Bulldogs starting season strong

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MANCHESTER >> Over the past few seasons, the Burr and Burton football team has predicated their success on the values preached to them by coach Jason Thomas.

The importance of hard work and trying to get better each and everyday have been the tools the Bulldogs have focused on to improve from each practice to each game.

That philosophy has helped the Bulldogs win the Division II state championship last year and has helped them get off to a 4-0 start this season.

"The success we have had over the years and this season is predicated to the testament of hard work the kids put out each and everyday," Thomas said. "They understand the importance of hard work and how to prepare to play the game of football. Those are the reason why we have been a successful program over the years."

In their first four games this season, the Bulldogs have overpowered teams with their high powered offense, led by senior quarterback Griff Stalcup.

Staclup has accumulated a total of 19 touchdowns in the first three games of the season, 14 of which have been through the air. Despite the fact that Burr and Burton likely throws the ball more than any team in Vermont, Stalcup has only thrown four interceptions.

"Griff is one of the hardest workers on our team," Thomas said. "He understands our offense inside and out. We are very lucky to have great football player like him as our quarterback."

What makes Stalcup so tough to stop is the backs and receivers that the Bulldogs have around him.

At the running back position, the Bulldogs have a great trio of backs in Taber Ameden, Sam Cottrell and Connor Simonds. Ameden is the leader of that group with three scores on the ground and 135 yards rushing.

On the outside, Stalcup has a very talented core of receivers to throw to in junior Jay McCoy and seniors Carter Vickers and Sean Apps.

Vickers had a huge game in the Bulldogs' win over Milton, hauling in three touchdowns in the game and he has seven touchdown catches so far.

Apps has caught one of Stalcup's 14 passing touchdowns, while McCoy has six touchdown receptions this season to go along with his two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground, that he earned while stepping in for Stalcup as quarterback.

"We have a lot talented kids at the skill positions and all of them are capable of making plays to help us win," Thomas said. "All of our running backs this year have played very well. Carter is an all-state receiver and when you add Jay and Sean to the mix there, Griff has a lot of weapons to throw the ball too. It's great to have a lot of players that can help you win football games."

The offensive line, a point of emphasis, has kept Stalcup upright, only allowing five sacks through four games.

The Bulldogs are outscoring their opponents 200-34 so far this season, including a 28-0 shutout last Friday against a then-unbeaten Burlington squad.

On defense, BBA has been stout, forcing a total of eight turnovers, of which three have been returned for a touchdown.

Thirteen players have made more than 10 tackles, led by McCoy, who has 27 stops and 3 1/2 sacks.

"Execution," Thomas said. "To be a good defense, you have to execute on the call on the field and the guys have been doing a great job of that this season."

The hot start to the season has continued BBA's regular season dominance as Bulldogs have not lost a regular season game since 2013, piling up a 23-1 record in that time span.

To keep that streak going, Thomas knows the team needs to continue to rely on their core values and that will help them continue to play great team football on the field.

"The guys understand that it's a process and that to reach our ultimate goal of being in the playoffs, we have to focus on executing in all phases of the game, each and every week," Thomas said. " The kids are playing good football right now. They believe in our scheme and they believe in each other. All of those things help our process of getting better everyday."

Saturday, the Bulldogs look to continue its winning ways against North Country at Taylor Field, starting at 1 p.m.


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