“This is a week to pick up the pieces,” said Champlain Valley Union High head football coach Jim Provost Sunday.
The pieces were the aspirations of his team in the wake of its first loss of the season, a 42-7 thrashing by undefeated Middlebury under the lights Friday at the Tigers’ lair.
On the surface, the immediate road ahead has a rather formidable object, 5-0 South Burlington High, which will play host to the 4-1 Redhawks Saturday night (7 p.m.) in a homecoming contest.
Last Saturday, the Rebels traveled to Jericho Center and whacked 2-3 Mount Mansfield Union, 34-18. All of South Burlington’s victories have been by double-digit margins.
“South Burlington is a complete offensive team,” said Provost. “They run and throw with a lot of efficiency.”
The Rebs’ top runner, Tanner Contois, sped for 212 yards and three lengthy touchdown scampers in the triumph over the Cougars. Quarterback Hunter Riehle completed nine of 25 throws for 142 yards and a pair of scores.
Mount Mansfield gained 290 yards on the ground against the Rebel defense.
Middlebury did not waste time with niceties for its red and white clad visitors Friday.
Striking through the air and over land, the Tigers racked up a 21-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the first quarter to set the Redhawks back on their heels, from which they never recovered.
The three touchdowns required just a total of seven plays. Sam Smith caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Robinson when Robinson found Smith by his lonesome in the left flat on the second play from scrimmage.
Long runs then set up two short scoring blasts into the end zone by the Tigers’ Nicholas Felkl. By halftime, Middlebury was up 35-0 holding a 275-94 edge in yardage.
“Middlebury is awfully good,” said Provost. “I had no idea how fast they were. We just couldn’t catch them.”
The coach credited the Tigers with good play execution, and the Redhawks? Well, they just did not execute, getting very little going on the offensive side.
CVU’s lone touchdown came on an 80-yard punt return by Alex Bulla in the closing reel.
Redhawks’ starting quarterback Steele DuBrul got dinged early and sat out most of the game. Bennett Cazayoux, who missed the first four games with an injury, did see some signal calling action.
“A lot of kids did get a lot of playing time,” said Provost.
—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent