SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Cosmos football (3-3) got off to a hot start on Friday night against Windsor (3-2), and were able to shoot out to a 22-0 halftime lead. Windsor didn’t roll over, as they outscored Springfield 20-6 in the second half, but the hungry Cosmos wanted the win, and the home crowd had their back.
All 22 of Springfield’s first-half points came in the second quarter after a battle in the first frame. At the 9:51 mark in the second, Cosmos’ Jake Stepler scored on a 46-yard TD run. He took a hand-off sweeping to the left, reversed field, and ran it the distance down the right sideline. Freshman QB Sam Presch then found Bryson Jester in the right flat for the 2-point conversion to put Springfield up 8-0.
After a Windsor fumble, Springfield scored on a third and nineteen from the Windsor 26. Presch found junior Anthony Steele on a deep ball into the endzone to both give Springfield a 14-0 lead and give the junior wideout a touchdown on his birthday.
Springfield then capitalized on another Windsor fumble, as they took over at the Yellow Jacket 20 yard-line. After a tackle for loss and a holding call, Presch was able to find some more magic on another third-and-long. On 3rd and 28 at the 3:46 mark in the second, Presch threw a 38-yard TD pass far down the right sideline to Stepler, who scored easily due to broken coverage on the play.
Windsor fumbled again before the end of the first half, as their woes continued, but Springfield ran out the clock deep in their own end to secure their 22-0 halftime lead.
Windsor came out with a spark in the second half, as they went on a 5 ½ minute, 73-yard drive to score six. On the drive, senior running back Robert Slocum racked up over 50 yards on the ground. Senior QB Ryland Richardson punched it in from the one to put the visiting team on the board.
With 5 minutes left in the third, Springfield was faced with a 3rd and 14 at Windsor’s 48 yard-line, but no magic this time, as a deep ball to Steele fell incomplete.
Windsor then marched for a 5-minute, 92-yard drive after a nice Springfield punt backed them down to their own 8 yard-line. Richardson added his second touchdown on the night, this time a 14-yard scamper around the right side. Key plays on the drive: Slocum had a 14-yard run, junior Caleb Meagher had a 13-yard carry, and Richardson had a keeper for 15. Springfield held a 10-point lead, 22-12.
The final five minutes of the game is when things got wild. Windsor accounted for two personal fouls and an unsportsmanlike penalty, and Springfield had a personal foul and an unsportsmanlike. Both sides of the field wanted to win badly and the emotions showed.
With 1:59 remaining, Presch threw his third TD of the game on a 12-yard connection with Stepler that had a nice touch on it, leading him into to the back of the endzone. The two-point conversion failed and Windsor was still only down two scores, 28-12.
Windsor answered back with a touchdown just thirty seconds later, as Richardson snuck in for another 1-yard TD, his third rushing TD of the night. The two-point conversion was good and Windsor trailed 28-20.
After a little bobble, Springfield secured the onsides kick at midfield. And, just when you thought the game was a wrap, the Cosmos fumbled the ball on their first snap and gave the ball right back into the hands of the Yellow Jackets. Windsor took over with a minute left at their own 45.
Richardson tried to air it out long down the left sideline, but the ball was picked off by junior defensive back Noah Zierfus and the home win for the Cosmos was finally sealed after fighting off a resilient group from Windsor.
Springfield moves above .500 to 4-3 on the year. Springfield will travel to Poultney next Saturday for their final game of the regular season. Windsor falls to 3-3 and will travel to Woodstock on Friday to end their regular season.