Middlebury 31, Hartford 17: Tigers pull ahead in second half

  • Alvin Ricker, a 1945 graduate of Hartford High School who served in the Army in Germany during World War II, flips the coin as an honorary captain before Hartford's game with Middlebury in White River Junction, Vt., Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. It was Hartford's annual Patriot Game to honor military veterans. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — James M. Patterson

  • Brandon Potter, of Hartford, recovers a ball fumbled by Middlebury during the first quarter of their game in White River Junction, Vt., Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley NEws — James M. Patterson

  • Hartford's Zachary Burek, left, stiff arms Middlebury lineman Thatcher Trudeau in White River Junction, Vt., Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Jacob Dwinell, of Hartford, drags down Middlebury quarterback Tim Goettelmann during their game in White River Junction, Vt., Friday, Sept., 20, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/20/2019 10:09:39 PM
Modified: 9/20/2019 10:14:22 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — It only took 57 seconds for Hartford High football to lose control of Friday night’s game.

Middlebury’s Tyler Buxton rushed for a 40-yard touchdown with 10 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game. Then the Tigers recovered their onside kick, and on the second play of their drive, Ian Ploof ran for a 36-yard touchdown.

In 57 seconds, the Hurricanes’ deficit of 7-3 quickly jumped to 21-3 with 9:12 remaining. Hartford couldn’t regain its footing as it lost to visiting Middlebury, 31-17.

“You get down like that with two teams that run the ball, it makes for a very short game,” Hartford coach Matt Trombly said. “I thought we hung in there, but we had a couple breakdowns.”

Buxton terrorized Hartford (2-2) on both sides of the ball. He rushed for 207 yards on 10 carries and accounted for half of the Tigers’ tackles.

That wasn’t his only damage, as he accounted for 21 of their 31 points. Buxton intercepted a pass by Canes quarterback Cole Jasmin with 4:32 left in the game. His 91-yard touchdown run on the Tigers’ first snap of the game plus the extra point put them up, 7-0, with 9:44 left in the first quarter.

Hartford had its chances to score in the first half, as Middlebury (4-0) fumbled the ball three times, but the Canes didn’t produce points off the turnovers. They struggled to find a rhythm for most of the game.

Hartford produced its two touchdowns with less than two minutes remaining.

Alex Bushway had a 42-yard touchdown run, and Shea Bean punched in a score from 1-yard out to cut the deficit to 31-17 with 17 seconds remaining.

Bean finished with 14 carries and 86 yards. Jasmin’s receivers struggled to catch the ball as he finished 4 of 15 for 52 yards.

“When you walk away, our kids got down but they rebounded,” Trombly said of his team’s effort against Division I Middlebury. “We want them to finish with their heads up and a lot of character.”

Notes: Hartford hosts Bellows Free Academy next Friday at 7 p.m. … Senior running back Zach Burek left the game in the second half due to an ankle injury. …Friday night was Hartford’s annual Patriot game to honor military veterans.




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