After suffering a tough 32-14 defeat last week in Rhode Island to Salve Regina, the Castleton Spartans rebounded with a dominating 35-20 win against Alfred State last Saturday.
The 2015 Castleton University football team couldn’t wait to play at home for the first time this season and to welcome a winless non-conference opponent in Alfred State.
The Spartans would immediately deny the Pioneers any hopes of leaving Vermont with a victory as Castleton jumped out to a dominant 21-0 first quarter lead in front of the record-setting crowd of 4,117, which broke the previous attendance record of 4,030. The previous record was set at the very first Spartan game back in 2009.
Castleton was able to get back to Spartan football by attacking Alfred State with a balanced offensive game, and by getting another strong stand defensively. The win improved Castleton’s record to 2-1 overall.
“We were just able to go out there and play our game,” senior captain offensive lineman Jordan Tolar said. “We had all the momentum with it being our homecoming weekend. Being able to go out onto our field and play the game we all love in front of the ones we love is a pretty special feeling, something that I will never forget.”
Castleton was led by quarterback George Busharis, who completed 18 of 20 passes for four touchdowns, including three record-tying touchdown passes. Senior star wide-out Soren Pelz-Walsh was on the other end of many of those passes, gaining more than 180 yards receiving and scoring three touchdowns. Freshman phenom running back Moe Harris provided the Spartans with success in a big way rushing for 101 yards on just 19 carries.
Although the Spartans were excited about their big victory on Saturday, some players were more excited about just being able to play at home in front of their friends and family.
“Homecoming at Castleton is unlike anything you’ll ever experience anywhere,” senior defensive lineman Brett Denning said.
“It’s awesome seeing the crowd packed and so many alumni at the game. It’s just an awesome experience. We have the best fan base in new England, which is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Denning and the rest of the Castleton defense was strong on Saturday, holding Alfred State to just 34 rushing yards, and found great strength from sophomore Jakob Trautwein, who had six tackles and a sack. Leo Audy and Darren Callan combined for 10 tackles on the afternoon.
The Spartans will look to have a strong week of practice as they prepare for perhaps the biggest game of the season against conference rival Husson University this Saturday at 1 p.m.