BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham/Vergennes football team bolted to a 36-0 halftime lead against visiting Division III rival Oxbow Union High School on Saturday and cruised to 36-21 victory.
The Eagles scored three rushing touchdowns and one each on defense and special teams in taking their decisive early advantage.
Mount Abe is now 5-1 overall, 4-1 in D-II, behind only Woodstock (6-0) and U-32 (5-1, 5-1). The Eagles are tied for third with Mill River (5-1, 4-1), which has lost only to Woodstock. With Mount Abe set to visit Mill River on Friday night, Otter Valley lurks in fifth (3-2, 3-1 D-III) with a favorable schedule the rest of the way.
On this past Friday, the Eagles took a quick 8-0 lead when Erik Eisenhower returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown on Oxbow’s third play from scrimmage, and Austin Lafayette ran in the conversion.
That was the start of a big day for Eisenhower, who led the Eagles in tackles and also intercepted a pass thrown by Oxbow quarterback Quinten Mahikoa.
Before the first quarter ended, Lafayette scored on a three-yard run to cap an 11-play, 76-yard drive, and Tommy Lee Hodsden scored on a five-yard run to make it 20-0. Lafayette humped for 52 yards on 10 carries, and Hodsden bolted 108 yards on 16 carries.
In the second quarter, Ryan Paquin blocked an Oxbow punt and Josh Cyr returned it 37 yards for a touchdown, after which Eagle QB Joey Payea rolled out and tossed to Lafayette for two more points.
The Eagles finished their scoring before the half when Hodsden rambled 36 yards on a sweep, and Lafayette ran for his third two-point conversion of the game.
Oxbow made the final score respectable with three second-half scores. Midway through the third quarter, Jordan Eastman caught an 18-yard pass from Mahikoa to make it 36-7. Shortly afterward, the Olympians recovered a fumble on the Eagle 2-yard line, and Mahikoa ran for a one-yard TD make it 36-14.
In the fourth quarter, Mahikoa ran it in after he hooked up with Eastman for 47 yards. Eastman finished with six receptions for 222 yards.