Castleton opens season with 42-28 victory over Anna Maria

Castleton, VT - The Castleton State College football team won its inaugural game 42-28 over visiting Anna Maria College Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. Tyler Carpenter (Fort Edward, NY) ran for 126 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Spartans to the season-opening win.
In what was the opening game for both first-year teams, Castleton wasted little time in getting the crowd of more than 4000 on its feet as Evan Cassidy (South Burlington, VT) ran the opening kick-off 70 yards to the Anna Maria 12-yard line. From that point, it was five-straight run plays, capped by a Carpenter one-yard plunge into the end zone for the first touchdown in Castleton history. Luis Robitaille (Poughkeepsie, NY) tacked on the extra point to make it 7-0 just 2:18 into the contest. The ensuing Anna Maria drive faltered at the Castleton 40, forcing the AMCATS to punt on their historic first possession.
Steve Sao Pedro (Toms River, NJ) intercepted Castleton quarterback Shane Brozowski’s (Rensselaer, NY) first pass attempt, setting up an AMCAT drive inside Castleton territory. On the very next play Cody TanCreti (Windsor, VT) returned the favor, intercepting a Santino Simone (Worcester, MA) pass at the Castleton 11 and bringing it back 36 yards before being run out of bounds. Castleton then put together a seven play, 3:13 touchdown drive capped by a Brozowski-to-Justin Leombruno (South Burlington, VT) 13-yard pass. Robitaille’s point after try was successful, giving the Spartans a 14-0 edge. After an AMCAT punt, Castleton once again put together a touchdown drive, this time six plays spanning 2:20 and capped by a Carpenter five-yard rush. Brozowski connected with Thomas Cole (Florence, VT) three times for 75 yards, including a 52-yard hook up during the drive.
Anna Maria struck first in the second period, as Simone capped an eight-play 58-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown dive. Jamal Mitchell (Shelton, CT) connected on the point after, making it 21-7. Castleton answered with yet another Carpenter touchdown, this time coming on an eight-yard scamper off the left tackle. Robitaille sent the extra point through giving Castleton the 21-point cushion yet again. Dominique Concepcion (Middlebury, CT) returned the ensuing kick-off 43 yard to the Castleton 37 yard line, setting up a six-play touchdown drive to make it 28-14. Simone connected with Concepcion for a 27-yard touchdown strike cutting the lead in half prior to halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, the two teams combined for four touchdowns over the final 15 minutes of action. Brozowski hooked up with Cassidy on a 30-yard touchdown pass as Castleton’s lead bulged to 21 yet again. After three-straight drives resulted in punts, Castleton’s James Devoe (Colonie, NY) was inserted at quarterback and was rudely met by Nii Quartey (Worcester, MA). DeVoe ran hard off left tackle on a quarterback keeper, and was met head on by Quartey, who forced a fumble. Quartey scooped up the loose ball and ran 13 yard for the touchdown. The Mitchell extra point made it 35-21, and the AMCATS seemingly gained some momentum. Any advantage was quickly lost on the ensuing kick-off as Cassidy ran it back 78 yard to pay-dirt. Anna Maria grabbed a touchdown with 3:53 remaining on a Nate Adames (Salem, NH) eight-yard run. Castleton was able to run out the remainder of the clock, earning the win.
Brozowski recovered from the early interception, completing 13-of-17 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Cole led the Spartan receivers with four catches for 115 yards, while Cassidy’s 163 return yards and 30 receiving yards proved huge on the day. Zackere Dames (Schuylerville, NY) and Dustin Young (Dunnellon, FL) each had seven tackles to lead the defense, while Rohn Peterson (Woodstock, VT) added 1.5 sacks.
Adames led Anna Maria with 131 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. Simone was 8-for-20, throwing for 90 yards and one touchdown. Concepcion hauled in three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown to pace the AMCAT receivers. Rich Brandt (Natick, MA) and Kevin Fitzpatrick (Oxford, MA) each had 10 tackles for the AMCAT defense, while Shawn Kelley (Mansfield, MA) added a sack.
Anna Maria plays its home opener Saturday, September 12 when the AMCATS host Fitchburg State at 1:00 pm.
Castleton likewise returns to action on September 12, hitting the road to take on Utica College for a 1:00 pm kick-off.