Canes Run Over Colonels

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Brattleboro, Vt. — Jacob Perkins ran for 230 yards and six touchdowns in 21 carries and the Hurricanes defeated Brattleboro, 41-21, in the teams’ season opener. Hartford trailed, 7-0, before scoring 41 consecutive points and giving its backers hope that last season’s 3-6 record won’t be repeated.

“I haven’t seen our backs run like that in a couple of years,” said second-year head coach Matt Trombly, previously a longtime assistant. “Tonight was an improvement from the past few years. Our kids ran with confidence and a spark tonight because they believe in themselves and in our system.”

Perkins, a senior who’s also a Hurricanes baseball standout, scored on runs of 11, 1, 14, 27, 2 and 11 yards. Fast enough to turn the corner and shifty enough to slice through the Colonels’ front seven, he was also strong enough on his feet to crash through attempted tackles or rebuff them with a stiff arm.

“We just ran our offense; it wasn’t like we singled him out,” Trombly said. “But he found the next gear and he’s a completely different ball carrier than he was last year.

“When your kids make the commitment to getting better it takes doubt out of their minds and they just go out and play.”

Hartford rushed for 410 yards and used 11 players to carry the ball. Walkker Judd showed both brute strength and a breakaway burst, compiling 71 yards in six carries. Cody Rhodes carried five times for 39 yards and Bryce Landon completed 5-of-9 passes for 44 yards. Codi Smith had three receptions for 32 yards.

If there was a weak spot for Hartford, it was the kicking game. The visitors missed two attempted conversion kicks and had another blocked. The Hurricanes’ kickoff coverage was also somewhat suspect, but Brattleboro scored its final 14 points during the last five minutes and against Hartford’s reserves.

“We have to give credit to the guys up front,” Trombly said. “We can do what we do because we have tough kids who block and who can move in space.”

Hartford, which hosts Colchester next week, surrendered 188 yards rushing but only 53 during the first half. Brattleboro managed 36 yards in the air.

— Tris Wykes

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