This & That: Two wins and a loss in area football

Recently, when I was out and about, I received a question I couldn’t answer. In some ways it should have been a simple one, but it turns out it was quite complex. At least to me. The question was: how long has it been since all three of our area football teams have won in the same week? Fans know Bellows Falls wins regularly, but the case has not been the same for Springfield and Fall Mountain in recent years. That turns out to be a great question, and I don’t have the answer.

Since the question was asked, things have become even more complex, so complex in fact, that it might be close to impossible to figure the current picture out. Bellows Falls lost a heartbreaker to Fair Haven last Friday night at Hadley Field in one of the best football games played at that venue in a long time 17-16 on a field goal in the waning seconds.

Now, the scene shifts, Springfield pulled off an upset victory over Windsor this week 28-20. Meanwhile, Fall Mountain nipped Bishop Brady 16-14. The Cosmos have won three in a row while Fall Mountain has captured back-to-back victories. We now ask when was the last time Springfield and Fall Mountain had a string of wins put together and Bellows Falls had lost their latest game? Speak about the shoe being on the other foot.

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Bellows Falls running back Griffin Waryas looks for running room in a tough 17-16 loss to Fair Haven. Photo by Doug MacPhee.

What a strange scenario has played itself out and to take the bizarre twist a bit further, the losing Terriers coach Bob Lockerby said after his team’s loss, “I liked the way our kids played tonight. They played the type of game a coach is always proud of.”

Does that mean all the teams really won this week? We have certainly claimed positives for Springfield and Fall Mountain on some of their losing nights.

The Springfield game was a genuine upset plus. I believe Todd Aiken thought his team had a chance, but this team has started so slow so many times, you would think they couldn’t put themselves together for long enough to put this one in the win column.

Aiken told me, “Our guys came out hungry. We had two goals this week. Hit Windsor harder than they’ve been hit before and beat Windsor. We’ve got a great group of guys here. Even though we’re young, they have something special. Everyone wanted this too bad to let it slip away. It’s been a long time since Springfield has beaten Windsor in football. These boys wanted a piece of changing that.”

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Bryson Jester catching a pass earlier this football season. Twice he caught two-point conversions this week in the Cosmos big upset victory 26-20 over Windsor. Photo by Doug MacPhee.

The coach went on to say, “Our guys were ecstatic about what happened. They played to their potential and I think some were surprised that we could knock off a good team like Windsor.”

This win goes deeper than the surface for some in the Springfield program. I have seen two recent games in this series and both coaches and players from Springfield didn’t just feel they took a beating on the field, but verbally things happened towards Springfield that poured salt into the wound. For the most part, Springfield breathed real deep and took what came their way. Thus, this likely served as a catalyst for motivation when they needed a little bit extra where it counted Friday night.

Part of the baggage even included the officials, who penalized the Cosmos in those games when things again went a little deeper and included members of the other team, which they didn’t see. The Cosmos coaches did a good job in these situations of holding their players accountable and teaching a life lesson. I was in the right place at the right time to catch these incidents first hand.

Aiken praised the fans who week in and week out have followed and cheered for this team even in tougher times earlier this season. He said, “The atmosphere at Brown Field was incredible. Our crowd was so loud and behind us it helped our sideline get amped and motivated. This is a big step for Springfield football. Our boys keep working harder each week because they want more and more.”

The Cosmos have a really big hurdle at Poultney Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.

 

If you would like to comment on the sports in this paper, feel free to email me at bmurphy@vermontjournal.com.

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