Pingree 41, Vermont Academy 20: The Highlanders (6-2) used three first half touchdown passes by quarterback Jerome Cappadona and a total of 308 yards rushing by eight different ball carriers to secure the road win. Johnny Spears began the game with a 35-yard TD-reception and added a 14-yard scoring catch in the second quarter. Nick Antenucci (4 yards), Sal Fazio (5 yards) and Tom Zaleski (8 yards) all had touchdown runs while Antenucci added a 7-yard touchdown catch to put Pingree ahead 28-7 at the half.
“They (Vermont) are having a tough season, but we played very solid so I was happy with that,” said Pingree coach Chris Powers. “The really nice thing was we had a bunch of young guys get a lot of reps and we got to see a lot of the freshman. It was great to get them the experience and to see them play well was also a big positive.
Zaleski and fellow freshman Max Totsky in particular impressed Powers with their defensive play at linebacker. Both boys are from Marblehead, both started due to injuries and both proved they belonged on the varsity field.
Fazio meanwhile led the team in rushing with 89 yards on eight carries, Cappadona added 58 yards on four carries while going 6 for 14 for 106 yards and Rob VanTuyl led the Highlanders in receiving with four catches for 50 yards.
Freshman defensive lineman Nino Leone, who has been a regular starter all year for Pingree, continues to develop into a serious talent on the defensive front. Saturday, Leone finished with three tackles for a loss and a sack.
“One of the cool things about him (Leone) is that he is 14-years old and he’s so big, but he runs so well. That’s what makes him stand out. He runs like a kid half his size,” said Powers.
The head coach’s son, Ryan Powers, also had a strong game on the defensive front registering a tackle for a loss as well as a strip and a fumble recovery.