The Brattleboro Bears played their best football game of the season in a 26-20 win over the Bellows Falls Terriers on Oct. 6 at Hadley Field.
Bears quarterback Karson Elliott, who played the entire game, threw for three touchdowns - two to Jackson Emery and another to Alex Papadimitriou - and ran for a 60-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, providing the margin of victory.
Brattleboro's defense also turned in a strong performance, recovering three fumbles and not allowing BF's running game to roll up lots of yardage.
After a scoreless first quarter, Elliott put the Bears on the board with a 57-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Emery for a 7-0 lead with 8:55 to play in the second quarter. It was the only score in the first half.
The Terriers got back into the game in a big way on their opening possession of the third quarter with a 58-yard touchdown run by Walker James. A two-point conversion try failed, and BF trailed 7-6 with 10:28 remaining in the third.
Brattleboro got its second touchdown with a 35-yard pass from Elliott to Papadimitriou, but BF's Cole Moore intercepted a two-point conversion pass to make it 13-6 with 6:24 left in the third.
The door was left open for a BF comeback, and they responded with a long scoring drive capped off with a 2-yard run up the middle by James. Tristan Boylan's point-after kick tied the game, 13-13, with 22.6 seconds left in the third.
But Brattleboro responded to the challenge in the fourth quarter with a combination of tough inside running from Noah Perusse, a 20-yard keeper by Elliott, and the biggest play of the game - a juggling 14-yard touchdown catch by Emery as he tumbled into the end zone. Elliot's extra point put the Bears in front, 20-13, with 9:20 to play.
BF tried to tie the game, but penalties and great defensive pressure by linemen Sam Maddow and Jett Emery thwarted the Terriers. Brattleboro got the ball back with 3:15 to play, and Elliott's 60-yard run to the end zone sealed the Terriers' fate. A two-point conversion try failed but the Bears had a 26-13 lead with 2:47 to play.
The Terriers needed points in a hurry, and cut the lead to 26-20 with 1:52 remaining on a 37-yard touchdown catch by James that was set up by a 30-yard catch by Blake Bertand. An onside kick attempt failed, and the Bears ran out the clock to improve their record to 2-3-1.
It was the second straight loss for the 3-3 Terriers. Both the Terriers and the Bears have tough games this weekend. Brattleboro is hosting Rutland in the Bears' final regular season home game on Friday at 7 p.m. at Natowich Field, while the Terriers head north for a Saturday matinee with Lyndon Institute at 1 p.m.
• Undefeated Twin Valley Wildcats are on a roll in Division IV, thanks to their scoring machine, striker Cody Magnant. He scored four goals against Long Trail School in a 5-1 win on Oct. 2. Hunter Roth scored the other goal for the Wildcats and also had two assists, while Brayden Brown and Steven Oyer had an assist apiece.
Twin Valley had jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Cody Lamson scored for LTS in the 77th minute. Wildcats goalkeeper Kman Lackey made five saves.
The Wildcats closed out the week with a 1-0 road win over Rivendell on Oct. 6. Magnant scored the game's only goal with five minutes left in regulation, with Niko Gerding getting the assist. Twin Valley had a 15-4 advantage in shots.
Since the Wilmington-Whitingham school merger in 2004 that created Twin Valley, the Wildcats have won state titles in 2005, 2013, 2014, 2019, and 2020. With the talent on this year's team, coach Buddy Hayford, the all-time career leader in victories in Vermont high school soccer, has a good chance of seeing the Wildcats win a sixth state title next month.
• With a 4-2 win over Woodstock on Oct. 2 and a 3-1 loss to Mount Anthony on Oct. 6, Brattleboro is now 6-2-1 on the season.
• Leland & Gray shut out Bellows Falls, 3-0, on Oct. 2. The Terriers then got shut out again in a 4-0 loss to Springfield on Oct. 6. BF is still searching for its first win of the season.
• Austin Kubisek scored three goals, two of them off penalty kicks, as Green Mountain defeated Leland & Gray, 3-1, on Oct. 6.
• Zadie Olmstead had a pair of goals as Brattleboro defeated Bellows Falls, 4-1, in Westminster on Oct. 3. Reese Croutworst had a goal and an assist and Sophie Albright also scored. Bears goalkeeper Abigail Henry made eight saves in the victory, allowing just one goal to BF's Elizabeth Anderson early in the second half.
The Bears then lost to Rutland, 4-1, on Oct. 4. Croutworst gave Brattleboro a 1-1 tie late in the first half on a header off an Albright corner kick. Rutland then took control with a goal from Allanah Rooney and a pair of successful penalty kicks by Adysen Kinsman before the first half ended. The Bears ended the week with a 5-3-1 record.
• With a 7-2 loss to Leland & Gray on Oct. 6, Bellows Falls ended the week at 1-7. Leland & Gray improved to 7-2-1.
• Proctor shut out Twin Valley, 5-0, on Oct. 3. With a 5-0 loss to Long Trail, the Wildcats fell to 0-10.
• It took a bit of time for Bellows Falls to get rolling against Otter Valley on Oct. 3, but once they did, the result was 6-0 shutout victory.
BF had a 1-0 lead at the half, but they then scored a goal in the third quarter and got four more in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Ava LaRoss led the Terriers with three goals, while Veronica Moore had two goals and Nola Sciacca added another. Livi Clough made two saves in goal to pick up another win for the Terriers.
Unfortunately, the goals weren't there when BF hosted Burr and Burton on Oct. 6. Kaelin Downey had the game's only score, assisted by Piper Morgan on a penalty corner, as the Bulldogs blanked the Terriers, 1-0. BF is now 5-3 on the season.
• Brattleboro had a pair of road losses last week, a 3-0 defeat at Woodstock on Oct. 2. and a 4-0 loss at Burr and Burton on Oct. 4. The Bears finished the week with a 3-6 record.
• The Woods Trail Run, the annual dress rehearsal for the Vermont high school cross-country championships, was held on Oct. 7 at Thetford Academy.
This race is unique in that it classifies runners by time, rather than school size, so racers have a chance to compete in heats against their peers from across New England over the 5K course that has been the site of the Vermont state meet since 1992.
In the girls' division, Brattleboro's Tillie Farwell finished 194th overall out of 392 runners in 26 minutes, 42.23 seconds. Other finishers for the Bears included Elliana Galdamez (271st, 28:45.14), Evie Kiehle (290th, 29:10.97), Priya Kitzmiller (296, 29:29.71), and Addison DeVault (338th, 31:31.32). Brattleboro finished 33rd out of 36 schools.
In the boys' event, Nico Jonathan-Leach finished 74th overall out of 460 runners in 18:53.89, followed by teammates Jonas Ackerman-Hovis (251st, 21:33.45), Miles Hovis-Ackerman (257th, 22:19.73), Jude Anders (300th, 22:21.65), and Jack Webster-Rose (390th, 23:58.08). Brattleboro finished 34th out of 42 schools.
The Brattleboro runners will be back in Thetford on Oct. 28 for the state meet, with the Southern Vermont League Championships set for Oct. 20 in Rutland.
Killington Cup tickets go on sale Oct. 12
• Tickets for the 2023 Stifel Killington Cup will be available for purchase starting Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at killington.com. Taking place on Nov.24–26, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup will once again bring the top women's giant slalom and slalom racers to Vermont.
The Killington event is expected to attract U.S. Ski Team superstars, including Mikaela Shiffrin, a five-time Killington Cup slalom victor and winningest alpine skier in history, and former University of Vermont skier and 2023 world champion, Paula Moltzan.
Returning this year are the athlete bib presentation, fireworks display, and festival village opening to kick things off on Friday night. No ticket is required for the Friday night activities, which are free to the public. Saturday and Sunday will feature world-class ski racing, as well as live music performances, starting at just $10 for a ticket.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 5 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Oct. 5 saw Stepping Stones (22-3) have another 5-0 week, hanging on to first place, while Hairiers (20-5) had another 4-1 week to hang on to second place. Skippers and Four Pins (both 14-11) tied for third, followed by Four Seasons and High Rollers (both 13-12), No Splits and Dumblebor (both 11-14), and PEWJ (2-23).
Vicki Butynski had the women's high handicap game (240) and Nancy Dalzell had the high handicap series (669). Norm Corliss had the men's high handicap game (260), while Chuck Adams had the high handicap series (729). No Splits had the high team handicap game (912) and Four Pins had the high handicap series (2,616).
Adams had the men's high scratch series (672) with games of 235, 223, and 214. Robert Rigby had a 652 series that featured games of 242 and 226. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 577 series with games of 224 and 193, John Walker had a 551 series with games of 200 and 194, Fred Ashworth had a 528 series with a 200 game, Al Dascomb had a 506 series with a 196 game, and Duane Schillemat had a 500 series with a 192 game. Rick Westcott had a 528 game.
Dalzell had the women's high scratch series (477) with games of 170 and 161. Butynski had a 159 game, Deb Kolpa had games of 157 and 151, and Carol Gloski rolled a 155.
Randolph T. Holhut , deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column since 2010 and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at [email protected].
This Sports column by Randolph T. Holhut was written for The Commons.