D-LINE (copy)

The Mount Anthony D-line sets against Spaulding during last year's playoff game in Bennington. Spaulding forfeited Friday night's contest because of "unforeseen circumstances." 

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BENNINGTON — Mount Anthony football will need to wait a week longer to play its home opener. Spaulding forfeited Friday night’s game because of a limited number of players available, according to school athletic director Derek Cipriano.

“We had already planned to play with low numbers, but due to illness today, we were left with a number of eligible players by the end of the school day we were uncomfortable playing in a varsity football game,” Cipriano told the Banner by email Friday afternoon.

The game was scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. with Spaulding set to leave Barre by 3 p.m. Minutes before departure, Cipriano called Mount Anthony athletic director Paul Reif to let him know the school was forfeiting.

MAU coach Chad Gordon said he believes his team will respond well to the last-minute change.

“Every team faces adversity at different times. It’s how you respond to that adversity that will determine how your season goes,” Gordon said. “Obviously tonight is not the outcome we wanted, but we’re 2-0 and we’re going to focus now on Bellows Falls.”

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Week 3 is a rematch of last year’s Division II championship game, which saw the Terriers defeat the Patriots 57-35.

The MAU coaching staff is using the extra to their advantage. MAU players traditionally return to campus by 4:30 p.m. for home games, and noted those meetings will go on as planned. Gordon shared the Bellows Falls film with his players ahead of the meeting.

Gordon said the MAU coaching staff will drive to Westminster to watch Bellows Falls host Fair Haven in person.

Cipriano doesn’t believe the school is at risk of forfeiting future games thanks to the addition of six players over the past two weeks.

“We anticipate once we can get them their 10 practices we will be able to withstand injuries and illness in future games,” he said.

Michael Mawson can be reached on Twitter @Mawson_Sports or via email at mmawson@benningtonbanner.com.

Sports Reporter

Michael Mawson is the sports editor for Vermont News & Media. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire in 2019. Michael was the sports editor of UNH’s student newspaper where he covered NCAA Division I athletics.


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