Win advances Hartford to the Division 1 state title game
By John Seaver
The Hartford Hurricanes football team's motto all season has been "Why not two in a row?" With Friday nights convincing 37-8 win over Mount Mansfield, the Hurricanes are just one win away from that goal of repeating as Vermont Division 1 state champions.
On a crisp autumn night (perfect football weather) Hartford used a combination of stout defense, typical Hurricane ground and pound offense and some big plays to overwhelm a Cougar team that performed better than the final score would indicate.
After a scoreless first quarter, Hartford broke through early in the 2nd quarter for the games first score on a Tyler Hamilton 15 yard scramble. The 2 point conversion failed but the Canes had a 6-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Mount Mansfield sophomore Mason Combs faked a reverse hand off and sprinted up the middle of the Hartford kick coverage on his way to what looked like a go ahead touchdown. But Hartford's Riley Packard never gave up on the play and tracked down Combs for a touchdown saving tackle at the 5 yard line. This turned out to be a huge play as the Hurricane defense held and the Cougars missed a 30 yard field goal preserving the 6-0 Hurricane lead.
Two plays later, Hamilton hit Austin Gaudette on a 45 yard TD throw and after the 2 pt conversion the Canes stretched their lead to 14-0 at the half.
The teams traded punts on the first four possessions of the 3rd quarter before Hamilton broke a 59 yard TD run that blew the game open giving the Canes a 22-0 lead.
The Canes added TD runs by Zachary Burek & Kody Rhodes in the 4th quarter and Mount Mansfield added a score in the last minute of the game to break up the shut out.
Category 5 Hurricane Player of the Game: QB Tyler Hamilton. Mount Mansfield had no answer for Hamilton as he ran through and passed over the Cougar defense all game. Hamilton had TD runs of 15 & 59 yards and a 45 yard TD pass.
Hartford will meet the winner of the BFA St Albans vs St Johnsbury game in the state championship next Saturday at Rutland High School. Game time TBD.
Why not two in a row?
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