BRATTLEBORO -- It’s rivalry week in Vermont.
On Friday night at 7, the Brattleboro varsity football team will host Mount Anthony Union and Bellows Falls will play at Springfield.
At Natowich Field, MAU and the Colonels will each be trying to earn their first victory against a Division 1 opponent. The showdown will be broadcast live by the 96.7 WTSA FM team of Bill Holiday and Tim Johnson.
The visiting Patriots (0-7) have had just one close game this season -- a 13-7 loss to Rutland on Sept. 13. And four teams have put up 40 or more points against them, including Mt. Mansfield, Hartford, Burr and Burton, and Middlebury.
In their best offensive output this season, the boys from Bennington rode the arm of quarterback Damon Young -- 7/18 for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns -- to 21 points versus the Cougars. Running back Pat Powers had both of the TD catches.
They will be facing a Brattleboro defense that limited Burlington and Rutland to just seven total points. The Colonels (1-6) have a couple of standout linebackers in Colby McGinn and Kyle Shippee, and a 345-pound defensive lineman named Cheickna Doucoure who can make things difficult in the trenches.
Brattleboro, which scored a team-high 22 points in St. Johnsbury, can beat foes a number of ways. Quarterback Kyle Patno runs the triple option, but also has the arm to create big plays for the likes of Michael Rooney, Max Bostwick, Tanner Freeman and Kassidi Ramirez.
And scoring hasn’t been a problem for the Terriers, who went off for 74 points last week against Fair Haven. And they are facing a Springfield team that gave up 68 to U-32 on Friday.
If the Cosmos put extra players in the box, signal-caller Ethan Illingworth will likely make them pay with deep balls to David Dunbar and Brian McAnuff. And if they don’t, look for Kyle O’Rourke, Carson Fullam (pictured at right), Austin Stack and Jakob Mead to rip off big gainers on the ground behind standout center Matt Conkey and company.
The Bellows Falls defense, well, it is as stingy as any in the state. The starters only gave up eight points on Saturday versus Fair Haven, while Kendrick Mills, DJ Snide and McAnuff all picked off a pass.
Springfield (0-6) started the season with a 65-0 loss to Woodstock. Since then, they have been routed by MSJ, Mill River, Windsor and U-32, and also lost by 12 points at Oxbow.
Week 7 scores: Rutland 17, St. Albans 14; Colchester 30, Brattleboro 14; Essex 36, Burlington 20; Hartford 44, Mt. Mansfield 14; Middlebury 42, South Burlington 20; CVU 28, MAU 0; St. Johnsbury 47, North Country 6; Woodstock 41, Lyndon 32; U-32 68, Springfield 30; Rice 28, Burr and Burton 0; Bellows Falls 74, Fair Haven 26; Milton 39, Spaulding 18.
Week 8 schedule: Friday at 7 p.m. -- Bellows Falls at Springfield, MAU at Brattleboro, Burr and Burton at Milton, Middlebury at Burlington, North Country at Fair Haven, Rutland at Hartford, South Burlington at Essex, Spaulding at U-32. Saturday at 1 p.m. -- St. Johnsbury at Lyndon. Saturday at 2 p.m. -- Colchester at Mt. Mansfield. Saturday at 3 p.m. -- St. Albans at CVU.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.