Their place in the 7-on-7 touch football playoffs secure, all that was left for the Brattleboro Colonels to do was to win the regular season finale against their Route 9 rivals, the Mount Anthony Patriots.
But the Patriots didn’t follow that script. Instead, senior quarterback Caleb Hay rallied his team from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to spoil Senior Night for the Colonels with a wild 34-31 victory on Oct. 23 at Natowich Field.
In a normal season, this rivalry game would have been played for the Elwell Trophy, the prize that goes to the winner. Since this is far from a normal season thanks to COVID-19, the schools decided to put a hold on the tradition until tackle football returns.
The coronavirus also put a big crimp in the atmosphere. Instead of hundreds of fans from both schools filling the stands and lined up around the fences, attendance was limited to 150 masked and socially distanced fans who reserved their spots in advance.
About the only thing that was normal was the pre-game ceremony that honored seniors Trinley Warren, Henry Thurber, Jordan Warner, Lucas Dlubac, Gavin Howard, Spencer Lawrence, Cobe Mager, Nick Lawrence, Alex Kendall, and Elijah Isham.
After the flowers and hugs, it was time for football and the Colonels got down to business quickly in the first as Kendall and Spencer Lawrence caught touchdown passes for a 14-0 lead. The Patriots responded with touchdown catches from Jack Ware and Broderick Bossong to tie the game, 14-14, at the half.
Brattleboro got the lead back at the start of the third quarter with a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Devin Speno to Kendall, followed by a 31-yard field goal by Reed Sargent to make it 24-14 with 4:28 left in the quarter.
The Patriots countered with a touchdown grab by Hayden Gaudette, but Mager responded with a TD catch in the final seconds of the third quarter. It was 31-21 Brattleboro heading into the fourth quarter.
Mount Anthony would shut out the Colonels in the final quarter and Hay connected with Austin Grogan and Kaiden Simpson to complete the comeback effort. The big senior quarterback went 19-for-26 for 305 yards and four TDs.
Speno threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns, while Thurber threw for 117 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Mager had six catches for 133 yards and Kendall had seven catches for 113 yards.
Earlier in the week, the Colonels suffered a 28-24 road loss to the Hartford Hurricanes on Oct. 28. Brattleboro failed on all four of their point-after attempts, accounting for the Hurricanes’ margin of victory. Thurber threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns, while Speno threw for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Warren was the leading receiver with three catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Spencer Lawrence had a 30-yard TD catch, and Mager, Aaron Petrie, and Josh Curtis each had three catches for 65, 40, and 25 yards, respectively. Howard, Isham, and Chad Sawyer each caught a pass.
Colin Vielleux and Cole Jasmin each threw for two touchdowns to lead the Hurricanes to their seventh straight win.
Brattleboro (6-3) will host a semifinal playoff game in the Hartford Regional playoffs this Friday night.
Terriers sweep Cosmos
• It’s not been a happy touch football season for Bellows Falls, but the Terriers salvaged a good deal of pride last week by taking a pair of games from their rivals, the Springfield Cosmos.
On Oct. 20 in Springfield, the Terriers earned the first victory of the season with a 21-14 win at Brown Field. Caden Haskell, Max Hooke, and Logan Lisai all caught touchdown passes.
In the rematch on Oct. 23 at Hadley Field, BF prevailed, 28-24. Lisai, Jake Moore, Harrison Gleim and Jack Burke also caught a touchdown pass for the Terriers, and Jeb Monier kicked four extra points.
At press time, the No. 4 Terriers were set to host No. 5 Woodstock in a Hartford Division quarterfinal on Oct. 27.
• For the seventh straight season, Bellows Falls reached the semifinals as the Terriers defeated No. 8 Burlington, 4-1, in a Division I quarterfinal on Oct. 23 in Westminster.
After a scoreless first half, the Terriers scored three unanswered goals. Maya Waryas scored off a rebound, Ariana Wunderle knocked in a goal inside the circle, and then Waryas scored once more to put BF in control for good.
Burlington’s Ava Kahl later broke up the shutout bid, but BF’s Ashlin Maxfield got the goal back with 31 seconds to play.
BF goaltender Jaia Caron made six saves to get the win, while Burlington goaltender Rukiya Awalyle made seven saves to hold the Terriers scoreless in the first 40 minutes of the game.
The 9-0 Terriers will host No. 4 South Burlington (5-2-1) in an Oct. 27 semifinal at 3:30 p.m. BF has defeated the Wolves in each of the last two tournaments.
• Brattleboro’s season ended on Oct. 20 with a 4-1 loss in a Division II first-round playoff game against Hartford in White River Junction.
The ninth-seeded Colonels tried their best, but the eighth-seeded Hurricanes had too much firepower on offense. Hartford took a 3-0 lead in the second quarter before Brattleboro’s Kiera Noble broke up the shutout bid with a goal set up by Katryna Jarvis just before halftime.
Brittney Wright made 19 saves for the Colonels, who finished with a 2-7 record and will be losing nine seniors to graduation: Noble, Jarvis, Rosie Carignan, Maddie Johnson, Lacy Slade, Mya Bailey, MaKenna Severance, Nina Belliveau, and Kaylyn Bailey.
• Twin Valley is on its customary late October roll as the Wildcats set their sights on another Division IV state championship.
On Oct. 20 in North Clarendon, Twin Valley beat up Mill River, 9-3. Finn Fisher had two goals and four assists, Colin McHale added two goals, and Aiden Joyce, Cody Magnant, Luke Rizio, Aaron Soskin, and Izaak Park each scored. Liam Wendell made four saves to pick up the win.
Under the lights at Hayford Field on Oct. 23, McHale scored a pair of goals as Twin Valley beat Bellows Falls, 4–1.
Aaron Soskin and Matt Hammond also scored for the 7-1 Wildcats, while Luke Rizio had an assist. Jack Cravinho got the lone goal for the 4-6 Terriers, assisted by Ross Mackinnon. Goalkeeper Liam Wendell made three saves for the Wildcats, while BF’s Bayley Sbardellati stopped 16 shots.
• Brattleboro has been making a habit of drama-filled finishes in their games this season. On Senior Night at Natowich Field on Oct, 20, the Colonels added another thriller to list when Alex Lier scored with four minutes left in the second overtime for a 2-1 win over the Burr & Burton Bulldogs.
Ayoub Lahjar, who assisted on the game-winning goal, also had a hand in Brattleboro’s other goal. In the 70th minute, Lahar’s free kick was stopped by the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper. Magnus vonKrusenstiern followed up the rebound and and tucked it into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Burr & Burton got the equalizer five minutes later, setting up the overtime heroics by Lier and Lahjar.
The Colonels lost the regular season finale to Burr & Burton, 3-2, on Oct. 22 to finish with a 6-4 record.
• Leland & Gray shut out Stratton Mountain School, 5-0, on Oct. 20 in Townshend. Riley Barton scored three goals to lead the Rebels, Matt Emerson and Jeremy Graves each added a goal, and goalkeeper Hunter Fillion earned his fourth shutout in six games.
The Rebels dropped a 2-1 decision to visiting Green Mountain on Oct. 24. They finished the regular season at 4-2-1.
• Bellows Falls enjoyed its Senior Day with a 7-0 beatdown of Springfield on Oct. 19. Jamison Nystrom scored two goals and Cravinho, Sbardellati, Elijah Ghia, Owen Edwards, and Elliott Graham all added goals.
• Casey Conkling made Brattleboro’s senior night a happy one when she took a crossing pass from CC Allembert and booted in the only goal of the game in the 51st minute in a 1-0 victory over Leland & Gray on Oct. 19 at Natowich Field.
Brattleboro goalkeeper Bella Powell made four saves to earn the shutout win, while Rebels goalkeeper Makaila Morse stopped nine shots to keep it a close game.
• Leland & Gray lost at Rivendell, 2-1, on Oct. 21 as they finished the regular season at 3-6.
• Bellows Falls fell to Windsor, 3-1, on Oct. 20. The visitors got a pair of early goals from Evelyn Page before BF’s Emma Graham cut the lead in half with a goal in the 33rd minute that was assisted by Maggie Parker.
The Terriers could not get any closer as Elliott Rupp got an insurance goal for Windsor just two minutes later. BF goalkeeper Corina Mitchell made 15 saves.
BF beat Twin Valley, 5-4, in the regular season finale on Oct. 24. Twin Valley wrapped up the regular season at 2-8, while BF is 2-7.
• Bellows Falls runner Abby Broadley seems to be peaking at just the right time. In a race on her home course on Oct. 21, she broke the course record she set earlier this month with a new time for the 5K trail of 17 minutes, 58 seconds.
Broadley will defend her individual state title in Division III, and help the Terrier girls defend their Division III team title, at the Vermont State Championships on Oct. 31 at Thetford Academy.
• The Brattleboro girls finished third behind Mount Anthony and Rutland in a three-team meet in Bennington on Oct. 20.
Rutland’s Helen Culpon was the winner in 23 minutes, 2 seconds. Placing in the top 25 for the Colonel girls were Hazel Wagner (second in 23:30), Cearra O’Hern (14th in 28:35), Priya Kitzmiller (21st in 32:55), and Anna Cummings (22nd in 32:58).
In the boys’ race, Brattleboro finished second to Rutland and ahead of Mount Anthony. Rutland’s Brady Geisler was the individual winner in 17:47. Tenzin Mathes (fourth in 19:13), led the Colonels, followed by Nolan Holmes (fifth in 19:19), Ben Luna (10th in 20:45), Jonah Bingham (11th in 20:49), and Max Lampe (13th in 20:55).
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 4 (28.5-11.5) went 1-4 but still remains in first place after Week 8 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl. Team 6 (27-13) went 4-1 and is now close behind in second place, followed by Team 1 (21-19), Team 3 (19.5-20.5), Team 5 (17-23), and Team 2 (11-29).
Sally Perry had the women’s high handicap game (240), while Doris LaFortune had the high handicap series (659). Wayne Randall again had the men’s high handicap game (242) and series (670). Team 5 had the high team handicap game (927), while Team 6 had the team high handicap series (2,536).
In scratch scoring, Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 224 game as part of his 589 series to the lead the men. Randall had a 200 game as part of his 544 series. Jerry Dunham also rolled a 200 in his 539 series, and Robert Rigby had a 190 games as part of his 530 series.
Josie Rigby had the high scratch series of 491 to lead the women. She also had the high scratch game with a 183.