Lately, Brattleboro football fans had come to take it for granted that the Albert Elwell Trophy had a permanent home on Fairground Road. The Colonels had a 27-18 edge in their annual rivalry game with the Mount Anthony Patriots and held onto the trophy since 2015.
On Sept. 25 at Natowich Field, the Patriots had other ideas. Mount Anthony spoiled the Colonels’ homecoming weekend by scoring 36 unanswered points to take the trophy back to Bennington with a 36-12 victory.
“We did not play good football at all,” said Colonels coach Chad Pacheco after the game. “Anything bad that could happen to us, happened.”
Compared to the nearly flawless romp over Lyndon the previous week, the Colonels struggled to put together a good effort on offense against the Patriots.
Brattleboro struck first when Tristan Evans reeled in a touchdown pass from quarterback Devin Speno, but kicker Reed Sargent missed the extra point for a 6-0 lead with 7:58 left in the opening quarter.
The Colonels’ defense did what it could to contain MAU in the first half, but the Patriots would take a 22-6 lead into halftime.
MAU took the lead to stay as quarterback Tanner Bushee connected with Carter Thompson for an 11-yard touchdown catch with 5:47 left in the first, then immediately got the ball back on a surprise squib kick that was mishandled by the Colonels.
Brattleboro’s defense prevented the Patriots from turning that mistake into points, but a Colonels fumble on their next offensive series led to a 5-yard touchdown run for Ayman Naser to make it 14-6 with 1:16 remaining in the quarter.
In the second quarter, Braeden Billert caught an 11-yard touchdown pass and Thompson ran in the two-point conversion for 22-6 lead with 7:11 left.
The Colonels weren’t out of it yet, but most of the third quarter was a stalemate until Mount Anthony put together a scoring drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Cole Gino on the first play of the fourth quarter. Hayden Gaudette scored MAU’s last touchdown on a 1-yard run with 6:07 left in the game.
By that point, Speno had been lifted for his understudy, Karson Elliott, who found Evans in the end zone for a 35-yard scoring strike with 2:56 left in the game.
“It was good to get Karson some playing time, but it’s not what you want to do in a rivalry game,” Pacheco said. “I thought the defense played okay, but the offense just got beat up. We have to find a way to maintain consistency.”
Speno finished the afternoon with a 9-for-15 passing day for 68 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Noah Perruse led the Colonels’ rushers with 11 carries for 65 yards, as Cam Frost was held to 23 yards on 11 carries. Tight end Willem Thurber had three catches for 47 yards, while star receiver Aaron Petrie was held to seven catches for 40 yards.
Bushee had a 10-for-19 day passing, with 183 yards and two scores for the Patriots. Naser was their leading rusher with 88 yards on 17 carries. Billert and Thompson had three catches each for 62 and 61 yards, respectively.
The 1-3 Colonels are on the road for their next three games, starting with Hartford this Friday night.
Terriers smash Slaters, 56-0
• The Bellows Falls Terriers stayed undefeated and in first place in Division II with a 56-0 beatdown of the Fair Haven Slaters on Sept. 24.
BF put this road game away early, taking a 49-0 lead into halftime. Harrison Gleim ran for three touchdowns, while Jed Lober had two touchdown runs and Jeb Monier, Caden Haskell, and Walker James each added one touchdown.
The 4-0 Terriers play their next three games at Hadley Field, starting this Friday night when they host Milton.
• Kiki McNeary scored both goals as Brattleboro beat Springfield, 2-1, to win its homecoming game on Sept. 24. Lalia Buskey scored for Cosmos, assisted by Mackenzie Bushey.
The Colonels started the week with a 1-1 draw with Hartford. Kaitlyn Pattison scored Brattleboro’s only goal off a crossing pass from CC Allembert. Brattleboro ended the week at 2-2-1.
• Abby Towle scored four goals as Leland & Gray rolled to a 10-1 win over Mill River in North Clarendon on Sept. 23. Hannah Landers converted a penalty kick, and Maggie Parker, Ava LeCours, Abigail Emerson, and Ainsley Henderson also scored as the Rebels improved to 5-2.
• Bellows Falls had a winless week as they lost to Leland & Gray, 5-0, in Townshend on Sept. 20, to White River Valley, 4-0, in South Royalton on Sept. 22, and a 3-0 home loss to Mill River on Sept. 25. The Terriers ended the week at 1-6.
• Brattleboro has played a lot of close games this season, and their Sept. 22 game against the Hartford Hurricanes was no exception. The Colonels got a pair of goals early in the second half from Ryder Sullivan and Tate Chamberlin and hung on for a 2-1 victory in the rain at Natowich Field.
In the homecoming game against Mount Anthony on Sept. 25, Brattleboro scored five unanswered goals to beat the Patriots, 5-3. After MAU scored twice to start the game, the Colonels tied the game with two goals in the final five minutes of the first half. Brattleboro then scored three more goals to seize control of the game.
• Trent Pagach scored three goals and goalkeeper Hunter Fillion converted a penalty kick as the Leland & Gray Rebels beat the Bellows Falls Terriers, 4-1, on Sept. 23 in Westminster. Peyton Butynski and Trevor Hazelton were credited with assists.
• Bellows Falls remained unbeaten with a pair of shutout wins last week. The first was a 15-0 romp at home against the overmatched Springfield Cosmos.
The Terriers had a tougher test against Burr & Burton, but came away with a 4-0 win over the Bulldogs in Manchester on Sept. 24.
Grace Bazin, Emma Bazin, Maya Waryas, and Ariana Wunderle were the scorers for the Terriers. All but one of the goals came in the second half.
A BHA alum makes good
• Peter-Owen Hayward of Brattleboro joined the rest of his Syracuse University 2020 graduating class recently in celebrating the granting of their degrees ceremony, which had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hayward graduated magna cum laude from a dual degree program involving a major in finance from the Whitman School of Management and a major in advertising from the Newhouse School of Communications.
Hayward was a four-year player for the Syracuse University men’s hockey team, where he played in 123 games. He led the team each year in scoring, setting several team records, all-time points leader (198), most goals scored (111), and most assists (87). He was named to the league All-Star Rookie Team, twice to the All-Star second team, and was the ESCHL Playoff MVP, a two-time Team MVP, and Offensive Player of the Year.
Hayward also served two seasons as assistant captain and his last year as senior captain. In a news release, he said “being voted a captain; the fact that it came from my teammates and not just the coaches, and having that faith placed in you” was the most meaningful honor from his collegiate hockey career.
As a former Brattleboro Hockey Association (BHA) youth player, Hayward teamed up with other area collegiate players, such as Laura Rollins, Ryan Little, and Cam Wright to capture various state and regional titles. Hayward is now employed by GE Financial after being recruited into their Financial Management Program at the beginning of his senior year.
He turned down an opportunity to play pro hockey in Europe, like his former BHA teammate Cam Wright is now doing in Sweden, but Hayward says he has been actively involved in adult leagues in Atlanta and Boston and insists he will “play hockey until I can’t skate.”
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 4 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Sept. 21 saw Old Farts (16-4) move into first place. Alley Katz (14-6) dropped into second place. Stayin’ Alive (13.5-6.5) remained in third, followed by Team Four (11-9), Rolling Stones (7.5-12.5), Pin Falls (7-13), Trash-O-Matic (6-14), and Pin Setters (5-15).
Pam Greenblott had the women’s high handicap game (248), while Pat Bentrup had the high handcap series (632). Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men’s high handicap game (277), while Bruce Thielan had the high handicap series (698), and Team Four had the high team handicap game (880) and series (2,521).
In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams led the men with a 665 series, with games of 256, 215, and 194. Robert Rigby had games of 232, 205, and 194 as part of his 638 series, while Corriveau had a 265 game as part of his 614 series.
Greenblott had the high scratch game (190) and Carole Gloski had the high series (470) to lead the women. Gloski and Nancy Dalzell both rolled 177 games.