Assistant Sports Editor
BENNINGTON -- Turnovers mean nothing if you can't do anything with them.
The Mount Anthony Union High School Patriots found that out the hard way on Friday night, as the team failed to capitalize on two straight turnovers by Rutland inside of the Rutland 25-yard line to start the second half, and the Patriots fell 13-7 on Friday night at Spinelli Field.
"Not scoring on those two opportunities was the big difference," coach Bill Hay said. "We score quick there, and that puts us over the edge."
Through the first half, it was either team's game for the taking.
Rutland was able to strike first. After Andrew Kenosh was able to pick off MAU's Damon Young and bring the ball back down to the MAU 19-yard line, the Rutland offense put together a four-play drive that was capped by a one-yard sneak by quarterback Nick Boles. After a missed extra point, it was 6-0 to Rutland.
But Mount Anthony would respond two drives later.
This touchdown was also set up by a turnover, as Andrew Burout was able to hop on top of a fumble to give MAU the ball on the Rutland 20-yard line.
Five plays later, and Pat Powers (10 carries, 25 yards) was able to rush in from a yard out. After a made extra point, MAU took a 7-6 lead.
Neither team would score again before the half.
Rutland would turn the ball over on downs, then MAU would punt, then the Patriots saw Tyler Mattison (11 carries, 46 yards) pick off a pass from Noles before the halftime whistle.
"The defense we had tonight was the best we have ever done against a good team," Mattison said after the gme. "We did pretty good against them defensively."
But unfortunately for Mattison and the defense, the offense could not find the end zone after the first score.
To start the second half, Rutland coughed up the ball on the kickoff.
This gave the Patriots the ball at the Rutland 21-yard line. But after three short runs and a false start, the team turned the ball over on downs when Young (5-for-14, 67 yards) threw an incomplete pass to Mattison.
But the team would get the ball back in another promising position on the next series.
After holding the Rutland offense and forcing a punt, the special teams for MAU was able to bumrush the punter, sacking him way behind the line and giving the Patriots the ball on the Rutland 24.
But five plays later, and Mattison was picked off on an attempted halfback pass by Rutland's Jordan Godfrey in the end zone.
"It is a disappointment," Mattison said about the stalled drives. "Knowing you are so close, but you can't get in."
The next score came three drives later.
As Rutland was starting to move the ball down the field, Wyatt Socinski took a run up the gut and busted it open for 21 yards. But at the end of the play, Socinski was nailed after he had gone out. An extra 15 yards was tacked on for the penalty.
On the next play, Socinski took a simple four-yard carry. But this time, his facemask was pulled. 15 extra yards were tacked on to that play.
Four plays later, and on the first play of the fourth quarter, Socinski finished off the drive with a 15-yard scamper. After a made extra point, Rutland led 13-7.
Mount Anthony would have one last shot at the end zone.
The drive would stall out, however, and force the Patriots to punt the ball away.
Rutland would chew up a majority of the clock after getting the ball back. The Red Raiders would give the ball back to the Patriots with only four seconds left in the game.
Young was able to run the ball for 22 yards, but it was not enough for the Patriots to get back in the end zone.
The Patriots fall to 0-3 on the season, while the Red Raiders improve to 2-1.