Rutland-Middlebury games like last year’s 42-7 Rutland win just don’t happen very often.
Or, twice in two years.
Middlebury took that result and threw it right back in Rutland’s face with a stunning, 42-7 victory in a potential classic matchup turned laugher at Alumni Field Friday night.
The Tigers’ three-back offense under quarterback Tim Goettelmann was just about unstoppable and the Tigers were just as effective on defense.
They scored on their first four possessions and went on to lead 42-0 before the Raiders had a cosmetic score against the Tigers’ second-string defense with 43 seconds to play.
By the end of the first period, things already looked very grim for 5-2 Rutland. Middlebury ran 20 plays to Rutland’s eight in the first period, led 14-0 on the scoreboard and 194-11 in total yards.
While Goettelmann looked expert pulling the strings, senior running back Tyler Buxton was the true tip of the spear. He ran for three touchdowns and a two-point conversion and exploded for a 50-yard run on his way to 187 yards on just 11 touches.
Middlebury ran for 415 yards and out-gained Rutland from scrimmage, 496-184, with many of the Raiders’ yards coming well beyond the point where the game was decided.
It was just not a good night for Rutland. Middlebury defended the run very well, and sniffed out many of the Raiders flat passes. It didn’t help that Rutland had a good number of dropped balls. The only bright spots in the passing game were a couple of Owen Perry passes to Luke Ragosta but that was far from enough to keep the Raiders in the game.
Middlebury now has the inside track to the No. 2 seed in the D-I tournament.
Its opening drive was an impressive 85-yarder that nearly ground to a halt at the Rutland 14. Then Goettelmann called his own number and cut around the left side for the score. Middlebury faked the extra point with Buxton, the holder, rolling right and scoring for the 8-0 lead.
After a four-and-out by the Raiders, Buxton scored from 50 yards out off tackle. The point-after kick was blocked.
After another punt, a 28-yard run by Buxton highlighted a 67-yard drive, which Goettelmann ended with a nifty scoring pass to Bode Rubright. Goettelmann was under pressure as he dropped back but he threw a dart off his back foot to Rubright in the back of the end zone. Nikolai Luksch’s point-after made it 21-0.
Middlebury pushed it to 28-0, the halftime score, with the help of two Raiders errors. Middlebury recovered a fumble at the 50 before its offense stalled, but a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a punt extended the drive. This time Goettelmann picked his way through the defense on a 10-yard scoring play.
The Tigers spread out their wealth, with Goettelmann rushing for 68 yards, Thatcher Trudeau 50 and Ian Ploof another 71.
Hunter Postemski ran for 85 yards on 20 touches (he had 63 of his yards in the second half) and the Raiders scored while Perry was 10 for 22 for 94 yards. The Tigers sacked him twice.
Buxton broke off a 27-yard TD run in the third period and Goettelmann an 18-yarder to cap the Tigers’ scoring in the fourth period, which was played under running time.
Postemski scored from the 6 on Rutland’s final possession.
The Raiders, who had a four-game win streak snapped, will play at Hartford next Friday while Middlebury (7-0) will host BFA-St. Albans.
This article has been updated to correct Tyler Buxton's name.