There are many ways to lose a football game, and the game between the Lyndon Vikings and the Brattleboro Colonels at Natowich Field on Sept. 10 featured all of them — penalties, turnovers, and sloppy play.
And yet, after seeing a 14-point lead slip away in the second half, the Colonels still had a chance to win the game in the final seconds.
Reed Sargent, who had a point-after kick blocked in the third quarter, got the opportunity to be the hero when the Colonels drove down the field in the last minute of play and set him up for a 45-yard field goal. The kick was straight, but fell just short of the crossbar as time expired to give the Vikings a 21-20 victory.
But Sargent was not the sole reason for the loss, according to Colonels coach Chad Pacheco.
“We shot ourselves in the foot all night long,” he said after the game. “Our guys didn’t quit, but it’s much nicer if you don’t make mistakes.”
Lyndon only has 23 players on their roster, but somehow managed to play a grinding, physical style in a game that asked for everything from the short-handed Vikings.
Brattleboro struck first with a 50-yard touchdown run by Cam Frost on the third play of the game. Sargent’s extra point gave the Colonels a 7-0 lead with 10:18 left in the first quarter.
Lyndon responded with a short touchdown run by quarterback Cam Berry on the first play of the second quarter, but a failed two-point conversion attempt left the Colonels with a 7-6 lead.
Aaron Petrie then reeled in a 15-yard pass from quarterback Devin Speno and Sargent’s extra kick gave the Colonels a 14-6 lead with 8:31 left in the first half. Lyndon was driving for another score late in the half, but a Petrie interception of a Berry pass with 42.3 seconds left ended the drive.
The Colonels looked like they would take control of the game in the third quarter when a Lyndon fumble set up Brattleboro in scoring position. Tristan Evans caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Speno, and the blocked extra point kick didn’t seem that big a deal as Brattleboro had a 20-6 lead with 4:08 left.
But Lyndon took advantage of two high snaps on punt attempts by the Colonels and turned both miscues into points. Short touchdown runs by Luke Dudas and Berry and a successful two-point conversion pass from Berry to Jake Sanville gave the Vikings a 21-20 lead with 7:51 left in the game.
Brattleboro got one last chance to win the game when they got the ball on their own 30-yard line with 42 seconds left. A pass interference penalty put the Colonels close to midfield and another big Petrie catch put the ball on the Lyndon 23 with 15.2 seconds left.
However, on the next play, Speno drew a penalty for intentional grounding. Petrie again bailed out the Colonels with a sideline catch to stop the clock with 3 seconds left and set up the field goal try by Sargent.
Speno finished with 199 passing yards, as Petrie had 10 catches for a total of 115 yards. Frost ran for 78 yards. Berry led the Vikings’ offense with 84 passing yards and 43 rushing yards. Dudas ran for 39 yards and Trevor Lussier had three catches for 61 yards.
It was an excruciating loss for the 0-2 Colonels, who now find themselves faced with a long bus ride to Newport this Friday night to take on North Country in a must-win game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Lyndon improved to 1-1.
Terriers romp over MAU
• Bellows Falls improved to 2-0 with a 45-14 win over Mount Anthony on Sept. 10 at Hadley Field.
Running backs Jed Lober and Harrison Gleim and quarterback Jonathan Terry each had a pair of touchdown runs for the Terriers, while Caden Haskell recovered a fumble and ran in for another BF touchdown. Lober added a two-point conversion and Jeb Monier kicked an extra point.
Bellows Falls will travel north to face Lyndon this Saturday afternoon.
• In most of their games over the past few years, the toughest opponent that the Bellows Falls field hockey team has had to face is themselves. In other words, they have to work hard at staying motivated and focused against teams that aren’t as talented.
On Sept. 8, against a Windsor team that lost 10 players to graduation and is full rebuilding mode, the Terriers took care of business with an 8-0 win in their home opener.
BF coach Bethany Coursen said she was impressed with how her team played. “They surprised me. I know they are fast and that they work hard, but they did a great job in front of the goal.”
The Terriers are also not dependent on one or two players. As they did in their opening 12-0 win against Springfield on Sept. 3, they spread the scoring around as Grace Wilkinson, Ashlynn Boucher and Sadie Scott all scored two goals each, while Maya Waryas and Ava LaRoss each added a goal.
While the Terriers dominated play, it took awhile for them to start scoring. Wilkinson got the first goal off a penalty corner with 4:10 left in the opening quarter. Waryas got the assist.
BF then all but clinched the game with two quick goals midway through the second quarter. Wilkinson popped a shot that was tipped by a defender past Windsor goalie Lindsey Young with 8:30 remaining. Waryas followed with a hard shot past Young just 18 seconds later.
“After the first quarter, we started passing better and cutting. We started trusting each other and wanting to win,” said Coursen.
With the lead secured, Coursen used the second half to cycle in her younger players and give her starters playing time at different positions. Scott got her second goal with 4:20 left in the third quarter, and Boucher tallied her first goal just 1:20 into the fourth quarter.
The rest of the fourth quarter played with a running clock due to the five-goal mercy rule, LaRoss, Boucher, and Scott all got goals.
BF goalie Jaia Caron faced only one shot in the three quarters that she played. Her understudy, Mary Wallace, played the fourth quarter and did not face a shot. The Terriers had 22 penalty corners to just three for Windsor, and put 27 shots on goal.
On Sept. 11, the Terriers kept on rolling with an 8-0 win over visiting Rutland, 8-0. Waryas scored three goals, Scott scored twice, and Boucher, Ashlin Maxfield and LaRoss also scored. Caron picked up another shutout in goal for the Terriers, who finished the week at 3-0.
• Brattleboro opened its season with a pair of road losses. On Sept. 4, the Colonels lost 6-0 to Otter Valley, and dropped a 4-1 decision to Hartford on Sept. 9.
• Brattleboro lost to Mount Anthony, 4-0, in the opening game of the Lady Patriot Classic in Bennington on Sept. 9. The Colonels won the tournament’s consolation game on Sept. 11, defeating Hoosac Valley, 1-0. Burr & Burton won the tourney title, edging MAU, 3-2.
• Leland & Gray opened its season at the Black River Invitational Tournament at Dorsey Park in Ludlow with a 6-2 loss to Proctor in the championship game on Sept. 4. Abby Towle and Ansley Richardson scored second-half goals for the Rebels.
The Rebels then defeated visiting White River Valley, 4-2, on Sept. 7, and lost a road game to Springfield on Sept. 11 by a 3-2 score.
• Bellows Falls had a rough start in its opening game at home against Fair Haven on Sept. 4 with a 13-1 loss to the Slaters.
The Terriers played better against visiting Rivendell on Sept. 9, but still came up short in a 3-1 loss. BF’s only goal came in the second half. Savannah Sylvester-Neal threw the ball into Alannah McAllister, who set up Aubrey Maxfield for the goal.
Against visiting Arlington on Sept. 11, the Terriers were shut out, 7-0.
• Twin Valley lost its opener on Sept. 8 against West Rutland, 9-0. Twin Valley goalkeeper Alanna Bevilacqua made 11 saves. On Sept. 11, they were beaten by visiting Poultney, 4-1.
• Twin Valley topped Bellows Falls, 2-0, on Sept.7 at Hayford Field. Luke Rizio and Steven Oyer were the goal scorers for Twin Valley and goalkeeper Liam Wendell made three save to earn the shutout. BF goalkeeper Chris Leary kept his team in it by making 12 saves.
• Brattleboro hung on for a 4-2 win at Woodstock on Sept. 9. They will be trying to keep the momentum going when they play the John James Tournament in Bennington at the end of this week.
• Trent Pagach scored the winning goal in overtime as Leland & Gray beat Twin Valley, 1-0, at Hayford Field on Sept. 10. Rebels goalkeeper Hunter Fillion earned the shutout with 11 saves.
• The Bellows Falls girls turned in a strong showing in their first home meet on Sept. 7. Steph Ager won the varsity girls’ race on her home course in a time of 19 minutes, 53 seconds, while Aubrey Maxfield and Lilly Ware placed 11th and 12th, respectively.
In the varsity boys’ race, BF’s Tobin Durham won with a time of 16:43. Thetford Academy swept both team events.
• The annual Pickering Invitational race is this Friday afternoon on the BFUHS course. It’s an event that’s a good early barometer of how the local teams are doing.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 2 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Sept. 9 saw a change in the standings and the return of team names.
Team 1, the Alley Katz, and Team 5, Old Farts, ended the session tied for first at 8-2. Team Four, the first week leader, fell to second at 6-4. Tied for third at 5-5 are Team 2, Stayin’ Alive, Team 6, Pin Setters, and Team 8, Trash-O-Matic. Team 7, Rolling Stones, are 2-8, and Team 3, Pin Falls, are 1-9.
Sally Perry had the women’s high handicap game (256) and series (663), while Fred Ashworth had the men’s high handicap game (277) and series (694). Stayin’ Alive had the high team handicap game (914) and series (2,581).
In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby led the men with a 639 series that featured games of 221, 216, and 202. Chuck Adams had games of 213, 188, and 182 as part of his 583 series, while Warren Corriveau Sr. had games of 219 and 195 as part of his 570 series. Ashworth had a 229 game as part of his 550 series, and Charlie Marchant had a 203 game as part of his 521 series.
Shirley Aiken had the high scratch game (183) and series (475) to lead the women. Perry had a 178 and Nancy Dalzell rolled a 176.