One of biggest questions when the Vermont high school football season began remains unanswered: Can anybody beat Hartford?
The Hurricanes, who won last year's Division I title, are off to a 5-0 start even though they played without starting quarterback Tucker Stone (suspension) for the last two games. Hartford is averaging 40 points per game and has allowed 52 points in its five contests.
Any thought of Champlain Valley Union (4-1) challenging Hartford this season seemed to disappear following last weekend's 48-0 loss to BFA-St. Albans.
CVU, which moved from Division II to Division I following the 2010 season, committed five turnovers and allowed 451 yards on the ground in the loss. BFA-St. Albans received 177 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Sam Rose, and 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Doug Saffo.
BFA-St. Albans (4-1) lost to Hartford in last year's Division I championship game and dropped a 21-0 decision to Hartford earlier this season.
Other than Hartford, Middlebury (5-0) is the only unbeaten teams in Division I. Middlebury, which will not play Hartford during the regular season, will face BFA- St. Albans on Friday night.
The Vermont Principals' Association released its first official football standings this week. Each team's win-loss record and Quality Point Rating (QPR) appears in parenthesis. The QPR determines playoff seedings for each division:
1. Hartford (5-0, 8.500)
2. BFA (4-1, 8.500)
3. Middlebury (5-0, 7.625)
4. Champlain Valley (4-1, 6.250)
5. South Burlington (4-1, 6.000)
6. Rutland (3-2, 4.250)
7. St. Johnsbury (3-2 4.000)
8. Colchester (3-2, 3.750)
9. Brattleboro, 1-4, 1.500)
10. Essex (1-4, 1.250)
11. Mt. Anthony (1-4, 1.250)
12. Burlington (0-5, 0.000)
13. Mt. Mansfield (0-5, 0.000)
14. Spaulding (0-5, 0.000)
1. North Country (5-0, 6.444)
2. Milton (5-0, 6.333)
3. Fair Haven (4-1, 4.222)
4. Burr and Burton (3-2, 3.333)
5. Rice Memorial (3-2, 3.111)
6. Lyndon (3-2, 2.778)
7. Bellows Falls (2-3, 2.222)
8. Otter Valley (2-3, 1.556)
9. Springfield (0-5, 0.000)
10. U-32 (0-5, 0.000)
1. Windsor (4-1, 4.667)
2. Mill River (4-1, 4.222)
3. Fairfax (3-2, 3.000)
4. Woodstock (3-2, 2.778)
5. Montpelier (3-2, 2.333)
6. Mt. Abraham (2-3, 2.222)
7. Oxbow (2-3, 1.778)
8. Winooski (2-3, 1.333)
9. Poultney (1-4, 0.556)
10. Mount St. Joseph’s (0-5, 0.000)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Essex quarterback Joey Picard set a school record when he threw eight touchdown passes during a 51-19 victory over Mount Mansfield on Sept. 23.
Picard, junior, began the year as a backup to Ryan Mitchell and was making his first start of the season. He tossed three touchdown passes to Trevor Yandon, two to Jack Valley, two to Derek McAdoo and one to Matt Mulcahy. Yandon's three touchdown catches tied a school record.
Picard has thrown 10 TD passes in his two starts this fall. He followed up his record-setting performance by tossing two TD passes in a 40-14 loss to Rutland last weekend.
The Rice Memorial field hockey team has won the last three Division III state championships, and seems capable of winning another one this season.
Rice was unbeaten through its first eight games (7-0-1) and hadn't allowed a goal in any of those eight contests.
Sophomore goaltender Maura Sheridan split time guarding the cage last season, but has the starting job all to herself this year. Jenna Campbell has provided most of the offense. Through eight games Campbell had scored seven of the team's 11 goals.
Essex stretched its scoreless streak to five games with Monday's scoreless tie against Burlington. The Hornets (4-1-3) allowed five goals in their first eight games.
Woodstock raised its Division II record to 7-0 by beating Bellows Falls 3-0 Monday. Woodstock has outscored its opponents 20-2 this season.
CVU GILRS REMAIN UNBEATEN
The Champlain Valley Union girls' soccer team raised its record to 7-0-1 by posting a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten South Burlington on Saturday.
Emma Davitt and Sophia Steinhoff scored the CVU goals, which both came during breakaways.
Taylor Gloyd was called up from the JV team to start in goal for South Burlington (7-1-0). South Burlington was without its two varsity goalies because of an injury and SAT testing.
98, 99 … 100
Milton boys soccer coach Glen Button Jr. picked up the 100th victory of his coaching career when Milton defeated Vergennes 3-1 on Sept. 27, but the milestone may not have been worth the wait.
Milton was winless (0-5-2) in its first seven games this season – the longest winless streak of Button's career – before picking up its first victory. The seven-game winless streak included five overtime losses.
Chayce Phillips, Nate Baker and Nick Goodrich scored in the victory. It was the first varsity goal for Goodrich, who is a freshman.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.