Fair Haven quarterback Zack Gilligan threw for a touchdown, ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass from Keith Schneider to lead his Slaters past Milton last Friday night in Fair Haven. Fueled by the efforts of Gilligan, and those of running back Chris Davis (15 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown) Fair Haven jumped out to a 27 - 0 halftime lead, and cruised from there to a 27 - 8 win.
On their first drive of the game the Slaters went 60 yards on six plays with Gilligan finishing the drive off with an eight-yard touchdown run, putting Fair Haven on top 6 - 0 with 9:32 left in the first quarter.
That lead quickly increased. After failing to get a first down Milton muffed the snap on the punt and the Slaters took over on Miltons eight-yard line. The Slaters took advantage of their great field position, and took just two plays to score their second touchdown, a four yard run by Davis. Gilligan then connected with Schneider for a successful two-point conversion putting Fair Haven up 14 - 0 with 7:39 still to play in the opening quarter.
Schneider and Gilligan would team up again with time running out in the first quarter, but this time Schneider was playing quarterback, and he connected with Gilligan, who was playing wide receiver on the play, and the pass was good for a 44-yard touchdown. With he successful PAT booted by Davis the Slaters held a commanding 21 - 0 lead at the end of the first.
Fair Haven would add an insurance touchdown ar the end of the second quarter. They had driven the ball 52 yards in 13 plays, and elected to go for it when they faced a fourth down and seven from Miltons eleven-yard line, with just enough time for one more play. Gilligan dropped back to pass and found Joel Hernandez in the end zone, giving Fair Haven their huge 27 - 0 halftime lead.
After being stopped inside the Slaters five yard line in the third quarter the Yellow Jackets finally managed to put together a scoring drive in the fourth, but it was to little, to late. They went seventy-nine yards in a dozen plays, with running back Patrick Grenier capping it off with a three-yard run. Grenier, who didnt touch the ball in the first half, finished with 127 yards on just 13 carries, including runs of 26 and 25 yards on Miltons lone scoring drive.
Milton fell to 2-4 (1-4 league) with the loss, while the Slaters improved to 2-4 (1-4 league) with the win. The Slaters will be looking for their third win of the year this Saturday in Woodstock.
In Winooski halfback Ricky Ross ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns Friday night to lead his Poultney Blue Devils to a huge 32 - 7 road win over the Winooski Spartans. Running backs David Lewis and Peter Jones combined to rush for an additional 145 yards and added a touchdown each to the rout. Blue Devil quarterback, led an offense that racked up 334 yards. Hewes did his share too, contributing 67 passing yards, and he rushed for another 63 yards, including a 24- yard touchdown run. The win elevates Poultney to 3 - 2 within league play and 4 - 2 overall. The Spartans drop to 2 - 3.
The Rutland Raiders were in action last Friday too but not with the results they had hoped for. After battling the Hartford Hurricanes to a 25 - 25 tie through regulation it looked like they had pulled out the overtime win in their first overtime possession when quarterback Rob Dorion, who led Rutlands rushing attack with 103 yards and a touchdown, ran it in from six yards out. But the play was called back due to an illegal block and Dorion, who also does the kicking for Rutland, missed at field goal attempt. After each team had bungled two attempts to score from their opponents 10-yard line Hartford finally ended the game on their third OT possession when quarterback Eric Newton plunged in from one-yard out.
The loss was all the more devastating for Rutland because they had overcome a 25 - 8 fourth quarter deficit to send the game into overtime. Ryan Kelley recovered a fumbled punt at the Hartford thirty-yard line, and three plays later running back Connor Beerworth ran it in from the six yard line and the comeback had started. Dorions PAT made it 25 - 15 with 8:19 left to play.
Rutlands defense then quickly stopped the Hurricane offense and Hartford punted it back to Rutland. It didnt take the Raider offense long to strike again. Dorion took the snap from center and pitched it to Beerworth, who rolled out and threw the ball deep to Brendan Lafaso who hauled it and took it into the end zone , completing a sixty-one yard touchdown play. Dorion again came through with the PAT and Rutland had cut Hartfords lead to 25 - 22.
Rutlands defense again forced a quick Hurricane punt which Dorion returned 29 yards. Then with the help of a facemask and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from Hartford Rutland
Things went sour for the Otter Valley Otters last Saturday too in Woodstock where the Otters fell to 3 - 3 in the closing seconds of their game against the Woodstock Wasps. Trailing the Otters 12 - 7 in the final minutes of the fourth quarter Woodstock put together an 86 yard, game winning scoring drive that concluded with a one-yard touchdown run by fullback Michael Cox with 17 seconds left to give Woodstock the 13 - 12 win, their first of the year. It was Coxs second touchdown run of the afternoon.
Otter Valley running back Erik Becker carried the ball fifteen times for ninety-seven yards while quarterback Grant Jakubowski ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns. In the air he completed twelve of his twenty-five pass attempts for 190 yards, and two interceptions. Two of his favorite receivers for the day were Justin Lertola (four catches for 68 yards) and Ryan Owen (three catches for 75 yards.) The 3-3 (2-2 Division II) Otters will look to rebound this Saturday when they host Mount Anthony.
In Bellows Falls however the Mill River Minutemen wee thoroughly enjoying their Saturday. After falling behind 7 - 0 early to BFA-Fairfax Mill River scored 21 unanswered points to pull out a 21 - 7 win. Conner Burke hooked up with Preston Kinney for touchdown passes of 26 and 12 yards, as the Minutemen kept their playoff aspirations alive with a 4 - 2 record. They will host Winooski this Saturday.