By Mal Boright
Pushed around Saturday by a huge Colchester team with a platoon of powerful and elusive running backs, the Champlain Valley Union High football team is getting ready for a second straight home game, this time with the 0-1 Essex High Hornets in Hinesburg this Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
“We have to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again,” said CVU head coach Jim Provost Sunday in the wake of the 46-19 crunching handed the Redhawks by the Lakers.
Essex is coming off a zinger of its own, having been popped 41-29 at home Friday by defending Division 1 champion Middlebury Union High.
“We are better than we showed on Saturday,” said Provost, adding that the team has a great attitude. “We played young and in a lot of respects we are young.”
The coach said Essex may come in with a different philosophy than in the past, apparently having moved away from the no-huddle go-go pass and occasionally run days of yore.
Provost said the Hornets do have speed in “several good athletes who carry the ball.”
There will be few if any future Redhawk foes with the size and mobility of the Lakers, who chewed up the ground for 395 yards behind a monster line which created large holes for six backs to individually gain 29 yards and more.
Colchester also sparkled with special teams, putting up 192 return yards, including a 90-yard rumble with the second half-opening kickoff that eventually led to a hope-smashing touchdown. This turn of events after the Redhawks had scored just before intermission to get within 26-13 and light the fires of possible momentum for the home folks.
“Their (Lakers’) big guys are really good,” said Provost.
With 19 seniors on their roster, the Lakers could go 290, 285, 245 and 240 on the front line and still have beef in reserve.
“Yeah,” said a grim CVU linebacker-offensive lineman Matt Goldsborough when asked if the size was a big factor. “That was about it.”
The senior had a busy two-way day including a fumble recovery late in the game that set up the Redhawks’ final score, a 20-yard scoring pitch from quarterback Jake Evans to receiver Zach Toensing in the end zone.
All three CVU scores came through the air. The Redhawks took their lone lead with one minute and six seconds left in the opening stanza, 6-4 receiver Jack Austin snaring a 4-yard toss from starting quarterback Andrew Bortnick (6 for 9, 91 yards). Brandon Young kicked the point-after and CVU led 7-6.
But Colchester then unleashed the horses named Erik Lagerquist (122 yards), powerful Jared Antoniak and swiveling Grant Cummings behind that massive line to score the next three touchdowns with Antoniak (4-yard run), Cummings (45-yard scamper) and Lagerquist (9-yard smash) doing the honors.
Bortnick’s 10-yard scoring pitch to Trevor Kingston with 50.8 seconds left in the first half gave a respite to the Red and White. But it was only temporary.
Top footman for the Redhawks was Rich Lowrey with 64 yards on 16 carries.