Hilltoppers trump Colonels, 53-20

BRATTLEBORO — With their rivalry game next on the schedule, it's quite possible that the Brattleboro varsity football players were "looking ahead" on Friday night at Natowich Field.

The Colonels committed 10 penalties, dropped a handful of passes, and turned the ball over twice during a 53-20 loss to undefeated Saint Johnsbury.

Jacob Cady had a monster game for the winners. He completed 23 of 30 passes for 336 yards and three scores to go along with 91 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground.

The junior quarterback led the Hilltoppers to the end zone on their first five possessions, highlighted by a 75-yard bomb to standout receiver Jasper Rankin. They were ahead 32-0 with 3:29 remaining in the second quarter.

Brattleboro was unable to answer in the early going, with sophomore signal-caller Tyler Millerick being stopped short on a fourth-down play in the red zone and then a fumble ending their second series. An interception by Saint Johnsbury's Hunter Palmieri would halt a later drive.

The Colonels silenced the visiting cheerleaders momentarily, when Millerick hooked up with Kyle Derosia for a six-yard TD strike late in the second quarter. The hosts would go to the break trailing 32-6.

But the Hilltoppers (6-0) would tack on three touchdowns in the third frame to go up 53-6. Cady threw a 17-yarder to Renwick Smith, scored on a 59-yard option play, and then found Palmieri for a 32-yard TD pass.

The visitors used a lot of bunch formations, with three receivers stacked up on the outside, along with jet sweeps and draws. They also went to a "Tebow" formation in the red zone, designed to have Cady run it between the tackles like the former Florida star.

What kept the fans interested may have been the actions of visiting coach Rich Alercio, who screamed at his players after every mistake and often complained to the refs about calls they had made.

And they were also treated to a nice defensive series by Brattleboro. Using a "NASCAR" package, nose tackle Isaiah Gilbeau and defensive end Liam McNeil each sacked Cady while safety Kyle Derosia knocked down a pass over the middle.

The Colonels ended the game on a high note, with Millerick firing touchdown passes of 51 and 27 yards to the speedy Chris Frost in the fourth quarter. Millerick also completed a two-point pass to Kris Carroll.

"Fight, fight, fight, for the purple and the white," chanted members of the BUHS band in unison with 4:04 remaining.

Millerick went 16 of 31 through the air for 224 yards, with three TDs and one interception. Frost finished with four catches for 123 yards and two scores, while Carroll caught nine passes for 86 yards.

The 0-6 Colonels will host rival MAU, with the Elwell Trophy at stake, on Friday at 7 p.m.

Scoring Plays

Mathew Roy (STJ) 28-yard TD run

Jacob Cady (STJ) 5-yard TD run

Nick Guckin (STJ) 2-yard TD run

Cady to Jasper Rankin (STJ) 75-yard TD pass

Shane Alercio (STJ) 1-yard TD run

Tyler Millerick to Kyle Derosia (BUHS) 6-yard TD pass

Cady to Renwick Smith (STJ) 17-yard TD pass

Cady (STJ) 59-yard TD run

Cady to Hunter Palmieri (STJ) 32-yard TD pass

Millerick to Chris Frost (BUHS) 51-yard TD pass

Millerick to Frost (BUHS) 27-yard TD pass


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