Patriots sluggish in 40-14 loss to Lakers


BENNINGTON >> Coming in to Friday night's game against Colchester, Mount Anthony football coach John Martin knew it would be a grind.

The Lakers run a Wing-T offense, a throwback designed to run the ball in between the tackles and tire a defense.

Colchester's opening drive was a 14-play, 80-yard push that took more than seven minutes and they never looked back in a 40-14 win at Spinelli Field.

"They are who they thought they were. They want to pound it, they are going to elongate drives and make you tired," Martin said. "They want to keep running it down your throat."

Matt Hesford gave the Patriots all sorts of trouble, rushing for a game-high 146 yards and four touchdowns. Keagan Landry added a pair of scores, one in the first half and one in the second.

"[Hesford] is a hell of a runner and you see why he can run over guys," Martin said.

For the Patriots, Ryan O'Neill was 14-for-31 for 164 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. On the ground, he did score on a 1-yard sneak after a 33-yard catch and run by Austin Gordon.

MAU struggled to get much of anything going in the first half. After Colchester's opening touchdown drive that Hesford scored a 10-yard touchdown, MAU's first possession ended up with a turnover on downs after an ill-advised run near midfield.

The Patriot defense forced a 3-and-out, but O'Neill threw an interception on the next drive and it took the Lakers three plays to hit paydirt, Hesford again from 20 yards away for a 14-0 lead.

A 20-second possession and three incompletions later, Colchester got the ball back and took four plays to get into the end zone, Hesford one more time, this one from 34 yards for a 21-0 lead a minute into the second quarter.

Another long drive near the end of the first half also resulted in points for the Lakers as Landry scored from seven yards out, assisted by a MAU personal foul penalty for a 27-0 advantage.

MAU got on the board with seconds left in the half. After AJ Wright intercepted an attempt at a hook-and-lateral, O'Neill found Gordon for 33 yards and then reached the end zone with six seconds left.

Hesford scored on Colchester's opening possession of the second half after another MAU turnover on downs and Landry scored on a 1-yard run with 3:34 left in the third quarter.

Mount Anthony's best drive came at the end of the third as they drove 72 yards on 10 plays, the final play a double pass — O'Neill to Will Fischer to Gordon — who made the 27-yard touchdown catch for the final margin.

Gordon had 72 yards receiving on the night.


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