CVU football team aims for high playoff seed

Redhawks face U-32 in regular season finale

Oct. 28, 2010

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent
Nick Meunier (center) makes a tackle during Champlain Valley Union High’s football win over Milton High on Friday. Meunier had a strong game on defense in the 21-0 victory. (Courtesy photo by Joe Kropf)

Champlain Valley Union High’s football Redhawks (4-0 at home) need to defend their nest one more time to assure a solid seed in the upcoming Division 2 playoffs.

A win would likely net the Redhawks a second seed in the playoffs.

Rolling in at 1 p.m. Saturday to square off with CVU — 6-2 against all foes and 6-1 in the division — will be the U-32 Raiders, who are 3-4 overall after losing 48-21 Friday night to North Country Union High in Newport.

Although his Redhawks are coming off a solid 21-0 triumph at Milton High on Friday night, head coach Jim Provost is not taking the visiting Raiders for granted.

“They have an offense with a lot of misdirection and a big fullback,” he said, adding that a key for CVU will be discipline on defense.

Friday, the Redhawks established control of the game on their very first play from scrimmage when quarterback Konnor Fleming rolled out and sped 54 yards for a touchdown.

“I always hope that the second play I call in a game is for Tucker Kohlasch to kick the extra-point,” Provost said.

He did and Kohlasch did.

“That play really took the wind out of Milton’s sails,” the coach said.

Later CVU scores came on a 31-yard pass from Fleming to halfback J.P. Benoit and a 5-yard run by back Derek Goodwin.

Goodwin, a stalwart senior defensive back, saw his first significant offensive action since playing nearly a half at quarterback in relief of an injured Fleming at Essex High in the second game of the season. The 5-11, 180-pound senior rushed for 87 yards in 16 missions.

“We had a gut feeling about Goodwin,” Provost said. “We have some good running backs.”

Provost also praised the team defense that held Milton “to very few first downs.”

One individual the coach cited was linebacker Michael Fournier, who was in his first varsity contest after being elevated from the junior varsity.

Defensive lineman Cameron Fitzgerald, who along with Crawford Morris and Dale Conger comprise the pachyderm people of the tough interior trench, recovered another opposition fumble but made it only to the Milton 4-yard line before being brought down, no easy task.

The Redhawks will be without sophomore lineman Alec Distler this week after he sustained a cut below a knee.

As for the upcoming battle, Provost said there is work to be done.

“We got deep into Milton territory a couple of times and didn’t score,” he said. “We have to get better.”