Burr and Burton Academy just getting started; roll past Cougars

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MANCHESTER >> It was execution at it's finest by the Burr and Burton football team in their season opener on Saturday afternoon.

The defending Division II state champions, picked up right where they left off last season, rolling past Mount Mansfield to 56-0 season opening victory.

"It was a nice start to the season for us," said BBA coach Jason Thomas. "Our high speed tempo on offense got us ahead early and we played relentless defense all game. It's a start."

Right off the bat, the Bulldogs seized control of the contest thanks to their high powered offense led by senior quarterback Griff Stalcup.

After BBA started the game with a trick play on a 27 yard throwback pass from Jay McCoy to Carter Vickers, Stalcup led the Bulldogs offense down and hooked up with Vickers on a 15 yard touchdown pass for the game's first score.

On BBA's next offensive possession, Stalcup showed off his dual-threat ability as a quarterback, avoiding the rush and running in the end zone from four yards out to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.

"Our team was able to find the end zone a lot today because, as a unit, we were clicking on all cylinders," Stalcup said. "The line did a good job blocking and our receivers did a good job getting open down field. The way my teammates played today just made my job, as a quarterback, easier and allowed to make plays to help us win."

That was just the beginning to a unbelievable first quarter performance that Stalcup put on display for his home crowd at Taylor Field.

On the next drive, Stalcup threw a 31 yard touchdown bomb on 4th down no less to fellow senior Sean Apps that made it a 21-0 Bulldogs lead.

After running in from five yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the game, Stalcup hooked up on a 13 yard touchdown pass to McCoy with four seconds to go in the quarter, that gave him five touchdowns in the opening period and BBA a 35-0 lead going into the second quarter.

Stalcup added a 19 yard touchdown pass to Vickers in the second quarter to make it 42-0 BBA and gave him a total of six touchdowns in the game.

"We got a special kid pulling the trigger for us at quarterback," Thomas said about Stalcup. "Griff, along with our offense, has the ability to put up a lot of points for us this season."

Stalcup's backup Jay McCoy didn't fair too bad either for the Bulldogs under center in the game.

After rushing for a four yard touchdown to make 49-0 BBA, the junior showed off his arm with a beautiful 22 yard touchdown pass to senior Ryan Duddy, giving him three total touchdowns on the afternoon and the Bulldogs a 56-0 lead at the half.

"I just came out here and did what I could to do to help the team win," McCoy said. "Whether I'm playing tight end or playing quarterback, I'm going to do what I can to help the offense put up points."

McCoy had a sack to on his banner day for the Bulldogs defense, which played lights out all game.

The Bulldog shutdown the Cougars offense all day long, forcing three turnovers in the contest on a fumble recovery by Bryce Little, and interceptions from Sam Cottrell and Jake Nicholson in BBA's shutout victory.

Mt. Mansfield's offense didn't even get a first down till the second quarter and only had one play that accounted for 20 or more yards.

"We always talk about relentless pursuit on defense and that's what we did today," Thomas said. "We ran to the ball well and did a good job wrapping up on our tackles. It was also great to see that our backups played well and some of our younger guys were able to force some turnovers."

BBA's focus will now shift to their next opponent Fair Haven who will be one of the toughest teams the Bulldogs will face this season.

Like he preaches to his team, Thomas wants his Bulldogs to focus on getting better day by day in preparing for the game.

"This was great start for us, but we have to see if we can continue to do this week in and week out," Thomas said. "We stress the process of taking things day by day and the kids understand that we have to continue to get better, if we want to reach our ultimate goal. That next step now is focusing on preparing for Fair Haven."

BBA will play Fair Haven at Castleton University on Friday.


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