St. Johnsbury — It was a tale of two halves and ultimately a game decided on an extra point kick. The Brattleboro Colonels scored their first Division One league win in exactly a year, topping the St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers 41-40 in double overtime on Saturday on Fairbanks Field.
After St. Johnsbury quarterback Collin Urie scored his 4th touchdown of the day from ten yards out on the first play in the second round of overtime to give the Academy a 40-34 lead, the Hilltoppers missed the extra point. That would prove huge when Bratt’s Cheick Diakite responded with his fifth touchdown run of the game, pounding it in on a ten yard sweep on the first play of the Colonels possession. Brattleboro’s Taylor King then booted the point after and the visiting Colonels had their first win of the season.
It was a game of two distinctly different halves. The offenses ruled the first half, as the two teams combined to put 61 points up on the scoreboard, with the visitors taking a 34-27 lead into the break. Diakite ran wild, rushing for 183 yards and touchdowns of 2, 23, 9 and 78 yards. Colonels QB Tony Martinez scored their other TD on a 4 yard run.
For the Hilltoppers Urie ran for scores of 11 and 31 yards and hit tight end Brodie Talbot on six yard TD pass, while running back Matt Roy added a 53 yard run.
It was a different game in the second half, as the intense heat and improved defensive play on both sides changed the tenure of the game. The only TD over the second 24 minutes came on Urie’s six yard run with just under five minutes left in the third quarter.
Both teams had chances in the final quarter, the best belonging to the Academy. But after Urie intercepted a Martinez pass and returned it to the Bratt 19 with under a minute to play, the Colonels Tyler McKenney picked off his second pass of the day on a great diving catch inside the five and the game went to OT, and the Colonels came home with the win.
Now 1-1, the Colonels go home to host defending state champion Middlebury next Friday night. Also 1-1, St. Johnsbury will travel to Essex.