Good Morning! With the Border Country Sports Report, I'm Keith Harrington.
New Hampshire Shuts Down Vermont in Shrine Game
On a scorching hot day where conditions for football were less than ideal, and with a pair of teams who rely mainly on power running attacks, one might expect a low-scoring game. That's exactly what fans at Saturday's 69th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl got. New Hampshire overcame the brutal conditions and last ditch effort from the Green Mountain Staters to blank Vermont 7-0 at Castleton University's Dave Wolk Stadium.
It was the second consecutive shutout for New Hampshire who won last year's game 21-0.
New Hampshire scored the only touchdown of the afteroon with 4:20 left in the first half when Aidan Washington hooked up with Kevin Kolodziej on a 26-yard strike. Kolodziejslipped past the top of the Vermont secondary on a seam route. The first half score followed a Vermont turnover on downs and capped a nearly seven-minute, 80-yard drive.
Vermont struggled to mount any offense against the defense of the Granite State defense, but they finally got a scoring opportunity late in the game. With under a minute to play and Vermont at the New Hampshire 13 yard line Lebanon’s Justin Decarlo came up with the play of the game. With Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year, Rutland's Slade Postemski heading in the direction of the end zone Decarlo punched the ball loose to preserve a win for his team.
“I stayed home and did my responsibility,” Decarlo said. “He (Postemski) came across the field and I guess he had gotten loose and I just came over and tried to pop it out and make a play.”
The Vermont offense was hindered by four fumbles and several penalties and totaled just 179 yards.
Washington led New Hampshire with 40 passing yards on two completions. The Granite State backfield amassed 185 yards with Kolodziej and Nico Zaino leading the way with 58 and 53 yards, respectively.
Gilbert paced Vermont’s run game with 94 yards on six carries. Serrantonio and Bellows Falls’ Jonathan Terry combined 3-of-8 for 14 yards through the air.
New Hampshire increases their lead in the series to 50-16-2.
Battle at the Bowl Scheudled for Tonight
Devil’s Bowl Speedway prides itself on offering something special every week to both challenge drivers and entertain race fans. Then there are marquee headline events that are a must see like the upcoming CJ Richards Classic ‘Battle at the Bowl’ tonight where Modifieds big and small will tussle 67 laps for $10,000 to win, with $1,000 to start.
There has been a CJ Richards Memorial event since 2012, so the race has history and track promoter Mike Bruno wanted to empower the prestige in winning such a tribute in honor of a man who founded CVRA (Champlain Valley Racing Association) in 1963 and later opened Vermont’s fastest dirt half mile on Route 22-A in West Haven later on in 1967.
Tonight's event will be a $10,000 to win battle that includes $1,000 to take the green in a 24-car starting field for drivers in the Big Block / Small Block Modified division.
Taking a quick look back at some winners, it was Matt Sheppard who won Battle at the Bowl 2021 and 2019. Anthony Perrego won in 2020.
Previous winners of the CJ Richards Memorial included Kenny Tremont Jr. (2019), Demetrios Drellos (2018), Vince Quenneville (2016), Leon Gonyo (2015), Jessey Mueller (2014), Todd Stone (2013), and Hunter Bates (2012).
Among the stars commited to the race are Perrego, Mike Mahaney, Kenny Tremont Jr. Erick Rudolph, Max McLaughlin and many,many more.
“We look forward to honoring C.J.Richards again with the Battle at the Bowl Event,” said enthusiastic promoter Mike Bruno about the CJ Richards Classic ‘Battle at the Bowl’ event.
Time trials tonight begin at 5:30 p.m. with racing at 6:00 p.m.
“We’ll see who holds the $10,000 check after taking the checkered flag. It’ll be a hard fought 67 laps,” Bruno concluded.
With the Border Country Sports Report, I'm Keith Harrington.
(Photo by Michael Beniash)