terriers got more of a challenge from the Springfield Cosmos, but BF came out on top, 1-0, last Friday.

Despite a 17-1 advantage in penalty corners and putting 34 shots on goal, only Kelly was able to get it into the cage. Her 10-yard strike seven minutes into the second half was the only goal that Cosmos goalie Aunna Parker gave up. She stopped the rest of BF’s shots in a stellar performance.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 2 of the fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League has Team 4 and Team 5 tied for first with 8-2 records. Team 2 (7-3) is in second place, followed by a four-way tie for third, with Team 2, Team 7, Team 6, and Team 10 with identical 5-5 records. Team 3 (4-6) is in fourth, followed by Team 8 (2-8) and Team 1 (1-9).

Team 9 had the high handicap game (896) and series (2,557). Jeanne Czuy had the women’s high handicap game (245), while Arlene Blum had high handicap series (690) and Wayne Randall had the men’s high handicap game (284) and high handicap series (712).

Wayne Randall (236) Peter Gilbert (227), and Warren Corriveau Sr. (222 and 210) had the only 200-plus games. four men rolled a 500-plus series: Randall (568), Jon Tobey (554), Gilbert (508), and Peter Cross (507). Corriveau (605) had the lone 600-plus series for the second straight week.

Youth bowling sign-ups

• Brattleboro Bowl on Putney Road has begun sign-ups for its youth bowling league. The league, which meets Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., runs from Oct. 4 to Dec. 6 and is for bowlers of all abilities between the ages of 5 and 18.

The weekly cost is $6 for those who prefer bumpers, $8 for all others. The price includes shoe rental. Youth awards, coaching, and an end-of-season party are also included.

With bowling making its debut this year in Brattleboro as a high school varsity sport, it never too soon to start learning to bowl and become a future Colonel Kegler. Stop by Brattleboro Bowl or call 802-257-1177 and ask for Kim to get more information.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #374 (Wednesday, September 14, 2016). This story appeared on page D4.

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