BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro and Bellows Falls combined for 204 yards through the air in the 2019 Division 2 state championship game, but that number will likely be surpassed in the first quarter of the rematch.
That's because offensive plays must all be forward passes during the 7-on-7 touch football season this year. The quarterbacks will be allowed up to four seconds to throw the ball on each down.
"I may have played my last game of tackle football, but I know my teammates and I will make the most of what we have and compete to our best ability," said senior Bellows Falls receiver Logan Lisai. "We can only hope that after this season football in Vermont can go back to normal so no other senior has to go through what my fellow teammates and I had to."
Varsity teams will play two games per week, including Tuesday or Wednesday and Friday or Saturday. They will play 15-minute quarters, with linemen on the field for half of the game and backs/receivers playing the other half.
Touchdowns will still be worth six points, with extra-point options being a one-point kick from the 3 or a two-point pass from the 10. Defenses can also score two points via a safety.
"It's going to be a new experience, but we need to prove to the VPA and all the government officials in the state of Vermont that we as football players care a great deal about the game," noted Lisai, who has played a dozen seasons of football leading up to this year.
Defenders will have to touch him with one or two hands in order to stop his forward progress after a reception this season. There will be no blocking or tackling allowed due to COVID-19 concerns.
"It's really unfortunate how it all played out. Being a senior, having my last ever season of normal football stripped away is devastating. I may never put on those shoulder pads ever again," Lisai said. "However, we do get to play, and even though we're all angry about it, we have to accept it and move forward."
Bellows Falls and Brattleboro will both open up at home on Sept. 26, with the Terriers taking on Milton and the defending champions facing Fair Haven. The Vermont Principals' Association is still working on the remainder of the schedule, but has decided that there will not be a postseason tournament.