CVU traveling to South Burlington Friday
Oct, 27, 2011
By Mal Boright
The Champlain Valley Union football team will test Division I playoff waters Friday night with a return to South Burlington High School, scene of a narrow, 42-35, defeat just two weeks ago.
With that loss, plus last Saturday’s (Oct. 22) last minute, 27-21 nipping at home by Middlebury, head coach Jim Provost and the fifth-seeded Redhawks (5-3) may have a little attitude going for them when they travel to South Burlington to meet the No. 4 Rebels (6-2).
“We have to find a way to win games late,” Provost told the Observer Monday.
For the past two weekends, it was the Rebels and visiting Tigers who got the late game-changers. South Burlington snapped a 35-all tie with a 63-yard touchdown pass with just over five minutes left.
Middlebury (7-1) took advantage of a misplayed punt reception deep in CVU territory to push over the winning score with less than 40 seconds remaining.
South Burlington will also be in comeback mode, having lost (28-19) to 3-5 Essex.
The Hornets held the Rebels — who raked up 476 yards in offense against CVU — to 258 yards, something of great interest to Provost and his staff.
“We feel pretty good about where we are,” Provost said in looking ahead to Friday night.
The coach hopes to have key running back Nick Ferrentino in the lineup to chew up big chunks of yardage. The junior missed the past three games with an ankle injury.
Senior co-captain and linebacker Ryan Fleming might also be ready to return after missing the Middlebury clash.
In addition, Provost noted the team is looking forward to another game on the South Burlington turf.
“Our team is built for it (turf),” he said.
For the Redhawks, post-season play is familiar territory. CVU appeared in the D-II championship game last year and reached the semifinals in 2009.
REGULAR SEASON FINALE LOSE COULD PROVE COSTLY
Last Saturday’s nudging by Middlebury probably cost the Hawks a home playoff contest but they still put on an offensive show for the CVU faithful in the season’s Hinesburg finale.
CVU took the opening kickoff and marched 81 yards in 15 plays, with halfback Brent Carreiro blasting in from five yards out for the touchdown. Tucker Kohlasch nailed the first of his three extra-point kicks.
In the drive, quarterback Drew Nick completed 5 of 6 passes for 34 yards and ran three times for 32 yards.
The Redhawks authored 80- and 66-yard scoring thrusts in the second period, with Nick scoring on 4- and 1-yard plunges to give CVU a 21-14 lead.
It would be the last paydirt visit for the Hawks but the Tigers, behind a slashing running attack that ground out a game total 314 yards, scored twice after intermission. Middlebury gained the final and winning touchdown after recovering a CVU bobble at the Redhawks’ 30 with 1:43 left in the game. It took four running plays for the Tigers to get the sixer — capped by quarterback Dillon Robinson’s 3-yard plunge.
For the CVU defense, Robinson was more than a handful. The senior signal caller ran 14 times for 90 yards and was 6-for-6 through the air for another 97 yards.
The Tiger passer’s successes came on short, on the move throws. When he dropped back and tried to go deep, the Redhawks sacked him five times for 35 yards of losses. Quinn Kropf, Matt Bauer, Michael Fournier and John Keen were among the defensive contributors.
Nick paced the CVU offense with 12 rushes for 74 yards, and 17 pass completions in 29 tries for another 200 yards. Keen had five catches for 103 yards. Big Ryan Beaudry grabbed eight passes for 63 yards.
Carreiro carried on 15 occasions for 72 yards, and caught one pass for nine yards.
MIDDLEBURY 27, CVU 21
MUHS (7-1) CVU (5-3)
First downs 21 16
Total yards 376 350
Yards rushing 314 150
Yards passing 97 200
Passes att-com-int 7-6-0 30-17-1
Fumbles-lost 2-1 5-1
Sacked-yds lost 5-35 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-25 3-20
Punts-avg 1-32 3-26
Return yards 117 55
MUHS 0 14 7 6 — 27
CVU 7 14 0 0 — 21