Until Saturday, it was next to impossible to pick athletic standouts with the beginning of the season starting out a little rocky. After the Anna Maria football team left on their bus, though, it was obvious which team to turn to for the beginning of the semester standouts. Right before kickoff, there was still a feeling in the stands accompanying the excitement – it was nervousness. For over a year, Castleton has been waiting for a football game to echo through the town and the hype couldn’t have been built up anymore.
As the Spartans lined up to receive the opening kickoff, it was like sitting in a theater waiting for the movie to start, hoping it wouldn’t end badly. Surely enough, the opening credits were running and freshman Evan Cassidy emerged as the early hero.
Cassidy had the crowd jumping to their feet as he brought the ball 70 yards down field on the opening kick-off giving the offense the ball at the Anna Maria 12-yard line. In the fourth quarter, he rebutted an Anna Maria defensive touchdown by returning the kick-off 78 yards for a touchdown.
Tyler Carpenter proved to be a finisher verses Anna Maria grinding it out for a couple yards when the Spartans needed the first down and he did his best to keep Anna Maria’s defense moving all afternoon.
Carpenter carried the ball 21 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns. His ground game already looks good early on, which will give quarterback Shane Brozowski more open looks through the air.
Brozowski looked shaky in the beginning of the game as his first pass resulted in an interception. After that, though, the freshman quarterback calmed down and put up respectable numbers in the stats column setting the measuring bar pretty high for himself in future home games. Brozowski went 13-17 through the air for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
His main target was junior Thomas Cole.
Cole was the foundation of Castleton’s long game. When a statement needed to be sent to the Wildcats’ defense, Cole was the messenger. Brozowski threw him four passes for 115 yards. Cole’s hands proved to be just as clutch as the crowd was loud.
Castleton knew it would be getting a football team this year, but there was never any mention of getting the most energetic student section along with the helmets and pads. The crowd was loud all game long, but the student section was the beating to that cheering heart.
The Rutland Fieldhouse echoes when the Spartans take the ice, but Spartan Stadium was rumbling from one to four on Saturday afternoon. Nothing could have made the win better than a crowd expressing how deprived their throats were from yelling all summer long.
The win put the movie feeling on the entire event and it did indeed give the fans their happy ending with the 48-28 thrashing. It was the long awaited inaugural season, all the hype was built up, and the home team won in exciting fashion.
The Spartans christened their new home perfectly and will now look to keep the 0 in the home loss column.