Terriers, Colonels nipped on gridiron
BRATTLEBORO -- One quarterback did it with his arm, and another with his legs.
JP Olson threw a game-winning 65-yard touchdown pass on Friday night to give the Colchester varsity football team a 27-20 victory over Brattleboro in a Division 1 consolation game, and then signal-caller James Shufelt kept it 26 times for 115 yards and four scores to lead Lyndon past Bellows Falls 26-21 in a key D-2 matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Using their deadly pistol offense, the Vikings racked up 305 rushing yards on Hadley Field in Westminster. Josh Guyer had 11 touches for 103 yards, while Shufelt looked a lot like San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick as he handed off, kept or pitched all day long.
Shufelt directed scoring drives of five, 10, 12 and 13 plays, each ending with a short run by himself, as Lyndon built a 26-14 lead with 7:30 remaining.
The host Terriers would rally for one last touchdown, on a drive highlighted by a pair of 16-yard completions by Ethan Illingworth and a 19-yard burst from Kyle O’Rourke. O’Rourke would hit paydirt from three yards out and David Dunbar added the extra point to make the final score 26-21.
Illingworth was 6-of-14 passing for 101 yards, including a 20-yard TD strike to Dunbar, to lead the Terriers. And Austin Stack added a one-yard rumble to the house.
But Bellows Falls struggled on the ground against Lyndon’s front four of Davis Guyer, Dave Peters, Jason Berry and Cory Gammell. That group wound up with six tackles for loss and stuffed the hosts on a first-and-goal situation on the opening series of the game.
Carson Fullam ran it 14 times for 50 yards to lead the Terriers on the ground. The speedster had a 39-yard carry in the first quarter and another 30-yarder later in the contest that was called back due to a holding penalty.
On Friday evening at Natowich Field, the Colonels took a 13-0 lead against a Colchester team that had defeated them 30-14 just two weeks earlier.
A blocked punt by Kyle Shippee turned into a 25-yard return to the house for Gene Buckley and a Ryan Fontaine PAT. And then Kyle Patno’s one-yard keeper put Brattleboro up 13-0 with 2:18 remaining in the opening quarter.
But the visiting Lakers used a 45-yard touchdown run from Dakota Navari and a 42-yard sprint to the end zone by Will Ward to get within 13-12 at the break.
Brattleboro offensive linemen Matt Forrett, Mark Dixon, Ryan McAuliffe, Andy Gadowski and Chris McAuliffe continued to open up holes in the second half. That resulted in runs of 11, 17 and 20 yards for Shippee, who scored on the 17-yarder up the middle. And Fontaine’s extra point gave the purple and white a 20-12 advantage.
Colchester answered immediately, however. Erik Lagerquist scored on a 22-yard counter and Olson hooked up with Calvin Brault for the conversion pass to deadlock the score at 20-20.
And after the Colonels turned it over on downs, Olson connected with Navari for a 65-yard TD strike down the right side with one minute left to go in the third quarter. Sam Rancoud’s extra point put the Lakers ahead 27-20.
That’s how it would stay.
Navari had 73 rushing yards and the TD catch to lead the winners, who got 88 yards on the ground from Ward. Michael Rooney (39 yards), Kassidi Ramirez (61 yards), Colby McGinn (53 yards), Jack Ochukpue (31 yards), Patno (51 yards) and Shippee (53 yards) took turns running the ball for the hosts in head coach John Callahan’s triple option attack.
Brattleboro finishes the season with a 2-7 overall record, including victories over Bellows Falls and rival MAU.
In the Division 1 playoff games, Middlebury mauled St. Johnsbury 48-6, South Burlington blasted BFA-St. Albans 41-7, Hartford hammered Essex 46-14, and CVU zipped Rutland 19-0.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.
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