CVU facing Middlebury Friday, drops 42-35 decision to Rebels
Oct. 20, 2011
By Mal Boright
Division I postseason playoff positioning will be at stake Saturday (1 p.m.) when the 5-2 Champlain Valley Union Redhawks defend their gridiron turf against the invading 6-1 Middlebury Tigers.
“They are a very good team,” CVU head coach Jim Provost said Sunday of Middlebury, which also eyes the playoffs that start next weekend for eight D-I schools.
While CVU was getting nudged, 42-35, at South Burlington Friday (Oct. 14), Middlebury was at home — putting a 25-8 bopping on Colchester behind a strong running game.
“We have to come up with a way to stop their runs,” Provost said.
Halfback Marshall Hastings, who has chalked up more than 200 yards in multiple games and went over the century mark in the Colchester victory, leads the Tigers.
There are few differences in comparative scores. Middlebury’s lone defeat came two weeks ago, a 23-7 decision at BFA-St. Albans. The Bobwhites handled CVU, 48-0, three weeks ago.
Two other common foes are Mount Anthony Union, which CVU whipped, 28-13, and Middlebury beat, 23-12. CVU nailed Essex, 45-21, a team Middlebury nipped, 31-28, on the season’s second weekend.
HAWKS LOSE HIGH-SCORING AFFAIR
At South Burlington, it was a dark and stormy night, but the lightning was confined to the playing turf on which the two offenses sped up and down for better than a half-mile in yardage. A late Rebel interception of a tipped CVU pass deep in South Burlington territory decided the outcome.
The combined yardage from scrimmage was 863, with return yards putting the total over 1,000. The hard working chain gangs had to respond to 37 first downs.
Primary instigator of the CVU fireworks was senior quarterback Drew Nick. On the ground, the elusive swiftie rolled up 143 yards — including four touchdowns on jaunts of 64, 9, 2 and 1 yards.
Nick struck through the air for another 174 yards on 13 completions, including a 9-yard scoring strike to end Davis Mikell, who, in his second game, had six grabs for 85 yards.
The game might have gotten out of CVU’s hands early if not for Nick’s dramatic dash midway through the second period. The Rebels had just rattled off three straight scores for a 20-7 advantage and had the Redhawks facing third-and-1 on their own 36-yard line. Nick rolled to his left, appeared to be halted by a squad of blue shirts, emerged from a moving bevy of bodies and bolted down the left sideline and into the end zone — a 64-yard bolt.
Both teams added touchdowns and South Burlington held a 27-21 lead at halftime, after stopping the Hawks’ three tries from the Rebel 7 before blocking a field goal try by Tucker Kohlasch (5-for-5 on extra point boots).
The Redhawks took a 28-27 edge in the first series of the second half, moving 53 yards in four plays. Nick finished off the drive with a 9-yard burst.
South Burlington responded with a 66-yard drive fueled by a platoon of running backs. Tyler Abate (93 yards, 12 lugs) and Will Thomson pounded out the early yards before Connor Devarney (137 yards, 23 carries) popped into the end zone from four yards out. Quarterback Hunter Riehle passed to Thomson for the two-point conversion and a 35-28 lead.
CVU tied the contest with just over six minutes remaining in the game on Nick’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Mikell.
But on the second play following the ensuing kickoff, Riehle found Thompson by himself beyond the CVU defense and connected for a 63-yard scoring pitch to put the Rebels in front for good.
CVU mounted a comeback. After Matt Bauer knocked down a Riehle fourth-down pass attempt from the Redhawks’ 39, Nick, on first down and with 47 seconds left, hit a well-defended Trevor Kennedy with a 44-yard completion to set up the Hawks at the Rebel 17. But Nick’s next throw was deflected into the hands of South Burlington’s Sean Lunny to end the back-and-forth struggle.
With ace running back Nick Ferrentino sidelined, CVU got some good infantry yards from backup Brent Carreiro with 69 yards on 14 carries.
While both defenses struggled, CVU’s Kyle Williams, John Keen, Ryan Fleming and Harvey Ottinger (fumble recovery) were among those with some shining moments.
South Burlington 42, CVU 35
CVU (5-2) SB (6-1)
First downs 18 19
Total yards 387 476
Yards rushing 216 369
Yards passing 174 114
Passes-att-com.int 32-13-2 16-6-0
Fumbles-lost 3-0 3-1
Sacked-yds lost 1-3 1-7
Penalties-yards 1-5 5-45
Punts-avg 2-30 1-42
Return yards 87 99
CVU – 7 14 7 7 – 35
SB – 7 20 8 7 – 42