Hartford football captures Bobwhites

  • Hartford running back Brandon Potter evades Bellows Free Academy’s defense during a football game at Hartford High School in Hartford, Vt., on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news / report for america photographs — Alex Driehaus

  • Hartford running back Ezra Mock is tackled by Bellows Free Academy’s Sean Beauregard during a football game at Hartford High School in Hartford, Vt., on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/29/2021 10:43:44 PM
Modified: 10/29/2021 10:43:54 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — When Hartford hosted BFA-St. Albans in September, the Hurricanes didn’t take the lead until late in the third quarter.

In Friday night’s postseason rematch, Hartford knew it would have to start faster. So the No. 2 seed Hurricanes (7-2) did just that, building a 21-point halftime lead before holding on for a 28-14 win.

“It’s not necessarily how you start; it’s how you finish,” Hartford coach Matt Trombly said. “We were fortunate to get off with a bit of a cushion, allowing our defense to bend a little bit but not break.”

Hartford could not have drawn up a better start — the Hurricanes’ defense got stops on each of BFA’s first three possessions and turned all three into touchdowns.

First, it was sophomore running back Brody Tyburski capping a 15-play, 70-yard drive with a 7-yard scoring run straight up the middle to give Hartford the lead late in the first quarter. Tyburski was the Hurricanes’ workhorse all night, rushing for 121 yards on 20 carries.

“He’s playing beyond his years right now,” Trombly said. “Sometimes it takes guys three or four years to play at that level, and he’s matured quite a bit this year.”

Following a turnover on downs, Hartford embarked on another methodical march down the field. A facemask penalty put the Hurricanes inside the BFA 10-yard line, and sophomore quarterback Brayden Trombly — the coach’s son — scored on a 3-yard quarterback sneak to make it a two-touchdown lead.

Four minutes later, Hartford took advantage of a short field to extend the lead, with Trombly finding senior running back Brandon Potter on a rollout for a 16-yard touchdown pass.

The Hurricanes kept the pressure on after halftime, going up by 28 on the first drive of the third quarter. Yet another sophomore running back, Ezra Mock, broke a couple of tackles on the way to a 37-yard touchdown run, and it looked as if the rout was on. Mock finished with 82 yards on 10 carries before leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.

“The years that we’re successful, we’re able to have multiple guys carrying the ball,” Matt Trombly said. “We’re able to give guys rest when we have to.”

The No. 7 seed Bobwhites (4-4) made things interesting late. BFA was down starting quarterback Cole Montagne coming in, and his backup, Seneca Durocher, sustained an injury in the first half. But Durocher returned on the following series and had a solid second half.

Durocher put the Bobwhites on the board late in the third with a 6-yard touchdown run around the left side of the line. After a Hartford punt, he led another scoring drive, completing a 46-yard pass to Dakota Wry on fourth-and-16 to cut what was once a 28-point deficit in half. Durocher rushed for 113 yards on 12 carries and also completed eight of 14 pass attempts for 74 yards.

BFA’s comeback attempt ended there, though. Hartford missed a field goal on its next possession but killed about five minutes of clock. The Bobwhites advanced into Hurricanes territory on their next drive before Tyburski tripped up Durocher on fourth down with just over two minutes left to all but seal the game.

Hartford will remain on its home field for the semifinals next weekend against either No. 3 seed Champlain Valley Union or No. 6 seed Middlebury Union. The Hurricanes lost, 15-7, at Middlebury on Sept. 24 and did not play Champlain Valley Union in the regular season.

“For some reason, our kids play really well here (at home),” Trombly said. “We play all over the state, and I think this is one of the best places to play.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.




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