CVU soars to 4-0, BFA next
Sept. 29, 2011
By Mal Boright
The road through Division I gets more challenging Saturday afternoon when head coach Jim Provost’s 4-0 Redhawks tangle with 2010 championship runner-up BFA-St. Albans at the Hinesburg block and tackle palace. Game time is 3 p.m.
BFA will hit town with a 3-1 record, its lone defeat (21-0) to defending champion Hartford the second week of the campaign. Since then, the Green and Gold has bumped off South Burlington (31-13) and Colchester (21-0).
BFA and CVU’s lone common foe is 2-2 St. Johnsbury Academy. The Redhawks nipped the Hilltoppers, 14-7 on Sept. 24, a team BFA bopped 34-0 on opening weekend.
An expectation around the ‘Hawks nest is that BFA will bring a stout defense to the line. St. Johnsbury was no slouch in that department and gave CVU anxious moments before the Redhawks used two second half long distance aerial strikes to seal the deal.
Sophomore Steele DuBrul, at quarterback for injured senior starter Drew Nick, hooked up with junior wide receiver Trevor Kennedy on paydirt connections of 48 and 51 yards to put the game into the victory column.
“I wasn’t a starter,” said Kennedy, who was masterful in his two touchdown receptions, the first on a slant over the middle from the left side with the Redhawks trailing, 7-0, early in the third quarter.
Kennedy and DuBrul’s game decider came on a third-and-five play from the CVU 49 with 3:55 left in regulation of a 7-7 tie. Kennedy sped to about the Hilltopper 35, where DuBrul found him with a helmet-high pitch. Kennedy out-muscled an alert St. Jay defender and scampered untouched into the end zone. Tucker Kohlasch booted the second of his two extra points.
Nick, recovering from a finger injury suffered in the win over Essex on Sept. 16, said he’d be back to face BFA. Among others sidelined were receiver-defensive back Matt Bauer (expected to miss three to four weeks), lineman-punter Bobby Russell (day to day) and two-way back Brent Carreiro.
CVU’s linemen praised their Hilltopper counterparts, who limited the Redhawks’ usually powerful running game to 110 yards and no touchdowns.
“I respect all of our opponents but this was the strongest line on both sides of the ball we have seen,” said lineback Michael Fournier, who led CVU’s sterling defensive effort with Ryan Fleming.
St. Johnsbury’s lone score came late in the first period, thanks to a CVU miscue. The Hilltoppers recovered a botched snap during a Redhawk punt attempt at the CVU 5. Topper quarterback Lincoln Lemieux smashed up the middle on the first down and then kicked the extra point.
The Redhawks kept the visitors off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game, once with a stand at the CVU 9 and twice halting them at the 20.
Among other CVU defensive standouts were Ryan Beaudry, Dylan Raymond, Harvey Ottinger and Kohlasch, who helped clinch the win with two fourth quarter interceptions.
Redhawk heads might have been down at halftime after a golden opportunity to tie the score at 7 was missed in the closing seconds of the first half. Fleming intercepted a St. Jay pass and sped 55 yards down the left sideline before being spilled at the Hilltopper 5.
CVU’s next four offensive plays netted just four yards. The Toppers took over on downs and ran out the clock.
For ‘Hawks running back Nick Ferrentino, who came into the contest averaging 175 rushing yards, the day was a long and hard slog. St. Jay’s large and mobile defense limited the junior to 27 yards on 21 carries through the first three quarters. At times it appeared Ferrentino was going to wear Toppers nose tackle Alex Bauman’s number 74 home for dinner.
But Ferrentino started getting some running room in the final reel and racked up 53 yards in 12 carries. He finished with 90 yards on 33 carries, and helped extend a CVU drive in the fourth quarter that took six minutes off the clock.
“We were able to wear them down,” said Fournier.
A key component to the CVU offense was sly boots DuBrul’s ability to change count sequences at the line of scrimmage, which resulted in four offside penalties against the Hilltoppers and four first downs for the Hawks.
CVU 14, ST. JOHNSBURY 7
STJ (2-2) CVU (4-0)
First downs 9 10
Total yards 187 258
Yards rushing 148 110
Yards passing 39 156
Passes, att-com-int 21-5-3 20-8-1
Fumbles-lost 5-0 3-1
Sacked-yds lost 0 1-8
Penalties-yds 7-40 5-45
Punts-avg 2-29 3-33
Return yards 98 71
St.J 7 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 7
CVU 0 – 0 – 7 – 7 – 14