TROY, N.Y. — The Vermont Ravens fell short during their final preseason game Saturday, suffering a 22-6 loss against the Brunswick Bearcats in New England Football League action.
The Ravens faced an uphill battle against an established Brunswick program with a larger pool of players. The Bearcats have a 45-man roster limit and play a 10-game double A conference schedule. The Ravens play an eight-game single A schedule with a 35-man roster limit.
The first half featured solid defensive play, but both offenses struggled to find any rhythm. And with players battling 90-degree temperatures, they had a hard time moving the ball with any consistency.
Vermont defensive end and fullback Roy Rose filled in for injured quarterback Abdi Abdo. With the pressure on, Rose didn’t take too long to make some positive contributions. Early in the second quarter he teamed up with wide receiver Terrance Whitney for a 67-yard completion, moving the chains to the Bearcats 13-yard line. A few minutes later the Bearcats held strong and prevented Vermont from scoring, and at the other end Ravens defensive tackle Brett Walton made several key stops to deny Brunswick.
The game was scoreless until 7:50 in the third quarter when the Bearcats powered their way into the end zone. The conversion attempt was no good, resulting in a 6-0 Bearcats lead at the end of the third quarter.
Brunswick scored again with 14:30 left in the fourth quarter when a Bearcats receiver raced toward open space down the right sideline and outran the defense for a 45-yard touchdown. Brunswick cashed in on the two-point conversion on a pass play to just inside the end zone, extending the lead to 14-0.
The Ravens scored with 11:52 left in the fourth when Rose found wide receiver Clayton Torres over the middle. After eluding a potential tackler, Torres raced to the end zone for a 69-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion rushing attempt by Rose was denied.
The Bearcats capped the scoring on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 7:50 remaining. A successful two-point conversion led to the final score. Rose threw for 200-plus yards and ran the ball for over 30 yards. He played defense during the fourth quarter and played a role in a sack.
Walton had a hand in six sacks and Whitney recorded one sack. Ryan Waybridge recorded eight tackles and DeEric O’Neil made a touchdown-saving tackle. Matthew Marrier (two sacks) and Matthew Gomes (one interception) were also solid defensively.
Vermont will kick off the regular season on July 21 at South Burlington High School. The Ravens will host the New Haven Venom at 1 p.m.