The seventh- and eighth-grade Essex Chargers improved their record to 2-0 behind the arm of Ben Serrantonio, who dealt five touchdown passes to take a 32-20 win over St. Johnsbury last Saturday.
After the Raiders started the game off with a score, the Chargers answered back with a 12-play 60-yard drive ending with a Niko Diganges touchdown to tie the score at 6. After back-and-forth scoring throughout the first half — including touchdown receptions by Tobbey Cram and Malakai Valgean — the Raiders scored with 36 seconds left in the second quarter to enter halftime with a 20-18 lead.
The second half was all Chargers, however, with Serrantonio firing touchdown passes to Luke Austin and Storm Dusablon to take a 26-20 lead. After Drew Forcier sped down the field to recover an Alex Wamsganz kick-off, the Serrantonio-Valgean connection struck again, with the latter scaling a defender to catch a pass and seal the game 32-20.
Serrantonio finished the with 176 yards passing, while Valgean net 133 yards receiving, two touchdowns and 10 tackles. Oliver Orvis led in rushing with 60 yards on 18 carries. Defensive standouts included Tanner Weston, with five tackles and forced fumble, and Cram, who recorded eight tackles and two passes defended. Christian Stygles had three tackles and two pass deflections, and Forcier, Austin and Orvis added five tackles each.
The undefeated Chargers now play the 2-0 Burlington Seahorses at Maple Street Park on Saturday. Kickoff is 9:30 a.m.