By: Storm Humbert – THE REPORTER
The Montpelier Locomotives took the field on September 13 looking to bounce back on their home turf after a devastating loss the week prior at Liberty Center. Their opponents, the Patrick Henry Patriots, were no pushovers however and the night didn’t go quite as planned for the home team Locos.
The night didn’t start out great for the home team as the Locomotives’ first offensive possession ended with an interception and Patrick Henry taking over on their side of the field. However, in what wound up being one of the few Patriot mistakes of the night, the visitors gave the ball right back to the Locos with a fumble on their first play from scrimmage.
After this quick back and fort of possessions however, it quickly shaped up to be a long night for the home team Locomotives. After regaining possession, Montpelier went for a quick three and out culminating in a punt. The visiting Patriots then took over and moved quickly down the field for the first score of the evening.
It got worse fast for the Locos. They went another three and out on their next possession and this was quickly capitalized upon by Patrick Henry as the Patriots scored on their first play from scrimmage on the ensuing possession.
The next Montpelier possession was a three and out of a different variety in that the first two plays went for little or no gain and the third was picked off by the Patriots around midfield. Two plays later, the visiting team was in the end zone again.
The Locos next possession was much the same except that this time the interception occurred on the first play from scrimmage and was accompanied by a charge of offensive pass interference. The Patriots quickly took the ball down for another score to make it 28-0 before the end of the first quarter.
Montpelier’s next possession got a little traction and the Locos moved the chains once, but the drive ended in another punt. The next Patrick Henry possession ended up moving more slowly than the previous ones, but just as effectively as the Patriots posted yet another score.
The next Montpelier drive was another three and out and ended in yet another punt attempt. This one was just an attempt because the snap sailed over the punters head and he was swarmed by Patriots resulting in a large loss of yardage and a turnover on downs.
At this point, however, the Montpelier defense rallied and made some big plays. They stuffed a couple of Patrick Henry runs and knocked down some passes. Then, the Patriots lost five yards on a false start call which brought up fourth down and six. The Locos made an impressive stand and didn’t give up the first. This turnover on downs gave the ball back to the Locomotives with one last drive attempt before the half.
And what an attempt it was. On the second play of the drive, Alex Zuver hauled in a long pass from Keegan Hitzeman and ran with it until being stopped by a Patrick Henry defensive back close to the Patriots’ red zone. In total, the play netted the home team 70 yards. The drive, however, was not to be as the Locomotives quickly found themselves facing a long fourth down after a few incomplete passes. The drive ended in a turnover on downs and the Patriots ran out the first half clock and went to the locker room with the score 35-0.
The second half was much of the same for the Locomotives, though quarterback Keegan Hitzeman did find the end zone on a nine yard run in the third quarter. The game ended with the score 49-7 and the Locos looking again to next week and next season for retribution.
On the night, quarterback Keegan Hitzeman was two of eight in the passing game for a total of 90 yards with three interceptions. Also, the Montpelier stable of running backs managed 46 rushing yards on 42 attempts with on touchdown coming from Hitzeman. The two receptions on the night went to Alex Zuver for 70 yards and Cody Caudill for 20. In terms of defense, Alex Zuver grabbed the highlight of the night on that side of the ball as well with Montpelier’s only interception.
The Locomotives will now focus their attention on the upcoming game against Swanton so head over next week and watch Montpelier face off against the Bulldogs, it promises to be a good game.
Storm Humbert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org