Saturday, August 30, dawned early for the Junior Falcon Football teams, who opened their regular season with games held in St. Johnsbury for the A (seventh and eighth grade) and B (fifth and sixth grade) team varsity squads and in Fairfax for the junior varsity squad (new players in grades four, five and six).
The B team opened the morning by receiving the 8 a.m. kickoff. The ball was covered by Jack Young. Kyle Martin, ran the ball for 20 yards and the subsequent first down. The Falcons turned the ball over, and 9 minutes in, the Raiders scored the first touchdown. Daniel Broome, playing safety, had a solo tackle at the goal line to end the half and prevent another touchdown. At half time the score stood 7-0. The Falcons opened the second half with a boot by Kevin Langtagne. Play continued to go back and forth. The Falcons looked to be having a come back when Shawn Ferino, ran for 20+ yards on a fumble recovery. Defensively, the Falcons showed some core strength with big plays put up by Nate Walton Braxton Azur and Giddeon Hinton to name a few. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, with the Falcons falling to the Raiders with a final of 9-0.
With the temperature rising, the A team took the field also playing the Raiders. The Falcons opened with a 40-yard kick by Rian Hayman-Jones. The first offensive play for the Raiders resulted in a fumble, recovered by Cole Azur. This led the Falcons to a scoring drive with Garrett Gile taking the ball across the line and Asom Hayman-Jones getting the two-point conversion. The Raiders returned the kick for an answering touchdown, but had it brought back to their own 10-yard line, by a penalty. Play continued back and forth, with the Raiders scoring 6. Micheal Martin had a huge tackle at the line of scrimmage to end the quarter. With 5:50 left in the second the Raiders scored again with Rian Hayman-Jones picking off the extra 2. A long pass by the Raiders’ quarterback was picked off by Rian Hayman-Jones at the Falcons 35 with two minutes left to play. The offense pressed on with a 15-yard pass to Garrett Gile and another pass to him going 30 yards for the touchdown. A defensive pick by Stephen Austin at the goal line took it to the half with the score Raiders 12, Falcons 14. The third quarter was strong for the Falcons with Nick Prue getting a fumble recovery. Garrett Gile put up more yards and another touchdown, Cole Azur had the catch for the extra 2. The quarter ended on a 50-yard pass, again to Gile. Gile continued to show his prowess with an interception and 40-yard run in the fourth. With 1:05 left to play Rian Hayman-Jones scored the final points with a touchdown and the extra 2. The Falcons opened the season with a 30-12 victory over the Radliff Raiders.
The squads will be in action again next Saturday under the lights at home, when they face the Lyndon Vikings. — submitted by Eva Broome