First season comes to a close

Castleton finished its inaugural season hosting the first annual Vermont Maple Sap Bucket championship against Norwich. In front of a crowd of over 3,000 people, the Spartans tried to hand the Cadets their first conference loss of the season.The Spartans jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game when freshman quarterback Shane Brozowski found Tyler Carpenter, freshman running back, for a 14-yard touchdown. Norwich answered back on its first possession, though, as the Cadets capped a 59-yard drive off with a touchdown rush from inside the 10-yard line.

The defense came up big for the Spartans, forcing Norwich to a three and out. A roughing-the-kicker penalty, though, was enough for the Cadets to take advantage with a new first down. Norwich punched in two more scores before halftime, giving the Cadets a 19-7 lead going into the locker rooms.

Both teams scored touchdowns on their first possessions once again in the third quarter, but neither team was able to find the end zone again in the third quarter.

After more scoring in the fourth quarter, the Spartans got the ball back with 27 seconds left in the game. Brozowski, already with two touchdown passes, found senior receiver Randy Babineau in the end zone on a play that was drawn up at halftime. After the Babineau score, the Spartans’ first season came to a close; they lost the game to Norwich 49-27.

Castleton was unable to get much consistency on the ground, but Brozowski went 23/32 for 306 yards and three touchdowns. Carpenter reached the end zone twice, but was held to just 27 yards rushing on the day.

“When we can combo the run and pass option, like our bubble screen, is when we’re effective,” said coach Rich Alercio. “The difference is the passing game; none of the defensive backs in this league are used to defending the pass.”

The Spartans finished the year at 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. Brozowski and freshman receiver Evan Cassidy made first team All-ECFC, and Carpenter made second team. The inaugural season exceeded many fans’ expectations, and now coach Alercio looks back at his season as head coach proudly.

“We got beaten up by the big brother for half of our lives, and then the second half of our life we started to swing back. The Ana Maria game on the road, the Becker game on the road, and then playing at home against the two toughest teams on the block [Husson and Norwich] and being able to hang with them,” Alercio said. “I’m very proud of our players and our coaching staff.”

Looking ahead, Alercio said he expects the team to grow even more heading into next year. He said he was really impressed with how the team battled in the second half of the season.

“Realistically [the goal is] to get to .500 in the second year. If we play 9 games, to be at 5-4 and have a winning record is a realistic goal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Theatre students held hostage
Next post Fresh Perspectives