For the first time in three seasons, the Norwich University football team defeated the Spartans of Castleton University in the annual Battle for the Maple Sap Bucket. Trailing by a game-high 10 points at halftime, the Cadets rallied to post a 35-27 victory at Sabine Field on Saturday.
Norwich concludes its 120th season of varsity play with a 5-5 overall record alongside a 5-2 mark within the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. The Cadets, slated to join the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference prior to the 2017 season, conclude ECFC play with a 44-10 record since the league’s inception in 2009.
Freshman Aaron Conner led the way with two rushing touchdown on the afternoon while classmate Patrick Brown netted a team-leading 102 yards, scoring a 31-yard touchdown. Junior Quincy Williams and senior Nicholas Benoit capped off the scoring with a rushing touchdown apiece.
Junior Austin Roberts led the Norwich defense with nine total tackles, including one for a loss of three yards. Senior Jake Apthorpe registered four takedowns on the day, three of them coming for a combined loss of nine yards. In addition to his six tackles, Derek Lotito’s 10-yard interception to begin the second half was ultimately proven to be a catalyst for the Norwich comeback in the second half.
Corey Brimmer tallied 70 yards for Castleton on the ground, carrying the ball 28 times. Spartans quarterback Mitchell Caron was 25-for-46, passing for 284 yards and throwing for one touchdown and one interception. Anthony Porcelli cashed in with 114 yards on eight receptions while Soren Pelz-Walsh also hauled in eight passes for 112 net yards.
Defensively for the Spartans, Darren Callan led the team with 18 total tackles, including 11 solo tackles, while Jakob Trautwein finished with 17 total tackles. Trautwein held onto the team lead in total tackles for the season with 142, now the Castleton single-year record, by one over Callan, who set the Spartan single-game and career tackle records during the season.
Norwich caps its 120th season of varsity competition with a 5-5 record – the Cadets have finished with a .500-or-better record in each of the last seven seasons dating back to the 2009 campaign.
Castleton's season ends with a 4-6 overall record, including a 4-3 record within the ECFC.
Courtesy: Norwich/Castleton athletics
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