BRATTLEBORO >> The Brattleboro Union High School varsity football team has been losing quarterbacks as well as games.
Jordan Hines carried the ball 18 times for 119 yards and a touchdown and also returned a kickoff 85 yards to the house, helping Essex to a 21-7 victory over BUHS on Friday evening at Natowich Field.
The Colonels took a 7-0 lead with 4:48 left in the opening quarter, on a 37-yard touchdown run from Cheick Diakite and Jack Price's extra point.
But the visiting Hornets (5-2) would score the next 21 points. The lightning-fast Hines raced 85 yards on a kickoff and later scored on a five-yard sweep to give Essex a 14-7 halftime lead. And Liam Coulter added a three-yard run to paydirt in the fourth quarter.
Brattleboro, which had blown a nine-point lead in Colchester and then lost 33-0 to Rutland following a 2-2 start, only threatened twice after the early touchdown. The home team's first series of the fourth quarter lasted eight plays and ended with Diakite being stuffed on 4th-and-goal at the one. Freshman quarterback Tyler Millerick moved the chains twice down the stretch, on a 12-yard hookup with tight end Taylor Patno and then a 31-yard completion to Matt Gaboriault, before leaving the game with a shoulder injury and watching the drive stall.
In his first start at home, Millerick completed 15 out of 20 passes for 107 yards and one interception. Gaboriault led the way with seven catches, while Diakite had four, Griffin Lynde had three, and Patno one.
Diakite had 19 totes for 130 yards and a score. Running behind offensive linemen Kyle Banford, Conor Hiner, Jordan Wright, Korie Cliche and Sam Barrows, his longest carries went for 10, 13, 26 and 37 yards.
Defensive back Matt Gaboriault and linebacker Durin Hoyer each made a touchdown-saving tackle for the 2-5 Colonels, who are ranked ninth in Division 1. CVU and Hartford are tied for first, followed by Saint Johnsbury, Essex, Middlebury, Rice, Rutland and Colchester.
The purple and white will welcome rival MAU (0-7) on Friday night at 7.