ESSEX JUNCTION — The Essex Hornets forced four Middlebury turnovers and defeated the Tigers 17-0 in Division One action on Friday night on the Essex Field.
Ironically the Hornets started the night with a big mistake, but that mistake quickly turned into points for them. After a three and out on their first possession the Hornets dropped Jordan Hines into punt formation. But Hines juggled the snap, fumbled it and finally fell on it at the Essex 31 yard line, giving the visiting Tigers the ball there on downs. Middlebury proceeded to drive inside the Essex 15 yard line, but on a third down play they fumbled the ball, and Hines was johnny on the spot, atoning for his mistake by scooping the ball up and outracing the Tigers 84 yards down field for the games first touchdown.
Essex would force two more Tigers first half turnovers, a pass interception and another fumble, turning one of them into a 24 yard Anthony Hope field goal for a 10-0 lead at the half.
Fullback Liam Coulter would provide Essex with breathing room, bursting free for a 60 yard touchdown sprint mid-way in the third quarter to account for the final margin.
With the win Essex improves their record to 4-2. They travel to Brattleboro next week. Middlebury is now also 4-2. They will host Rice next Friday night on Doc Collins Field.