By Roger Brown
The number of unbeaten high school football teams in Vermont was whittled to two last weekend. Hartford and Springfield remained unscathed, but an untimely injury was among the factors that contributed to Mount Mansfield’s first loss of the season.
Mount Mansfield led BFA-St. Albans, 19-13, when it stopped BFA running back Ben Roberts on Mount Mansfield’s 3-yard line with 11.9 seconds to play. Although BFA had no timeouts remaining, the clock stopped because of an injured Mount Mansfield player.
Roberts found the end zone on the next play, and Matt Wainscott’s point-after kick proved to be the difference in BFA’s 20-19 victory.
Brian Wilcox scored twice for Division II Mount Mansfield, which dropped to 7-1 overall following the non-league loss. BFA, which competes in Division I, raised its record to 5-3.
Other highlights from last weekend:
• Stephen Miller scored on runs of 61, 40 and 8 yards to help Springfield raise its record to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in Division III by beating Division II North Country 34-20. Miller finished the game with 181 yards rushing on 22 carries.
•Quarterback Tyler Kelton passed for 139 yards and two touchdowns as Hartford improved its Division I record to 7-0 by beating St. Johnsbury, 26-0.
•Spaulding, last year’s Division II state champion, erased a 20-point first-half deficit to beat U-32, 21-20. Spaulding (7-1 overall, 6-1 Division II) took the lead when quarterback Zach Dessureau tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Matt Ballard and Mev Bohmic made his third PAT kick with 7:20 to play in the third quarter.
•Gavin Gallagher threw two touchdown passes as Windsor (6-2 overall, 5-2 in Division III) secured the No. 3 seed for the Division III playoffs with a 25-18 victory over BFA-Fairfax.
•After Brattleboro had taken a two-point lead in the fourth quarter, Rick Lantman returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards for a TD to help Rutland post a 15-9 victory. The Raiders improved their record to 6-1 and secured the No. 2 seed for the Division I playoffs.
Field Hockey: Top Seeds Advance
Kristen Coombs and Sara Campbell each scored to help Rice Memorial beat Bellows Falls in the Division III quarterfinals. Rice was one of three top-seeded teams that reached the semifinals. Hartford (Division I) and Harwood (Division II) were the other No. 1 seeds that advanced.
Sixth-seeded Middlebury (12-4-0) will play at second-seeded Champlain Valley (10-2-3), and fourth-seeded Mount Anthony (11-2-1) will face top-seeded Hartford (14-0-1) in the Division I semifinals.
The Middlebury/Champlain Valley game will be held Tuesday. Mount Anthony will meet Hartford on Wednesday.
The Division II semifinals will have fourth-seeded Otter Valley (8-5-2) at top-seeded Harwood (14-0-0) on Tuesday, and sixth-seeded Windsor (7-8-0) at second-seeded Woodstock (12-3-0) on Wednesday.
In Division III, third-seeded Lyndon (7-5-3) will meet second-seeded Stowe (9-6-0) on Tuesday, and fourth-seeded North Country (6-7-2) will face top-seeded Rice (12-3-0) on Wednesday.
The Rice/North Country contest will be played in Essex because the Vermont Principals’ Association has ruled Rice’s home field unplayable for postseason games.
Boys Soccer: Essex Suffers First Loss
Essex won’t enter postseason play with as much momentum as it had hoped.
North Country’s Adam Batista scored on a penalty kick with 38 minutes and 38 seconds to play in the second half to lead the Falcons to a 1-0 victory over the Hornets in the final regular-season game for each team.
It was the first loss of the season for Essex (13-0-1). North Country improved its record to (10-3-1).
The boys soccer tournaments will begin this week.
Girls Soccer: O’Neil Reaches Milestone
Bill O’Neil, who coaches softball, boys hockey and girls soccer at Essex, won his 1,000th varsity game when the school’s girls soccer team defeated BFA-St. Albans, 4-0, Tuesday.
O’Neil has guided the Hornets to 21 state championships – 13 in hockey, six in soccer and two in softball.