Playoff bid on platter for CVU football team (10/22/09)

Oct. 22, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

A trip to Bristol on Saturday for a 1 p.m. meeting with 0-7 Mount Abraham Union High is up next for the Champlain Valley Union High football team, which needs wins in its next two games to clinch a Division 2 playoff berth.


    Courtesy photo by Terri Zittritsch
Champlain Valley Union High football players Cameron Fitzgerald (56),Matt Long (7) and Crawford Morris (36) close in on North Country Union High quarterback Emile Hartman. The Redhawks improved their record to 6-1 with the 21-14 victory on Friday.

On the following Saturday, the 6-1 Redhawks will close out the regular season by hosting Fair Haven Union High.

Division 3 Mount Abraham fell last week to Oxbow High, 57-0. While the struggling Eagles may be without a victory, memories remain from last fall, when they swooped into Hinesburg and left with an 8-0 triumph in their claws.

CVU head coach Jim Provost pointed out this week that while his Redhawks have command of their playoff destiny, they need a pair of victories to assure a slot in the four-team playoffs.

Currently second in the divisional point standings, CVU trails only undefeated Colchester High. If the Redhawks win out, they will be in good shape. But as Provost pointed out, a loss could mean trouble.

“There are six teams in the running for four spots,” he said. “It is possible that two teams with two losses each may not make it.”

He called Friday might’s 21-14 triumph at North Country Union “a big, big win for our program.”

The Redhawks, offensively troubled in their previous two games, put together a crunching ground attack led by Derek Goodwin. The running back hotfooted through and around the Falcons for 119 yards in 13 carries, mostly in the first half. Goodwin also scored a touchdown early in the first quarter by picking up a North Country fumble and parking himself in the end zone.

A 6-yard scoring pass from quarterback Konnor Fleming to fullback Eric Palmer gave CVU a 14-6 lead at intermission.

Goodwin sat out most of the second half with a leg injury, so Palmer and halfback J.P. Benoit picked up any slack. Benoit plunged over from 3 yards out for the Hawks’ final score.

The margin might have been great except for an uncharacteristic five fumbles by CVU.

Provost praised his offensive line and also the defensive game play by coordinator Kevin McCarthy.

“North Country is very skilled at deception,” Provost said. “We had to play disciplined, assignment defense and Kevin had our guys doing just that.”