CVU football playoff spot on the line10/23/08

Oct. 23, 2008

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

“We control our own destiny,” said Champlain Valley Union High head football coach Jim Provost on Sunday as he looked ahead to Saturday’s (2 p.m.) regular season wrap up against visiting Route 116 neighbor Mount Abraham Union.

The game kicks off at 2 p.m. at CVU.

With Friday night’s critical 14-7 victory over Montpelier High in the books, Provost believes a win over the Eagles will cement a Division 3 playoff berth for the Redhawks, who are 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the division.

Mount Abraham is 2-5, its triumphs over Winooski High (20-6) and winless Mill River Union (56-0). Last weekend, MAU lost a close contest at home to Division 2 Milton High, 28-22, an outcome that got Provost’s attention.

“They (Mount Abe) only have two wins,” the coach said. “But they played a Division 2 team very tough last week.”

MAU took a 22-20 lead into the final three minutes of the contest.

Provost was pleased with the progress his team made in its Friday night triumph over the Solons, who had playoff aspirations of their own. After a scoreless first half, Montpelier bolted to a 7-0 lead with its initial possession of the second half. CVU then got the next two touchdowns and held onto the ball late in the fourth period to protect the lead.

“Our offensive line really came together in the second half,” the coach recalled.

Halfback Tommy Powers scored the six-pointers on eight-yard and one-yard runs, while C.P. Benoit accounted for the twofer after Powers’ second end zone sortie.

Provost praised the work of both backs, along with fullback Crawford Morris, who, he said, “picked up critical yardage for us.”

With the line producing the holes and the backs performing, CVU’s offense dominated the game after Montpelier had taken the lead in the third quarter.

Provost also credited the work of sophomore quarterback Ian Solomon, who took over when starting signal caller Konnor Fleming was injured in the second quarter. Fleming later went back into the fray, but only on defense.

“Ian did a great job in leading the offense,” his coach commented.

Overall, Provost thought his defense “was great all night,” and in particular pointed to the work of senior defensive back Robert Charland.

The veteran coach also praised the “loud following” of CVU supporters at the Capital City contest.

The one downer from the victory was the loss of wide receiver Michael Bonfigli with a broken collarbone.