JERICHO CENTER — The Mt. Mansfield Union High School Cougars scored 20 unanswered fourth quarter points to break a 14-14 tie and beat the Rice Memorial Green Knights 34-14 on Saturday afternoon.
Tied midway in the fourth, MMU took the lead on a one yard touchdown run by junior back Jerhic Hackney with 6:05 remaining. Then after a Green Knights turnover less than two minutes later they doubled their lead as quarterback Asa Carlson connected with wideout Jaden Elsinger on a 47 yard TD pass . After Rice turned the ball over on downs on their next possession Hackney added icing to the cake with a 35 yard TD run.
The fourth quarter touchdowns finished off a big day for Hackey, who missed all of last season due to injury. His 24 yard first quarter run keyed a game opening drive that Dylan Davis finished off with a three yard run for an early 7-0 Cougars lead. Then after Rice had come back to take a 14-7 third quarter lead Hackney’s 44 yard run set the Cougars up deep in Green Knights territory and Carlson connected with wideout Bryce DeNardo on a 14 yard TD pass that tied the game and set the stage for the fourth quarter rally.
Rice scored late in the second quarter when quarterback Tre Diemer found Greg Bolger on a 41 yard touchdown pass, tying the game. They then took the lead five minutes into the second half on Diemer’s one yard run, but they would not score again.
MMU starts the season 1-0 and will host BFA-St.Albans next Saturday. 0-1 Rice will host arch-rival Burlington next Saturday on Bill Landers Field.