It was Senior Night on Oct. 12 at Hadley Field, as the Bellows Falls football team honored the families of the 17 seniors on this year’s Terriers squad.
But it was also a night that provided a peak what to expect in the Division II playoffs. In a hard-fought, hard-hitting grudge match, the Fair Haven Slaters escaped with a 17-16 win over the Terriers in one of the most exciting football games played in Vermont this season.
There was a lot on the line in this game. Both teams came in with 5-1 records. Both teams had their only loss at the hands of Burr & Burton. And whomever won had inside track at the No. 2 seed and home field advantage through the Division II semifinals.
Most of all, it was a chance for BF to avenge the 46-20 loss to the Slaters in the 2017 state championship game.
But the pregame buzz centered on Slaters senior quarterback Cam Coloutti. He was 31-for-38 and threw for eight TDs and 640 yards — numbers that you don’t normally see in Vermont high school football — in a 62-42 win over U-32 on Oct. 5.
But BF’s traditional power running game can also generate a lot of points. The Terriers entered the Fair Haven game having scored 46 or more points four times.
The BF strategy in the game was simple. On offense, hold on the ball as long as possible and keep Coloutti off the field. On defense, pressure Coloutti and either sack him or make him rush his throws.
It almost worked for the Terriers. They controlled the ball for most of the first half, including a 98-yard scoring drive that was set up by an interception BF’s Sam Mellish at the goal line with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
BF marched up the field and capped that long drive with a five-yard TD run by running back Jed Lober. A two-point conversion pass from quarterback Griffin Waryas to tight end Noah Rawling put the Terriers in front, 8-0, with 5:57 left in the first half.
The Slaters quickly responded as Coloutti threw a 10-yard TD pass to Aaron Szabo. Parker Morse’s point-after kick made 8-7 with 3:18 left in the half.
A one-point lead was not going to last against a team as explosive as Fair Haven. And, sure enough, the Slaters came out firing at the start of the second half. But Slaters coach Brian Grady made a curious choice. He elected to have Morse kick a 25-yard field goal and instead of going for it on fourth down. The kick was good, and the Slaters had a 10-8 lead with 9:54 left in the third quarter.
It took a while for BF to snap back, but after Aiden Smith recovered a Coloutti fumble early in the fourth quarter, the Terriers put together a second scoring drive. Waryas scored with a one-yard plunge and Lober ran in the conversion to give BF a 16-10 lead with 8:21 to play.
BF needed some insurance points, which they never got. Fair Haven would get the ball back on the BF 20 with just over three minutes to play. Coloutti engineered the winning drive, covering 80 yards in just 1:16. He got the Slaters in striking distance with a 50-yard pass to wide receiver Aubrey Ramey, and got the tying score with a jaw-dropping play.
Scrambling near the BF sideline, Coloutti somehow got off a pass just as he was being sacked. The ball floated into the waiting arms of Ramey, who caught it in traffic just over the goal line with 1:51 to play. Morse’s point after kick was good.
BF got the ball back, but couldn’t score as Ramey intercepted a Waryas pass to clinch it for the Slaters.
Now 5-2, the Terriers travel to U-32 this Friday at 7 p.m.
Colonels stop MAU
• When you haven’t won a game all season, you take your accomplishments where you can achieve them. Brattleboro may not be a playoff team, but they did do the second most-important thing a Colonels team can do — hang on to the Elwell Trophy by beating the Mount Anthony Patriots, 10-7.
Jack Price was the hero for the 1-6 Colonels, kicking a 26-yard field goal with 2:21 left in the final quarter to win the game.
The winning kick was set up by a 29-yard screen pass from quarterback Tyler Millerick to Timmy Velasquez. And a big defensive play by Alex Kendall, who recovered a fumble on MAU first play from scrimmage after the kick, preserved the win.
Millerick ran 21 times for 101 yards, and had a 7-for-13 night through the air for 96 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
It was the fifth straight year that the Colonels won the Elwell game, and it improved their record in the series to 27-18. They’ll host BFA-St. Albans at Natowich Field this Friday at 7 p.m.
• Against Rutland on Oct. 8, Bellows Falls showed that they were mortal when the Raiders became the first team this season to score a goal against the Terriers.
Of course, when Audrey Comas-Atland scored for Rutland late in the second half, BF had an 8-0 lead.
They aren’t that mortal, after all.
The 8-1 victory over Rutland was the 50th in a row for Bellows Falls, and it was a game that BF controlled from start to finish. Abbe Cravinho scored just 1:04 into the game, with an assist from Megan Banick.
Banick then scored about 90 seconds later, and it was clear what direction this game was headed in. The Terriers had a 7-0 advantage in penalty corners and build up a 7-0 lead at the half. Sophie Hyslop finished with three goals, Cravinho scored twice, and Banik, Madi Joy and Emily Harris each scored a goal.
Two days later against Mount Anthony, the Terriers beat Mount Anthony, 11-0. Molly Kelly led the way with three goals. Madison Streeter, Abby Dearborn, and Cravinho each scoresd twice, while Hyslop and Banik also scored. Alice Salter-Roy notched two assists, while Taylor Goodell, Joy, Kelly, and Streeter were also credited with assists.
• Brattleboro squandered another good effort in goal by Natalya Forkin in a 1-0 loss to Burr & Burton on Oct. 1o. The Bulldogs got the game’s only goal midway through the first half, but the Colonels could not get the equalizer.
• Twin Valley is rolling as the playoffs approach. On Oct. 10 in Wilmington, the Wildcats rolled over Windsor, 7-0. Twin Valley had a 20-0 advantage in shots on goal and completely dominated the visitors.
Logan Boyd picked up his seventh shutout of the season as the Wildcats built up a 4-0 lead at the half. The scoring was well-distributed as Jack McHale scored twice and Lucas Messing, Eric Bolognani, Casey Sibilia, Tommy Therrien, and Owen Grinold each had a goal.
The Wildcats scored seven more goals on Oct. 12 in a 7-0 rout of Springfield in Wilmington. Colin McHale scored three goals as Twin Valley finished the week at 11-0.
• Rutland denied a chance for Brattleboro to win the Marble Valley League A Division title with a 1-0 home victory over the Colonels on Oct. 9.
Andres Aguilar scored the only goal of the match late in the first half. Rutland had plenty of chances to score more goals, but Brattleboro’s defense played well and kept the Colonels in contention.
The Colonels suffered another 1-0 loss on Oct. 12, this time to Burr & Burton. Sean Lam scored the only goal of the game for the Bulldogs.
• The first time that Springfield played Bellows Falls this season on Sept. 7, the Cosmos rolled to a 6-0 win. With a rematch in Springfield on Oct. 9, the Terriers flipped the script and came away with a 2-1 win.
Freshman Jack Cravinho scored the winning goal, and assisted on BF’s first goal of the match, scored by fellow freshman Mackinnon Ross.
BF traveled to Ludlow on Oct. 12 and Black River rolled to a 9-0 win.
• Leland & Gray dropped a 2-1 decision to Burr & Burton on Oct. 10 in Townshend. Riley Barton scored the Rebels’ only goal, assisted by Rain Holmes.
• Brattleboro picked up their second win of the season with a 3-1 victory over Springfield on Oct. 10. Lauren McKenney, Hailey Derosia, and Olivia Romo were the goal scorers for the Colonels.
• Leland & Gray swept the season series with Twin Valley with a 3-0 home win over the Wildcats on Oct. 10.
Goalkeeper Sydney Hescock made six saves for the win, as Ellie Longo and Arin Bates provided the offense. Longo finished with a goal and two assists, while Bates had two goals and assisted on Longo’s tally.
• Olivia White scored three goals as Otter Valley shut out Bellows Falls, 3-0, on Oct. 9.
• The Brattleboro teams are rounding into form with the state meet in Thetford just 10 days away as the Colonels swept a Marble Valley League meet in Manchester on Oct. 9 .
The Colonel girls placed five runners in the top 15 for a team score of 28. Host team Burr & Burton was second with 38, followed by Rutland (68) and Long Trail (112). The Colonel boys had three top 10 finishers for a team score of 27. Rutland was second with 48 points and Mount Anthony was third with 50.
Sarah Gallagher won the girls race in 23 minutes, 7 seconds. Joining her in the top 15 were Bella Takacs (fifth, 24:15), Alexandra Miskovich (11th, 26:24), Liz Morse (13th, 27:01), and Ellery Loggia, (14th, 27:17).
Trevor Kipp was third to lead the Colonel boys, followed by Finn LaMorder (fifth), Evan Koch (seventh), Bram Tabachnick (13th), and Nolan Holmes (17th).
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 5 (21-9) maintained its one-game lead over Team 4 (20-10) after Week 6 of the fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl. Team 7 and Team 10 (both 19-11) are tied for third place, while Team 4 (18-12) slipped into fourth place. Team 1 and Team 9 (both 16-14) are tied for fifth, followed by Team 8 (15-15), Team 3 and Team 11 (both 13-17), and Team 6 (8-22).
Pat Bentrup had the women’s high handicap game (263) and Nancy Dalzell rolled the women’s high handicap series (704). Gary Montgomery had the men’s high handicap game (246) and Al Dascomb had the men’s high handicap series (678). Team 9 again had the high team handicap game (8877), and series (2,495).
In scratch scoring, Dazell (527) was the lone woman with a 500-plus series, while Montgomery (579), Warren Corriveau Jr. (566), and Wayne Randall (550) were the men in the 500-plus club.
Montgomery (222) and Corriveau (200) had high games for the men, while the women were led by Dazell (186), Debbie Kolpa (186), and Bentrup (185).