The Middlebury Union High football team took a huge step in locking up a Division II playoff berth with a 27-6 victory over Champlain Valley Union High last Friday night, Oct. 8.
On Saturday the Otter Valley Union High football team had chance to play themselves back into the Division II Playoff picture hosting once beaten Rice Memorial. But a Green knight football team, smarting from a loss to Champlain Valley Union High the week before, would have none of that. Rice jumped out to a 30-0 lead in the first eight and a half minutes of the contest and never looked back in rolling to a 49-0 victory.
And the Mount Abraham Union High football squad saw their season continue to slip away with a 43-12 loss at Woodstock Union High on Friday night.
MIDDLEBURY 27, CHAMPLAIN VALLEY 6
If nothing else the Tigers proved they were better at playing in the mud then their visitors from Hinesburg.
The heavy rains of the last couple of weeks, coupled with a steady drizzle on Friday night, left Doc Collins Field in something less then perfect playing conditions. But the Tigers, sporting decals with the letters DB to honor the late Dick Bullock on the back of their helmets, grabbed an early lead and never looked back in squishing to the key victory.
A 24-yard punt return by Jerry Hoffman set up the
Tigers first score as it gave Middlebury the ball on the CVU 16 late in the first quarter. The very next play quarterback Brendan Burrell broke off the right side of the line and scampered the 16-yards untouched to give Middlebury a 6-0 lead with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
Middlebury would drove deep into CVU territory once more before the end of the first half only to miss a 27-yar field goal wide left.
The Tigers took command of this one at the start of the second half. After taking the kick-off to start the half Middlebury mounted a time consuming 68-yard, 13-play scoring drive. Twice Burrell kept the drive alive hooking up with fullback Steel White on pass receptions of 12 and 11 yards. Dillon Robinson capped it off taking a quick pitch from Burrell before churning down the right sideline 12-yards for the touchdown. Burrell then connected with a diving Marshall Hastings in the end zone for the two-point conversion and the Tigers had a 14-0 lead with 3:35 left in the third quarter.
CVU tried to mount a drive of it's own using the punishing running of sophomore running back Tyler Barnes. But the Redhawks turned the ball over on downs at midfield and it took the Tigers just three plays to add to their lead. This time Burrell hooked up with Bryan Ashley-Selleck on a 16-yard touchdown pass. Alex Bowdish tacked on the extra-point kick and Middlebury had a 21-0 lead with 10:59 left in the fourth quarter.
A roughing the passer penalty, plus pass completions from Redhawk quarter back Konner Fleming to wide receiver Brent Carreiro drove CVU deep into Middlebury territory. The Tiger defense would stiffen and CVU would turn the ball over on downs. But a Tiger fumble, a pass interference call and pass completions from Fleming to Johnny Powers (30 yards) and Barnes (12 yards) would have the CVU threatening again.
This time the Redhawks got inside the Middlebury ten-yard line before the Tiger defense turned them over on downs. Two plays later Hastings broke right up the middle and raced 86-yards to give the Tigers a 27-0 lead with 3:36 left in the contest.
CVU finally got on the scoreboard in the closing minutes. Fleming culminated a 60-yard drive hitting Taylor Gingras on a 4-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the game.
Hastings led a Middlebury offense, which churned out 286 yards on the ground, carrying the ball nine times for 125 yards. Burrell completed four of six pass for 42-yards and one touchdown.
While the Tiger defense held Fleming under control on the ground the talented Redhawk quarterback did compete 9 of 26 passes for 131 yards and the one score.
With the victory Middlebury improves to 6-0, 4-0 in Division II. The loss drops CVU to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in Division II.
The Tigers return to action this Friday night hosting Burr & Burton at 7 p.m.
RICE MEMORIAL 49, OTTER VALLEY 0
This one was over early as Rice scored early and often in building a 30-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the contest.
Senior quarterback Christian McCormick was the big story as he completed 8 of 13 passes for 271 yards and five touchdowns. McCormick also ran for a score as the Green Knights improved to 5-1 overall, 3-1 in Division II.
With the loss the Otters saw their record even off at 3-3, 2-3 in Division II. The Otters will try and get back on the winning side when they host the winless Lyndon Institute Vikings at 1 p.m.