BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – It was Homecoming 2016 and that meant time for celebration. In Bellows Falls, the best darn football team in history was part of the festivities. The 1971 team was scheduled to get together in the evening to look back at what they had accomplished 45 years ago. No team ever to wear the Purple and White had done it better. And on this day, the 2016 Terriers fell flat after an opening score.
“The kids definitely took their opponent too lightly,” Terrier Coach Bob Lockerby said Monday as he reflected back. The veteran leader went on to say, “I don’t have an answer for it. I know we were excited. Maybe the whole thing was too much. I know they were excited about seeing the 1971 State Championship team and seeing all those names they’ve been told about, seeing what they look like. It was Homecoming, there would be a dance and probably most of all, they’re kids. No I don’t really have an answer, BUT, I didn’t like the way we played for awhile.”
The Purple and White came out of the shute hard. They went on a long drive to paydirt which culminated when quarterback Caleb Lisai found Jacob Streeter on a 26 yard scoring pass for an early 6-0 lead. Mount Mansfield had come into play, advertised as a team, which was headed upward in the right direction, despite an opening 56-0 loss to Burr + Burton on Opening Day. They flashed a sign early last Saturday, that the improvement might continue, as they marched down the field the first time they had the ball, BUT, reality set in, when the Terriers stopped them cold at the 5 yard line. By the time Mount Mansfield eventually scored, BF was well in charge 47-0, on their way to a 55-8 victory.
It was almost the middle of the second quarter before Lockerby’s eleven would tally their second touchdown. Penalties and turnovers slowed down their usual offensive efficiency. Once the instability factors passed, things began clicking again. Then they clicked fast and furious. When everything fell back into place, the hosts outscored the northerners 29-0 in the second stanza.
That second period showed Jahyde Bullard and Logan Cota both scoring two touchdowns. Bullard took his turn first with end zone finding runs of 16 and 8 yards, with the first one culminating the turning point of the game. The Cougars still trailed 6-0 with basically half of the second quarter in the book, when they they were unable to hold on to a punt at their own 16. BF’s Shane Clark fell on the ball and Bullard’s run put BF in charge with 6:36 left in the half. By the time Bullard tallied again, a possession later, on his next scoring run, to finish off a drive, everyone realized, including Mount Mansfield, that BF was on their way to another 2016 victory. Cota’s 37 yard interception return (captured in picture) for a TD and his 65 yard score on a flat pass, allowed the Terriers to enjoy a 35-0 lead at the intermission.
All but one of the remaining scores came in the third stanza. Clark ran the pigskin in from 19 yards out to commence the second half scoring and then before the visitors found the end zone, Clark set up the next score with a 40 yard rush, which eventually found a fourth down pass from Lisai to Liam Hackett of 9 yards upping the locals advantage to 47-0. The lone Mount Mansfield touchdown came on the final play of the third quarter. The reserves went at it in the final twelve minutes with BF’s Brendan Kendall providing the lone score on an 8 yard run.
Bellows Falls collected over 450 yards of offense on the day with the majority in the running game, BUT, as Lockerby has stated all year long, the passing game is now a strong part of the vaunted attack and it once again provided close to 100 yards to the cause. The Terriers (4-0) are back on the road this week, traveling to Milton (2-2) Friday evening for a 7 p.m. contest.