For the first two series it looked like Colchester was primed to pull off a Friday night football upset over host South Burlington.
Then it turned into the Tanner Contois show.
After the Lakers took a 7-3 lead early in the first quarter, Contois broke off touchdown runs of 45, 64 and 50 yards -- the senior finished with 343 yards on 19 carries -- to put the Rebels ahead and help them pull away to beat Colchester 49-14.
"Our tempo was pretty good today, we try to play very fast," said South Burlington coach Joe McDonald. "We practice that same way, so I think our conditioning helps that."
Things were looking good for the Lakers (0-2) when they took the lead on the first possession of the game. Calvin Brault capped a long drive that chewed up almost half the first quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run.
"I thought we ran the ball well all day," said Colchester head coach Tom Perry. "We executed some things on the offense that we wanted. We were trying to hold the ball for as long as we could. They are very athletic, so we were trying to keep the football and see if we could move the ball."
Colchester followed that up with a strong defensive sequence. After a 32-yard return from Max Smith and two Contois runs, South Burlington had first-and-goal on the Colchester 5-yard line. But the Lakers stood strong and held the Rebels (2-0) to a field goal with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
And after the defense forced a Colchester punt, Contois took over for South Burlington, breaking off a 45-yard run right down the middle for a touchdown. The Rebels, missing the extra point attempt, led 9-7 at the end of the first stanza.
After another defensive stop by the Rebels, Contois burst through the Lakers' defense and went 64 yards for his second touchdown of the game.
"My line played great, they're all stars there," said Contois. "There was just so much space up the middle. They get it done for me."
Smith would get into the scoring action for South Burlington, scampering in for a 3-yard TD to go ahead 23-7 with five minutes remaining in the first half.
"We really showed our character, we came back, pulled ourselves up and got it done in the end," Contois said.
Colchester's Will Ward tried to pull his team back into the game, going 48 yards to the end zone to close the score to 23-14.
Contois responded on the next possession for South Burlington, scoring his third touchdown on a 50-yard run to put the Rebels ahead 29-14 at the half.
"You can't mimic (Contois') speed in practice," said Perry. "We can make that play all day (in practice) but then you have to make it against a guy that fast."
Contois would add his fourth score of the game less than minute into the second half, a 1-yard run to make it a 35-14 South Burlington lead. He also caught two passes for 23 yards.
"I don't really know that it was any different from the beginning, they just didn't have the ball in the beginning," said Perry. "Those guys are very athletic and they put the ball into the right peoples hands in the rights spaces to make a play."
The Lakers tried to respond on the their next possession, but the drive stalled at the 6-yard line. South Burlington came up with a big stop on fourth-and-goal to keep Colchester out of the end zone.
The Rebels took the game over from that point, controlling the clock and not allowing the Lakers to pull themselves back in the game.
South Burlington would add two more touchdowns in the second half. Quarterback Hunter Riehle hit Colby Barrett with a 16-yard pass in the end zone and then found Dylan Avery with a 15-yard TD pass for the 49-14 final score.
Ward was strong for Colchester, running for 111 yards and a touchdown.
South Burlington will face Brattleboro next Friday, while Colchester will host Middlebury.