WESTMINSTER -- With second place in the Division 2 standings on the line, the Bellows Falls football team relied on "the Zach attack."
Zach Rawling carried the ball 23 times for 119 yards and three touchdowns on Friday evening, leading the Terriers to a 28-14 victory over visiting Lyndon.
The Vikings, who started the season 4-0 and have now lost back-to-back games, have to be wondering, "what if?"
That is, what if Harwant Sethi Jr. had been able to hold on for a reception on a gutsy fake punt play from Lyndon’s own 15 with 4:11 remaining and Bellows Falls leading 20-14?
They’ll never know.
Rawling scored on the very next play -- a 15-yard sweep to the right -- and he also powered in for the deuce to make it 28-14.
The opening quarter consisted of two long scoring drives and a ton of flags.
Bellows Falls started things off with a 73-yard march that chewed up nearly seven minutes. A 19-yard run by Carson Fullam on a third down play and a 16-yard keeper by quarterback Ethan Illingworth were the highlights, and Illingworth also finished it with a one-yard sneak to paydirt. Rawling’s two-point run would put the hosts ahead 8-0.
The Vikings answered with a 65-yard journey to the house that took five minutes off the clock. Using Georgia Tech’s triple option attack, quarterback James Shufelt tucked the ball away and moved the chains three times during that series. He also capped it off with a 15-yard sprint to the end zone and then Josh Guyer added the two-pointer to knot the score at 8-8.
The Lyndon coaches couldn’t hold back their frustration any longer. One of them kept telling a ref, "105 penalty yards in 18 minutes" until he was told to stop.
Each team would add a touchdown in the second quarter to make it 14-14 at the intermission. Shufelt broke away for a 43-yarder, before Rawling had car horns going off in the parking lot with an eight-yard TD run -- a score that was set up by Stewart Shaughnessy’s fumble recovery on an errant pitch by Shufelt.
In the second half, the Terriers continued to pound it behind the offensive line of Jacob Hodsden, Kyle Record, Matt Conkey, Dan Armstrong and Zachary Tarvit. That resulted in a couple of bursts by Fullam (14 carries, 91 yards) and a 13-yard run to the house by Rawling that put the home team up 20-14 late in the third quarter.
The defenses took over at that point, forcing three consecutive punts in the fourth quarter. It would have been four, but Lyndon rolled the dice on 4th-and-11 from its own 15 -- only to see punter Miguel Collazo’s bomb go through the hands of Sethi Jr. at midfield.
On Saturday at 1 p.m., the 6-1 Terriers will play at Otter Valley and the 4-2 Vikings will take on rival St. Johnsbury.
In other Friday night games in Vermont, BFA-St. Albans edged Essex 28-26, Hartford handled Burlington 27-14, Middlebury blanked Colchester 14-0, Milton defeated U-32 19-13, Rutland romped MAU 49-13 and Woodstock walloped North Country 53-0.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.