It doesn’t happen often, but both Leland & Gray soccer teams were playing at home, with both games kicking off at the same hour on Sept. 6.
The Rebel boys played their home opener on the main field against the Twin Valley Wildcats, and came up short in a 3-1 loss.
The Rebel girls played Arlington on the softball field — which has a shorter, narrower set-up than the main field on the baseball diamond —and rolled to an 8-1 win.
For the families with players on both Rebel teams, and for this photographer, the top of the embankment that separates the two fields was the place to be. You can watch both games, although your neck will get sore from swiveling between the action on each field.
• In the girls’ game, Leland & Gray broke open a close contest with six goals in the second half.
Ellie Longo (12th minute) and Erin Bates (19th minute) scored to give the Rebels a 2-0 halftime lead. Bates began the second-half scoring blitz in the 53rd minute by converting a penalty kick. Longo added two more goals in the 65th and 66th minutes, while Bay Holmes, Ayla Ryan, and Hannah Landers also scored in the final 14 minutes of the game.
Abby Towle picked up two assists, and Landers, Kate Petty, and Ainsley Meyer each had an assist. Audrey Robinson had the Eagles’ only goal in the 65th minute to spoil the shutout bid by Rebels goalkeeper Sydney Hescock, who finished with seven saves.
• In the boys’ game, it was the visitors who had the dominating performance as Twin Valley had lots of quality chances against the Rebels.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute as Colin McHale knocked in a corner kick from Lucas Messing. In the 37th minute, Messing scored in transition, set up by a pass from Jack McHale.
In the 52nd minute, a corner kick by Owen Grinold went off Rebels goalkeeper Quinn Kelloway and the ball caromed into the net.
Leland & Gray defensive back Jordan Persson broke up the shut out when he scored on a direct kick in the 77th minute.
“We defended well, but we didn’t finish on offense as well as we could have,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “There were a lot of shots that were off-target and plays that didn’t happen.”
“They are a little further ahead than we are,” said Rebels coach Chris Barton of the 2-0 Wildcats. “We don’t have a lot of experience in the back of our defense, but I think we can improve as the season goes along.”
• For the first time since 2002, Brattleboro played a football game against Windsor. However, after a 61-12 thrashing at the hands of the Colonels on Sept. 7 at MacLeay-Royce Field, it might be another 17 years before the Yellowjackets will want to take on Brattleboro.
There was little suspense as the Division II Colonels dominated the Division III Jacks from start to finish.
Chris Frost capped off a three-play scoring drive with a 48-yard touchdown run. Conrad Auerbach’s extra point was blocked for a 6-0 lead just 39 seconds into the game.
A bad snap on a punt attempt by Windsor gave the ball to the Colonels on the Jacks’ 26. Millerick quickly made Windsor pay for the mistake with a 13-yard pass to Henry Thurber, followed by a 13-yard touchdown pass to Auerbach. A 2-point conversion attempt failed, but it was now 12-0 with 8:41 left in the first quarter.
Windsor looked like it was going to get it together on offense as running backs Caleb Meager, Jackson Davis, and Connor Hart ran the ball and got it down to the Colonels’ 30 yard line before the drive stalled out.
After a Colonels drive was stopped by the Jacks defense, Meager ended the shutout bid with a 42-yard touchdown run up the middle of the field. A 2-point conversion attempt failed, but Windsor cut the lead to 12-6 with 1:08 remaining in the first.
Brattleboro then snuffed out any idea of a comeback with a two-play scoring drive. First, Millerick connected on a 40 yard pass to Aaron Petrie. Then Millerick faked a handoff to Frost, and ran 30 yards up the middle for a touchdown. With Auerbach’s extra point, it was now 19-6 with 35 seconds left in the quarter.
Again, Windsor turned to the ground game to get some points, but the Colonels defense stopped them, and the offense again quickly scored when it got the ball back. This time, it was a 42-yard touchdown pass from Millerick to Frost. Sargent, who was 7-for-7 on point-after kicks against BF the previous week, took over the placekicking duties and booted the first of six straight point-after kicks. It was now 26-6 with 7:18 left in the first half.
In the final three minutes, the teams traded scores. Another touchdown run, this time for 19 yards, by Millerick, and Windsor quarterback Max Clifford’s score on a 1-yard sneak closed out the half with the Colonels in charge, 33-12.
The second half was all Brattleboro as the bigger and faster Colonels wore down the Jacks. Frost scored two more touchdowns, on an 8-yard run and on a 25-yard pass reception from Millerick, to make it 47-12 at the midpoint of the third quarter.
After that, Thurber took over as quarterback and Timmy Velasquez relieved Frost at running back, but the points kept on coming. Velasquez scored his first varsity touchdown on a 3-yard run as the lead increased to 54-12 with 1:23 left in the third.
The remainder of the game was played with a running clock and reserves on both sides. Thurber would score the game’s final touchdown on a 22-yard run with 4:51 to play.
Brattleboro piled up 576 yards of total offense, led once again by Frost and Millerick. Frost had three receptions for 105 yards and ran for 99 yards. Millerick had a 10-for-16 day passing, throwing for 247 yards and rushing for 118 yards. Petrie had four catches for 97 yards.
The 2-0 Colonels host U-32 in their home opener on Friday at 7 p.m. at Natowich Field.
• After getting thrashed by Brattleboro in their opening game, the Bellows Falls Terriers took out their frustration on the Mount Anthony Patriots with a 35-14 win on Sept. 7 at Hadley Field.
The Patriots had a lead at the start of the third quarter, but BF came roaring back with three straight touchdowns. The running game that struggled against the Colonels had success against MAU, as the Terriers piled up 340 yards of rushing.
Now 1-1, the Terriers travel to Fair Haven for a Friday night contest.
• Fair Haven spoiled Brattleboro’s home opener and the varsity coaching debut of Anna Kayes on Sept. 3 with a 4-0 win at Tenney Field.
The Slaters led 2-0 at the half, as Megan Ezzo scored two goals and assisted on another, while Emma Briggs had a goal and two assists and Brittany Love had a goal and an assist.
Slaters goalkeeper Emma Ezzo, Megan’s twin sister, stopped all five of the Brattleboro shots she faced. Eliya Petrie finished with five saves in goal for the 0-1 Colonels.
• Leland & Gray blitzed Twin Valley, 7-1, in the opener for both teams in Townshend on Sept. 3. Erin Bates scored three goals, Abby Towle added two goals, and Ainsley Henderson had a goal and an assist.
Ayla Ryan also scored for the Rebels and Hannah Landers and Emma O’Brien had assists. The Rebels led 4-0 at halftime as starting goalkeeper Sydney Hescock did not face a shot on goal. Her understudy, Halee Cole, was in goal for the second half and made one save.
Kylie Reed got Twin Valley’s only goal in the second half.
• Jay Cudworth had a successful debut as the new coach of the Brattleboro boys’ soccer team on Sept. 5 as the Colonels’ shut out the Woodstock Wasps, 2-0, at Tenney Field.
Both of the Colonels goals came in the second half. Luke Williams scored in the 49th minute, and Nick Campbell added the second goal in the 72nd minute. Freshman goalkeeper Paul McGillion had two saves to win his debut game in goal.
• There won’t be an undefeated season for the Bellows Falls Terriers. Their 58-game winning streak came to an end on Sept. 4 with a 4-3 home loss to the Windsor Yellowjackets.
Maya Waryas, Meagan Kelly, and Ariana Wunderle were the goal scorers for BF. Goalie Abby Joslyn kept the Terriers in the game with another outstanding effort under constant pressure by Windsor.
• Morgan LaPorte scored two goals as Otter Valley cruised to a 4-0 victory over Brattleboro on Sept. 6 at Tenney Field.
Alia Edmunds added a goal and two assists and Brittney Jackson also scored for the Otters.
• Bellows Falls, the defending Division III girls’ champions, started a new season with a win in a multi-team meet on the BFUHS course in Westminster on Sept. 3. Sophomore Abby Broadley was the girls’ winner in a time of 18 minutes, 52 seconds.
Steph Ager (19:53) finished third, Victoria Bassette (21:19) was fifth, Ashlynn Boucher (22:23) came in 10th, and Abby Dearborn (22:52) was close behind in 11th to clinch first place in the opening meet.
Woodstock won the boys’ team event with 45 points. Tim Salter-Roy was seventh overall in 18:22 to lead the BF boys. Bram Tabachnik (19:01) finished in 10th to lead Brattleboro.
Also participating in the meet were runners from Green Mountain, Hartford, Sharon Academy, Springfield, Thetford, and Windsor.
Senior bowling roundup
• The fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League began last week at Brattleboro Bowl. Team 4, Team 5, Team 1, and Team 11 (all 5-0) are tied for first place. Team 8 (4-1) is in fifth, followed by Team 10 (3-2), Team 9 (2-3), Team 7 (1-4), and Team 3, Team 6, and Team 2 (all 0-5).
Lorraine Taylor had the women’s high handicap game (244) and series (660), while Les Wigdor had the men’s high handicap game (254) and series (655). Team 10 had the high team handicap game (876) and series (2,452).
In scratch scoring, Warren Corriveau Sr. rolled a 214 and a 187 to lead the men with a 570 series. Wigdor rolled a 219 as part of his 550 series, while Robert Rigby had a 188 game as part of his 539 series. Gary Montgomery (531) and Wayne Randall (508) also had a 500-plus series.
Josie Rigby had the women’s top scratch game scores of 197 and 182, part of her 558 series. Taylor rolled a 180 game.