Oct. 30, 2008
By Mal Boright
A return to the Vermont Division 3 playoffs will have to wait a year after the Redhawks’ 2008 hopes were dashed on Saturday by Route 116 neighbor Mount Abraham Union High.
Observer photo by Karen Pike
Champlain Valley Union High players Kyle Goodrich (34), Konnor Fleming (10) and Collin Teator (26) take down Mount Abraham Union’s Josh Masterson during the Redhawks’ game against the Eagles on Saturday. CVU’s season came to an end with the 8-0 loss.
After the 13 Champlain Valley Union High seniors gave parents the final home game traditional red roses, the visiting Eagles (3-5) laid a muscular defense and an 8-0 nipping on the Hawks. The defeat left 3-5 CVU out of the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
The lone score of the game came early — before the rains — and left the Redhawks trying for an elusive paydirt trip during the remainder of the windy and wet afternoon.
After CVU marched to the Mount Abe 40, where the game’s first possession stalled on a fourth and inches stop, the Eagles rumbled into the end zone in six plays. Halfback Josh Masterson smashed in from 5 yards out after big “bullback” Pat West had crashed through the CVU defense for 22 yards in three lugs.
West then busted his way through the defense for the two points-after.
After exchanges of punts, CVU put together its best offensive thrust of the day, going on the ground and through the air from its own 37 to the Eagles’ 15 before time ran out in the first half.
The drive was sparked by quarterback Konnor Fleming, who picked up nine valuable yards and a pair of first downs on keepers, along with pass completions to receivers Stephan Fortin (6 and 14 yards), J. P. Benoit (9 yards) and, as time ticked off the clock, to Tommy Powers, a 5-yarder that the halfback got to the 15 before he was brought down.
In the second half, CVU saw drives halted at the Mount Abe 31 and 35 in the final quarter. On both occasions the Eagles’ defense shut down a fourth-and-inches situation.
Mount Abe had the game’s final possession and ran out the clock at the CVU 25 after two first down smashes by the tough 220-pound West, who racked up 122 yards in 22 carries. His sidekick, Masterson, picked up 56 yards on 16 trips.
Powers paced CVU’s ground game with 52 yards in 15 sorties. Fullback Crawford Morris ran 11 times for 42 yards while Benoit and Fleming each gained 22 yards.
It was the final contest for seniors Michael Bonfigli, Robert Charland, Zeph DesOrmeaux, Josh Duncan, Fortin, Matt Gault, Quinn Gilbert, Kyle Goodrich, Tyler Hulbert, Andrew Lieberman, Powers, Jake Thibault and T.J. Whitaker.
Mount Abraham Union-Champlain Valley Union, stats
First downs 11 11
Plays from scrimmage 52 58
Rushing yards 195 157
Passing yards 0 34
Comp-Att-Int 0-3-1 4-11-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 0-0 2-12
Punts-Avg 5-24 3-27
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-70 6-40
Mount Abraham 8 0 0 0 — 8
CVU 0 0 0 0 — 0