CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University football program has finalized its schedule for the fall of 2018, its 10th season of varsity competition.
For the ninth straight year, Castleton opens the season against regional rival Plymouth State, with this year's contest taking place on the Spartans' home turf Saturday, Sept. 1, at 1 p.m. The Spartans will be looking for their first victory over the Panthers since 2015 as Plymouth State has held Castleton to seven points in each of the last two meetings.
The Spartans will play their next three games on the road, starting with non-conference contests at Fitchburg State Sept. 8 and at Norwich Sept. 15, both scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff. Castleton is shooting for its first victory over Fitchburg State, while the Spartans plan to maintain possession of the Maple Sap Bucket Trophy after defeating the Cadets last season, 28-14.
After a bye week, Castleton will face its 17th different opponent in program history thanks to a last-minute schedule change caused by the closing of former conference foe Mount Ida College. The Spartans will travel to Dallas, Pa., to face Misericordia University Saturday, Sept. 29, starting at 12 noon. The Cougars, representing the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), finished the 2017 campaign with a 1-9 overall record.
Castleton opens the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) schedule with its one home night game of the season, hosting Anna Maria on Oct. 6 starting at 6 p.m. The Spartans have won four straight games over the AMCATs and are 10-1 overall against the school that started its football program at the same time as Castleton.
The following week, the Spartans travel to Washington, D.C., to face Gallaudet University on Oct. 13 starting at 12 noon. Castleton took the series lead over Gallaudet at 5-4 with a 28-17 win over the Bison last year, but the Spartans will be looking to defeat the Bison for the first time on their home field since 2014.
Castleton plays three of its final four games at home, starting with Homecoming Oct. 20 against SUNY Maritime starting at 12 noon. The Spartans have defeated the Privateers three straight times in Castleton, but they will be challenged by a SUNY Maritime squad that went 9-2 in 2017 and was selected to face WPI in the New England Bowl.
On Oct. 27, the Spartans welcome defending ECFC champion Husson for a 12 noon kickoff. The Eagles have won five straight meetings with the Spartans and are coming off a 10-2 mark in 2017 that featured Husson's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, a 23-21 upset win over Springfield College last November.
Castleton's final regular season road game of 2018 takes place Nov. 3 against Dean College starting at 12 noon. The Spartans close out the year Saturday, Nov. 10, against Alfred State College beginning at 1 p.m.
In 2017, Castleton finished third in the ECFC with a 5-2 league mark as part of a 6-4 overall record. The Spartans have finished above .500 in league play in four straight seasons.