BENNINGTON -- Young football teams are bound to deal with bumps in the road. On Friday night at Spinelli Field, the Mount Anthony Union High School Patriots ran into a mountain.
South Burlington scored 27 points in the first quarter and returned three kicks for touchdowns in a 52-0 rout.
"They're one of the best teams in the state and they just beat us physically," said Mount Anthony (0-2) coach Bill Hay. "We don't have a lot of margin for error."
South Burlington (1-1) hit quick and often in the first half.
After the Patriots earned one first down on its opening drive, they punted. Four plays later, the Rebels scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Riehle to Max Smith for a 7-0 advantage. MAU went three-and-out on the next series and Tanner Contois ran in from 16 yards out to double the lead.
"We executed today. We want to utilize our team speed and we did that," said Rebels coach Joe McDonald.
Things got worse for MAU when Smith ran back a punt 52 yards later in the quarter for a 21-0 lead and Contois caught a 58-yard bomb from Riehle to go up 27-0. Contois led the Rebels with four catches and 78 yards and the touchdown.
Riehle was an offensive force, completing 12-of-28 for 249 yards and three touchdowns playing only in the first half.
"Hunter reads what the defense gives him, it's not only the deep ball," McDonald said.
South Burlington's special teams took care of the scoring in the second half, as Contois ran back the opening kickoff 85 yards for a score and Smith took back a punt 77 yards on the next possession.
"That's a huge swing when you're trying to get some momentum," Hay said. "They were playing at a different speed."
The South Burlington defense was stout throughout as well, allowing only 89 yards of total offense from the Patriots.
Mount Anthony quarterback Damon Young was knocked out of the game in the first quarter, going 1-for-4 for 19 yards and an interception. Carson Cushman came in and completed four passes for 47 yards and three picks.
The Patriots struggled on the ground as well, combining for 23 yards rushing on 36 carries. Jacob Normyle had the best day, carrying 10 times for 27 yards.
"We weren't missing assignments, we were just getting beat," Hay said.
Hay said he hopes the defeat will up the intensity during practices. The Patriots host a powerful Middlebury squad next Friday.
"We're trying to build on the positives," Hay said. "We didn't turn the ball over as much and Tyler Mattison took a beating but didn't quit.
"We need to get a jump start."