(October 3rd, 2014)-MONTPELIER: Being forced to rely on a back up quarterback, particularly when the sixth ranked team in the state is lining up on opposite side of scrimmage, is never a good thing. Throw in the pressures of Homecoming, and it’s easy to see how the game might get out of hand.
Giving up 56 points in the game, while scoring none on their own accord, it’s safe to say this was the case for the Locomotives as they took on the Delta Panthers Friday night. With Cody Caudill again taking up the mantle of starting quarterback in the absence of Dylan Snyder, for the second week in a row, Montpelier’s offense just couldn’t gain any traction.
After running just one play less than the visiting Panthers, 42 to 43, the Locos had only 100 yards of total offense to show for itself, compared to the 448 amassed by Delta.
Caudill led the aerial attack for Montpelier, going 5-17 for 49 yards and 2 interceptions. Keaton Byers caught 2 of those passes, racking up 29 of those yards for himself. Also with 2 receptions on the night was Nate McCord, who had 6 yards off the catches. Alex Zuver was the recipient of the other Caudill completion, gaining 14 yards on the play.
The running game, of which Montpelier’s offense is especially dependant, was not there for the Locomotives. Dallas Royer rushed for 3 yards on 7 attempts, while Jordan Birdsall was handed the ball twice for -2 yards. Caudill himself struggled to run the ball, and avoid the Panther pass rush as well, losing 12 yards on 10 rushes.
In fact, nearly the entirety of the Locos 51 yards rushing came on their final possession of the game, after the starters had been removed from either team. Austin Grubb looked impressive on that drive, earning 38 yards on just 2 carries. Bryce Cooley made significant gains as well, rushing for 24 yards on 4 attempts.
Defensively, Montpelier had no answer for Delta. Rushing for 391 yards in 38 attempts, the Panthers averaged over 10 yards a carry. Completing just 2 out of 5 passes, the visitors from Delta still managed to make 57 yards through the air, with one of those completions going for a touchdown. The Locomotives caught the Delta offense behind the line of scrimmage just once, with Hunter McKelvey making the tackle.
To put it simply, the Locomotive offense is not the same without Dylan Snyder. Caudill does what he can, attempting to make plays with his feet as well as his arm, but he’s a wide receiver. He’s going to struggle as long as he’s behind center. And while it’s true that the Montpelier defense still wouldn’t have been able to slow the Panther attack down, it’s possible that a more affective Locomotive defense may have been able to limit their touches throughout the game.
Montpelier will have to put this game out of their minds in a hurry, as a much improved Swanton team will be making their way into Montpelier this Friday.