Hartford’s Win Streak Done at 27
Middlebury, Vt. — It had to happen sometime.
Unable to generate much offense or get off the field on defense, the Hartford High football team dropped its first game in nearly three years on Friday night in a 23-0 loss to Middlebury at Middlebury Union High School. Led by the play of quarterback Austin Robinson, the Tigers (2-0) built a 10-0 lead at halftime as the Hurricanes saw a 27-game winning streak — built largely on back-to-back, undefeated state championships — come to an end. Hartford hadn’t lost since a 42-0 defeat at BFA-St. Albans midway through the 2010 campaign, a loss the Hurricanes would later avenge in the Vermont Division I title contest.
“We just couldn’t get off the field on defense,” Hartford coach Mike Stone said. “Offensively, we didn’t generate anything. We had a lot of untimely penalties and ended up (losing) three kids from the offensive line tonight.
“(The injuries) happened early. The kids that filled in did the best job they know how. They didn’t back down.”
Cullen Hathaway opened the scoring for the Tigers on an eight-yard run midway through the first quarter. Joshua Stearns’ 22-yard field goal upped the edge to 10-0 just before halftime, a tally set up by a Robinson interception.
Hartford’s defense kept the game close until Robinson put it away in the fourth. The QB zigzagged his way to a 16-yard TD with 10:02 to play, adding a three-yard tally four minutes after that.
It’s the second time in Stone’s long tenure that the Hurricanes have run off a win streak in the 20s. A four-year state championship run in the early 1990s included 28 consecutive victories at one point.
“The important thing is we need to find out from these kids how they’re going to respond,” Stone said. “We have some adversity, have some kids that were banged up. We lost a football game, and we’ll see what we’re made of a bit. I hope the character is there as when we’re winning.”
Dylan Rice led Hartford runners with 31 yards. Cameron Gaudette added an interception for the Canes, who head to Massachusetts to meet Catholic Memorial on Friday night.
Lebanon 34, Con-Val 0
Peterborough, n.h. — Lucas Gerow rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns and Ethan Perkins added another 109 yards with a score as the Raiders made their NHIAA Division II debut a laugher.
Perkins opened the scoring in the first half on a 16-yard run. After Tanner Simms intercepted a Cougar pass, Lebanon marched down the field for a 13-0 lead on a two-yard Dominick Morrill plunge.
Gerow scored from 10 yards out for a 19-0 halftime cushion. The visitors did the rest of their damage in the fourth quarter on a 78-yard Gerow gallop and a 19-yard Travis Hastings TD pass to Austin Pelletier.
In all, Lebanon rushed for 330 yards on 33 carries, to which Hastings added another 53 yards by completing four of his 12 pass attempts.
“It’s a good win,” Lebanon coach Chris Childs said. “It’s a long bus ride out, an hour and a half, and to get off the bus and get our first win is a nice feeling. We haven’t done that in a couple of years. It’s a good way to start the season.”
Simms also booted two PATs and Perkins added a 2-point conversion for the Raiders, who host Monadnock on Friday night.
Woodstock — The two-time defending champion Wasps stung for 41 points in the first half in overwhelming the Cosmos (0-1).
Freshman Ezra Astbury ran for two touchdowns while the Woodstock rushing attack that also featured Oliver Kaija and Tom Bauman with a pair of scoring runs each. Defensively, the Wasps’ front eight often overpowered the visitors. Linemen Sam Zonay and Will Gault had strong games, and cornerback Zach Cole did strong work to stifle the Springfield ground game.
The Wasps (2-0) visit Union-32 on Friday at 7 p.m.
St. Thomas 36
North Sutton — The visiting Saints scored twice on defense in the first half to build a 29-0 halftime lead and stop the Cougars (0-1) in the NHIAA D-III foes’ mutual debut.
St. Thomas scored all of its points before Riley Antle struck twice in the fourth quarter for Kearsarge. Antle broke the shutout with 8:47 to play, adding a second score about 4½ later.
Jake Geppert scored TDs on offense, defense and special teams for the Saints, opening the game with a 70-yard touchdown punt return.
The Cougars visit Merrimack Valley on Friday night.
Union-32 60, Oxbow 20
East Montpelier, Vt. — The Raiders showed why they figure to be one of the top teams in Vermont D-III with a blowout of the Olympians.
“U-32 has a very good team. They executed very well,” Oxbow coach Mark Palmieri said. “We just have to go back to work on Monday and try to right the ship for next Saturday.”
The Olympians (1-1) host Windsor next Saturday at 1 p.m.