Sept. 10, 2009
By Mal Boright
Last Friday, the Champlain Valley Union High football team won its first game of the season by night. This Saturday, the Redhawks will test their abilities in the daylight with a visit to longtime Division 2 power Rice Memorial High in South Burlington.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Nighttime in Manchester last week proved to be a good time for head coach Jim Provost and his Redhawks, as they took apart home standing Burr and Burton, 39-20. The outcome was of some surprise to Provost and the CVU coaching staff.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” Provost said over the weekend, referring to the Hawks’ initial outing in Division 2. “It was a good night for our team and the program. It was a big step forward.”
Rice won its season opener at home on Saturday, coming from behind late in the game to bump off Lyndon Institute, 18-14.
CVU’s victory was led by junior quarterback Konnor Fleming, who ran for four touchdowns and threw for a pair of scores to end Ian Solomon and halfback Collin Teator.
Fleming’s hookup with Teator went for 94 yards, the longest in the four-plus season history of CVU varsity football, and put the Redhawks up 20-0 at halftime.
Provost said Fleming’s touchdown runs came from inside the 10-yard-line, except one from the 12.
The coach was also very happy with the fact that the Redhawks’ offense did not turn the ball over.
Additionally pleasing to Provost was the play in the trenches of defensive foursome Matt Long, Cameron Fitzgerald, Mike Bean and Dale Conger.
Fitzgerald, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound junior, was credited with seven sacks, a solid night’s work in any league. He was named the Moe’s Southwest Grill Player of the Game.
J.P. Benoit had a pass interception out of his defensive back position.
In looking ahead to Saturday, Provost said, “We have to increase our level of play. Rice is a team that pulled out a win in a game it could have lost.”
He cited Rice quarterback Chris McCormick and halfback Andy Bulger (two touchdowns) among the Green Knights’ weapons.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Provost, who coached the Knights in the 1990s and led them to a state title.