BRATTLEBORO -- Cheerleaders may want to ask their fans to spell out "F-O-C-U-S" in Week 6.
The two area football teams will have to avoid distractions, as the Colonels will attempt to concentrate on a game when Homecoming festivities surround them and the Terriers will need to avoid looking ahead to a key matchup with Fair Haven.
Brattleboro (1-4) will host Rutland (2-3) on Friday night at 7, in a game that is generally watched by a king, a queen, and a full house, and that will be broadcast live on 96.7 WTSA FM. Both teams are coming off of tough losses -- the purple and white were defeated in St. Johnsbury 26-22 and the Raiders fell to Essex 35-34.
BUHS quarterback Kyle Patno was the man last week, with 73 passing yards and 90 on the ground. He also rushed for three touchdowns.
But it was Dylan Shattuck who became the hero by scoring on an 84-yard run late in the contest to give the Hilltoppers the come-from-behind victory.
And Rutland can relate. Nick Boles went 11-of-18 for 280 yards and four scoring strikes, only to lose to Essex by a single point.
The Raiders are 2-2 in league play, but have given up 35 points in each of their last two games. After getting 205 receiving yards from Joseph Couture in a rout of St. Johnsbury, Rutland edged MAU 13-7, fell to Middlebury 35-0 and then got nipped by Essex.
Will they have any answer for John Callahan’s triple option attack, featuring Patno, Colby McGinn, Kassidi Ramirez, Jake Gaboriault and Michael Rooney? Will they be able to gain yardage inside against a 345-pound road block known as Cheickna Doucoure?
As for Bellows Falls (3-2), looking ahead to the Oct. 12 Fair Haven game should be their only worry. After all, they are playing on Saturday at 1 p.m. against a winless Spaulding team that has been outscored by a combined 216-36 this season.
And running backs have had their way against the 0-5 Crimson Tide. Mount Abraham’s Tommy Lee Hodsden put up 135 yards on a dozen carries, Rice quarterback Tommy Fitzgerald racked up 105 yards on the ground, and Fair Haven had two ball carriers rush for triple digits.
That should translate to another huge day for Bellows Falls junior tailback Carson Fullam, behind the talented offensive line of Matt Conkey, Jeramiah Dunbar, Tyson Taylor, Jacob Lober and DJ Snide.
Week 6 matchups: Friday at 7 p.m. -- Rutland at Brattleboro, Colchester at BFA-St. Albans, Lyndon at Fair Haven, Middlebury at MAU, Mill River at Burr and Burton, Mt. Mansfield at Essex. Saturday at 1 p.m. -- Bellows Falls at Spaulding. Saturday at 3 p.m. -- Burlington at Rice, Hartford at St. Johnsbury. Saturday at 7 p.m. -- CVU at South Burlington. Bye -- Milton.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.