The Middlebury Union High Tiger football team took another step towards an unbeaten season throttling visiting Colchester High 39-6 last Friday night. The Mount Abraham Union High Eagles, however, lost a tough one the same night falling 21-13 to host Montpelier High.
In 2009 Middlebury lost in the season opener at Colchester High and then fell to the Lakers in the opening round of the Division II Playoffs. On Friday night the 12 seniors on this Tiger squad made sure they got a measure of revenge for being swept by the Lakers. Middlebury built a 12-0 lead in the first half and then blew the game wide open erupting for 27 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter in rolling to the victory.
Junior defensive back Dillon Robinson set-up the first Tiger score picking off Laker quarterback Jake Leclerc's pass at the Colchester 40 and returning it to the one-yard line. Two plays later senior running back Bryan Ashley-Selleck burst through the left side of the line and Middlebury had a 6-0 lead.
Brendan Burrell's five-yard scoring scamper in the second quarter pushed the lead to 12-0. The Lakers would then move deep into Tiger territory late in the quarter, but saw their drive die on the Middlebury two when Leclerc over threw a receiver in the end zone on fourth down.
Just about everything that could go wrong for Colchester did at the start of the third quarter. Ashley-Selleck capped off a Tiger drive with a 24-yard touchdown run. Burrell got the Tigers on the scoreboard again just a couple minutes later with a 13-yard scoring jaunt. Marshall Hastings then returned a pass interception 31-yards for a score and on the Lakers next possession a high snap on a punt sailed into the end zone where Middlebury's Alex Bowdish fell on the loose ball for the touchdown in pushing the lead to 39-0.
The (3-4) Lakers avoided the shut-out getting a touchdown from Alex Kozlowski late in the fourth quarter. With the win Middlebury improved to 8-0. The Tigers will look to finish the regular season undefeated and head into the Division II playoffs with the top seed when they play at Otter Valley this coming Saturday at 1 p.m. The Otters will go into the game coming off a 41-14 loss to Burr & Burton.
After a big win at MSJ in late September, the Mount Abraham Union High Eagles have seen their season slip into a string of lopsided losses. But on Friday night the Eagles hung tough with the host Montpelier High Solons before seeing it slip away.
The Solons used touchdown runs of 22 and 32 yards from Collin O'Mara and Kyle Pembroke to jump on Mount Abraham early. The Eagles Geoff Grant's one-yard touchdown plunge midway in the second quarter trimmed the Solon lead to 14-6 before Pembroke closed the scoring in the first half hauling in an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Ian Shaw's 45-yard touchdown bomb to Ethan Heffernan in the third quarter got the Eagles back to within eight on the Solons. But the Eagles would get no closer as they fell to 1-7 on the season. The Eagles wrap-up their season hosting Poultney High this Saturday at 1 p.m.