SOUTH BURLINGTON — Matt Hesford stalled an early South Burlington drive with a pass interception, then raced for a pair of first half touchdowns, leading the Colchester Lakers to a 37-22 win over the Rebels on Friday night on Munson Field.
Pushed by the running of Manny Boardman, South Burlington appeared to be driving for the games first touchdown in the later stages of the first quarter. But after a holding penalty set the Rebels back ten yards, Hesford stepped in front of a Kevin Papariello pass for the interception at the Colchester 19. A few plays later he took a handoff and turned the left corner, galloping 73 yards for the game’s first touchdown. The Lakers then added a two point conversion pass (QB Alex O’Connell to TE Stephen Emmons) for an 8-0 lead.
When the Rebels then fumbled the ensuing kickoff the Lakers took immediate advantage, O’Connell connecting with Emmons for a big gainer, and on the first play of the second quarter Hesford banged his way into the end zone for his second TD of the night. This time O’Connell found wideout Bailey Olson for the two points after and a 16-0 CHS lead.
Colchester would add one more score, a 5 yard run by fullback Jerrett Schnabel, and a Cody Lawrence extra point kick for a 23-0 lead at the break.
The Rebels regrouped, recovering an onside kick to start the third quarter and Boardman took over. A big run got SB down inside the five and he then took it in from one yard out to get the Rebels on the board. Papariello connected with Noah Zhou for the two pointer and SB was back withing 23-8 less than two minutes into the second half.
The teams then exchanged scores the rest of the third. Andrew Spencer scored from four yards out for the Lakers, with Boardman countering with a 28 yard TD run for SB, making it 30-15 after three.
Spencer’s second TD of the game for CHS and Ryan Hockenbury’s 17 yard screen pass reception from Papariello for the Rebels completed the scoring.
With the win Colchester keeps their playoff hopes alive. The Lakers finish the regular season next week at home in a showdown game with BFA-St. Albans. The Rebels, now 0-7, finish the regular season next week at home against Essex.