BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Bellows Falls was the heavy favorite heading into the 103rd regular season football meeting of Bellows Falls versus Springfield. Although most parties won’t buy such logic, there is always a chance Springfield will win. I might not have bought such a scenario a few years back, but then once upon a time this century in the area’s second longest football rivalry at the time, an incredibly undermanned Vermont Academy team pulled the upset of my lifetime in stomping a perennially strong Kimball Union team by something like 50 points. My eyes/mind could not believe it thus I am now ready to believe anything.
Springfield played well last Saturday, Sept. 22 at Bellows Falls’ Hadley Field. Their performance allowed them to hold an 8-6 lead with two and a half minutes remaining until halftime. In fact, odds are, they would have led at halftime if two plays turned out differently. First, there was an errant punt snap and two, the Springfield team, after having been warned, received a sideline penalty for getting too close to the action on a 30-yard play gain deep into Bellows Falls territory.
Bob Lockerby’s Terriers had their way following halftime, but the one-sided 46-8 outcome was actually set up when Bellows Falls tallied an unlucky – for Springfield -13 points in one minute and 18 seconds during the time it took the Cosmos to hand them the two gaffes.
Bellows Falls tallied the game’s first score on a Griffin Waryas two-yard run at the 10:36 mark of the second quarter. Sam Presch then found Anthony Steele on identical slant patterns for both a Cosmo touchdown and two-point conversion with 3:15 showing prior to the half to claim the lead 8-6. A Presch to Noah Zierfus 27-yard pass completion had set up those points.
This is when the gaffes and the lightning quick 13 points lit up the scoreboard and essentially claimed the game. First Bellows Falls quarterback Waryas found Noah Rawling on a 6-yard scoring strike (Waryas was 3-3 through the air in the game) with a Jeb Monier point after kick converting, before an out pattern of 19 yards connected with Sam Mellish for the 19-8 intermission advantage.
Springfield coach Todd Aiken labeled his team’s rival “a great team and I told the players we stuck with them for about a half. We didn’t back down. Mistakes and injuries cost us.” He added, “Our goal is to get better every week and we definitely got better this week.” The Cosmos hope to grow more next Saturday afternoon at Missisqoui.
Bellows Falls tallied three times, including two of the scores in 12.5 seconds, in the third quarter. Jed Lober had a two-yard run at the 8:13 to go mark with a two-point Waryas to Mellish conversion upping the count to 27-9 and the two quickest touchdowns were via a Waryas 6-yard rush and then a Dylan Clark 19-yard interception return for a score. Harrison Gleim’s touchdown and another Monier kick conversion competed the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Lockerby commented, “I didn’t think we played well in the first half, but you have to give Springfield credit. They took advantage of that. In the second half, we were obviously much better. We will work on putting together a complete game for next week.” Lockerby’s team will travel to Otter Valley Saturday for a divisional contest.