Terriers fall in Division II football final
Mount Anthony quarterback Tanner Bushee ran for three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 24-17 victory in double overtime over the Bellows Falls Terriers in the Division II championship game on Nov. 12 at Rutland’s Alumni Field.

Terriers fall in Division II football final

Mount Anthony pulls out dramatic 24-17 victory in double OT

Mount Anthony fans have been waiting for a state football championship since 1994. Going through a gut-wrenching, nail-biting, high tension game with two overtimes was not going to faze them in the least.

The Patriots avenged last season's 57-35 loss to Bellows Falls in the Division II championship with a 24-17 overtime victory over the Terriers in the 2022 title game on Nov. 12 at Alumni Field in Rutland. It ended a 21-game unbeaten streak by the Terriers.

Bellows Falls never trailed in the game during regulation time. The Terriers opened the scoring on a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jamison Nystrom to running back Walker James with 2:07 left in the first quarter.

Mount Anthony got the equalizer on a 15-yard run by quarterback Tanner Bushee with 10:12 left in the first half. BF's Caden Haskell then scored on a 6-yard run to culminate a 17-play, clock-eating drive to give Bellows Falls a 14-7 lead with 44.9 seconds left in the half.

The Terriers tried to make that lead stand up for the remainder of the game, but MAU would eventually go on an 87-yard drive capped off with a 1-yard sneak by Bushee to tie the game at 14-14 with 3:02 left in the fourth quarter.

Both teams had the ball in those final three minutes, but neither could score. That set up an overtime, which in high school football means each team gets the ball at the 10-yard line with four chances to score.

In the first overtime, MAU won the toss, but deferred their opening possession. Instead, Bellows Falls started with the ball, but were held to a Nystrom field goal. The Patriots then responded with 24-yard field goal by Luke Bleau to tie the game, 17-17, and force a second overtime.

Mount Anthony started with possession in the second OT, and Bushee used two plays to score his third touchdown of the game. He scrambled to the Terriers' 1-yard line and followed that up with his third TD of the game on another quarterback sneak.

It was now up to the Patriots' defense. BF needed a touchdown and an extra point to force a third overtime, but MAU kept the Terriers out of the end zone on four plays. BF had the ball just inches short of the goal line on fourth down as James took the handoff from Nystrom. James could not punch the ball in as defensive linemen Connor Barrett and Braedon Billert and linebacker Ayman Nasser stopped him cold.

According to the MAU coaching staff, the team's last full-contact practice on Nov. 9 featured a simulation of an overtime period. That preparation paid off in a big way in this game.

The 17 points scored by BF was their lowest point total of the season. That was a tribute to the Patriots' defense, who managed to contain BF's powerful running attack and hold the Terriers scoreless in the third and fourth quarters.

James finished 17 carries for 76 yards and a pair of receptions for 44 yards for the 10-1 Terriers, while Haskell had 25 carries for 106 yards, with 80 yards coming in the first half. Bushee had 15 carries for 87 yards to lead the 9-2 Patriots.

BF head coach Bob Lockerby wasn't totally sure what kind of team he would have this season. It turned out to be good enough to get to the final game of the year. His offensive line of seniors Noah Simino, Ray Plummer, Jake Moore, Dillan Perry, and Peter Kamel were instrumental in the Terriers rushing for 3,286 yards this season, heading into the title game.

Haskell and James were the chief beneficiaries of the great linework, as Haskell ran for 1,492 yards and 21 touchdowns and James ran for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns. Unfortunately, James will be the main returnee on offense next season as Haskell, Nystrom, and the entire offensive line will be graduating.

But Lockerby and his staff have a knack of building a competitive team every season. Juniors Cole Moore, Jesse Darrell, and Remington LaCroix and sophomore Eli Allbee will likely be the nucleus of next year's Terriers offense, and the understudies for this season's offensive line should be ready to carry on the BF tradition of pummeling opponents with the running game.

The Terriers may have come up a few inches short in defending their title, but they gave their fans plenty to cheer about in 2022.

North-South football all-star game is this Saturday

• Vermont's football season officially ends this Saturday at 1 p.m. with the 21st annual North-South Senior All-Star Game at Norwich University's Sabine Field.

There will be nine local players on the South team - Brattleboro's Cam Frost, Devin Speno, Tristan Evans, and Josh Curtis, and Bellows Falls' Jamison Nystrom, Caden Haskell, Peter Kamel, Jake Moore, and Dillan Perry.

All 31 of the state's high school football programs from all three divisions are represented on the rosters, that are subject to change prior to the game. Head coaches are Mount Abraham's Jeff Stein for the North and Mount Anthony's Chad Gordon for the South. The North leads the all-time series, 11-9, but the South won the 2021 game, 39-35, for its second straight victory.

Tickets will be available at the gate starting an hour prior to game time. They will also be available online at www.nffvt.org/game. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students, with all proceeds to benefit the scholarship and grant programs of the Vermont Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Local players fill rosters for North-South field hockey all-star game

• The annual end-of-season celebration of field hockey in Vermont, the North-South Senior All-Star Game, was held on Nov. 12 at Castleton University's Dave Wolk Stadium.

The Bellows Falls and Brattleboro programs were well represented. Unlike its football counterpart, the players who participate are split into teams that don't necessarily fall into the North-South geographical rubric.

Thus, BF goalie Mary Wallace was on the North roster and BF head coach Bethany Coursen was one of the North team's coaches. The other local players and coaches - Brattleboro's Ava Cutler and head coach Erin Cooke - were on the South team.

The South team rolled to a 6-0 win as Otter Valley's Mackenzie McKay and Woodstock's Lily Gubbins scored two goals each and Windsor's Alexina Peckingpaugh and Otter Valley's Ryleigh LaPorte added one goal each.

In the Rising Star Jamboree, which honors the top non-seniors, the players who participated were distributed among three teams, with each team playing the other teams once in an abbreviated 30-minute game.

BF's Ava LaRoss and Izzy Stoodley and Brattleboro's Mallory Newton were on the White team, while BF's Gracie McGinnis and Brattleboro's Emma Gragen were on the Blue team and BF's Emma Bazin and Livie Clough and Brattleboro's Ericka Favreau were on the Neon team.

SVL All-Star teams announced

• With the conclusion of the soccer, cross-country, and field hockey seasons came the announcement of the Southern Vermont League's All-Star teams.

Division IV state champs Leland & Gray placed three players on the C Division girls' soccer first team - Abby Towle, Ainsley Meyer, and Mary Sanderson. Alanah McAllister of Bellows Falls and Green Mountain's Riley Paul, Autumn Fales, and Abby Williams were also named to the first team.

In boys' soccer, Brattleboro's Ozzie VanHendrick, Jordy Allembert, and Paul McGillion were all selected to the A Division first team.

Green Mountain's Eben Mosher, Ben Munukka, and Liam O'Brien all made the B Division first team, while Twin Valley led the C Division with four athletes on the first team -Cody Magnant, Matt Hammond, Garrett Cunningham, and Liam Wendel.

Also named to the C Division first team were Caleb Ghia and Colby Dearborn of Bellows Falls and Leland & Gray's Parker Richardson and Trevor Stillwagon. Twin Valley's Buddy Hayford was named C Division Coach of the Year.

In field hockey, Eryn Ross, Emma Bazin, and Jules McDermid of Bellows Falls all were selected to the A Division first team, with teammates Ava LaRoss and Nola Sciacca earning honorable mention. Brattleboro's Ava Cutler and Lily Bingham were selected to the B Division first team.

Brattleboro's Ava Whitney was selected to the A Division girls'cross-country first team.

Turkey Trot benefits Groundworks, Vermont Foodbank

• The annual Red Clover Rovers Turkey Trot road race will take place on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 9 a.m. This free race has been run each Thanksgiving morning since 1977 as what the Rovers call their “gift to Brattleboro-area runners celebrating moving in the fresh air and joining together as an active community.”

This classic annual 3-mile run on Upper Dummerston Road (with a 1-mile kids' race beforehand) starts and ends near the Brattleboro Country Club. Since it is 100% volunteer-run and donation-funded, there is no race-day registration and no entry fee, but you must preregister to get a bib and be timed. Register by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at www.redcloverrovers.com/turkeytrot.shtml.

As usual, organizers are asking participants to consider making a donation which will go to Groundworks Collaborative (groundworksvt.org) and the Vermont Foodbank (www.vtfoodbank.org) .

Check-in and bib number pickup is Thanksgiving morning from 8 to 8:45 a.m. Organizers ask that runner arrive on time to check in, as they sometimes have more than 300 participants. Give yourself a few extra minutes to navigate the busy Country Club parking lot and make sure to dress appropriately for the weather.

Strollers are welcome, but dogs are not. The road will be open, so runners and walkers will need to keep to the left and be aware of traffic.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 11 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League on Nov. 10 saw first place Keglers 4 (39-16) have a 2-3 week but still maintain a nine-game lead over second place Good Times, which had a 4-1 week to improve to 30-25. Split Happens (29.5-25.5) is in third, followed by Trash-O-Matic (26.5-28.5), The Strikers and Lucky 7 (both 26-29), Old Farts (22-33), and Slow Movers (21-34).

Pat Bentrup had the women's high handicap game (258) and series (642), while Stan Kolpa had the men's high handicap game (266) and Eric Brown had the high handicap series (676). Keglers 4 had the high team handicap game (883), while Old Farts had the handicap series (2,534).

In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams led the men with a 608 series that featured games of 225 and 208. Warren Corriveau Sr. rolled a 598 series that featured games of 221 and 194, while Robert Rigby had a 571 series that featured games of 216 and 208.

Gary Montgomery had a 523 series with a 191 game, Duane Schillemat had a 516 series, and Marty Adams had a 515 series. Kolpa had a 209 game, while Brown rolled a 195.

ShirleyAiken had the women's high scratch series (489), while Bentrup had the high scratch game (201). Aiken had games of 177 and 171, while Josie Rigby also rolled a 177 game.

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