Football Drops Heartbreaker 56-52
CASTLETON, Vt. - Shane Brozowski (Rensselaer, N.Y.) set a Castleton record with seven touchdown passes, and threw for 458 yards, three short of the program's high-water mark, to lead the Spartans to a 56-52 win over Anna Maria College in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) action Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
The 3,640 fans on hand for Castleton's homecoming weekend were treated to an offensive display as the two teams combined for 1,144 total yards and 15 touchdowns on the afternoon.
Castleton finished the game in exciting fashion, going for it on fourth and goal from the four-yard line with 15 seconds left, trailing by three.
After Anna Maria stopped a pair of Tyler Carpenter (Fort Edward, N.Y.) runs, and a Brozowski keeper, Castleton called a timeout with 15 seconds left. Brozowski took the snap from the shotgun, rolled to his right and fired a strike to Adam Farmer (South Burlington, Vt.) for what proved to be the game-winner.
Anna Maria struck first as Santino Simone (Worcester, Mass.) hooked up with Domenique Concepcion (Middlebury, Conn.) on a quick slant and the junior wide receiver did the rest, running 33 yards to pay dirt. The score capped aa game-opening, eight-play, 70-yard drive that spanned 3:52.
Castleton answered as Brozowski found Zack Waitkus (Stafford Springs, Conn.) for the first of his record-tying three receiving touchdowns on the day. Browzowski found Waitkus on a quick swing pass and the junior wide out broke a pair of tackles before diving into the end zone.
After a 37-yard touchdown strike from Simone to Blake Simpson (Warwick, R.I.) made it 21-14, the Spartans were once again forced to answer.
They did. Carpenter took a swing pass on third and eight, broke a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, spun around a defender and tip-toed the right sideline for the final ten yards into the end zone, capping a 13-play 81-yard drive to make it 21-21 at halftime.
Castleton opened the second half with yet another Brozowski-to-Waitkus touchdown and Anna Maria seemingly blinked first, settling for a Jamal Mitchell (Shelton, Conn.) 22-yard field goal to make it 28-24 Castleton.
On the ensuing possession, Anna Maria defensive back Kevin McCoy (Springfield, Mass.) flipped the story picking off a Brozowski pass at his own 44-yard line and took it back 56 yards for a touchdown and a 31-28 AMCAT lead.
Castleton once again answered as the third Brozowski-to-Waitkus score made it 35-31. The four-yard strike capped an eight-play 77-yard drive, setting up a fourth quarter filled with offense.
The teams combined for six touchdowns over the final 15 minutes, as both teams went blow-for-blow.
A pair of Simone keepers for touchdowns sandwiched a 25-yard Robert Small (Tarrytown, N.Y.) touchdown to round out the scoring for the AMCATS. A 39-yard reception by Kevin Alberque (Ridgefield Park, N.J.) and a bruising, 11-yard run from Carpenter kept pace, setting up the gutsy fourth-and-goal touchdown by Farmer.
When the dust settled, Brozowski was 35-for-51 with two interceptions, completing passes to six different receivers, with five different Spartans catching touchdowns. Brandon Boyle (Springfield, Vt.) had a team-high 172 yards on 11 catches, including a 40-yard leaping touchdown reception. Waitkus finished with a team-high 12 catches for 91 yards and Farmer racked up 109 yards on six catches.
Carpenter ran for a team-high 136 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.
Simone had a great day under center as well, completing 16-of-26 passes with an interception, two touchdowns and 218 yards. He also had 53 yards and two scores on the ground as Anna Maria piled up 312 rushing yards.
Small led the ground game with 148 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown, while Ken Wood (Walpole, Mass.) added 110 yards on 13 carries.
Josh Osborne (Island Heights, N.J.) set a new Spartan record with 16 tackles and Dustin Young (Dunnellon, Fla.) added 11.
Castleton has now won four-straight over the AMCATS, and retains the "Helmet Trophy" with the win. More importantly, the Spartans are now 1-2 overall and 1-0 in ECFC play.
Anna Maria, still in search of its first win since forming the program in 2009 falls to 0-3, 0-1.
Both teams return to ECFC play next Saturday at 1 pm as Anna Maria hosts Gallaudet and Castleton travels to SUNY-Maritime.