The Maple Sap Bucket is heading back to Castleton after the Spartans dominated the Norwich Cadets 48-28 in their season finale at Norwich, ending their season with a 7-3 record, best in program history.
The Spartans came out strong, starting the game with a 10-play, 76-yard drive ending with a 19-yard Kevin Alberque touchdown catch from George Busharis to make it 7-0.
“It was a very emotional game,” said senior Kevin Alberque, who is playing in his last collegiate game. “We came to play today and I'm excited to see what the team can do next year as an alum.”
With emotions riding high, the Spartans kept their foot on the gas adding touchdowns from Zachary Howe, who finished the day with 4 reception for 83 yards, and another touchdown by Kevin Alberque to make it 21-0.
With less than six minutes to go in the half, Castleton defender Eric Mimnaugh then picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards for the touchdown making it 34-0.
Norwich would show some life toward the end of the half adding two touchdowns making it 34-14 at the half.
The Spartans came out fighting in the second half, hitting the board quickly with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Combs from Busharis extending the lead to 40-14.
Quarterback George Busharis got in on the party too adding a rushing touchdown of his own making in 46-14. Busharis ended the day going 24 for 37 for 317 yards including four touchdown-passes and two rushing.
“The team came out strong in all parts of the game, offense, defense and special teams. The thing we lacked on in the second half is we lost of focus because of the huge lead we had in the first half,” said coach Tony Volpone.
The Cadets didn’t give up, adding two touchdowns late in the third quarter from Dan Jamieson and Zach Allen, trimming the lead to 46-28.
Castleton would add a safety in the fourth to complete scoring.
“It was a great year for the kids. They played tough all year and it is good to set the foundation for the years to come. And now we are bringing home the Sap Bucket,” said Volpone.