Sept. 4, 2008
By Mal Boright
The 0-1 Champlain Valley Union High football team hopes to avoid more early craters on Saturday when it meets Bellows Free Academy of Fairfax at 1 p.m. in its Hinesburg home opener.
Following a disappointing, final minute 22-20 loss at Oxbow High last Saturday, CVU head coach Jim Provost said a key this week will be to avoid getting behind at the start of the game.
“We dug ourselves a big hole early,” said Provost.
The Redhawks went down 13-0 in the first quarter and trailed 19-6 at halftime, only to bounce back and take a 20-19 lead in the fourth quarter. They then lost on an Oxbow field goal with 27 seconds left in regulation.
Contributed photo by Terri Zittritsch
Tommy Powers (right) of Champlain Valley Union carries the ball against Oxbow High on Saturday. The Redhawks fell, 22-20, in the last minute of the game.
It was the first varsity triumph in Oxbow High’s program, which is entering its second season.
“Bad as it was, the kids showed a lot of heart in coming back to get the lead,” said Provost, adding that the effort gave the coaching staff a lot to build on entering Saturday’s contest.
BFA lost its opener, 18-0, to defending Division III champion Poultney High on Saturday, and turned the ball over five times.
“BFA is a little more diversified than Oxbow,” said Provost after getting scouting reports. “They throw a little more with options and spreads. Hopefully, we won’t dig ourselves another big hole.”
At Oxbow, the shovel that dug the early chasm came in the form of two miscues on punts that resulted in the Olympians taking possession twice on the CVU 6-yard line.
In the second half, the Redhawks got their offensive momentum back and slowly ate away at the Oxbow advantage, with halfback Tommy Powers scoring two of his three touchdowns. The final one came in the fourth quarter, after which Powers grabbed a two-point conversion pass from sophomore quarterback Ian Solomon for the lead.
“Tommy had a good day,” Provost said of his veteran senior halfback, who had some long runs and pass receptions in addition to his trio of scoring bursts.
Defensively, Provost pointed out the work of senior linebacker Josh Duncan, “who must have made as many as 15 tackles,” and fellow senior linebacker Jake Thibault.
Senior halfback and linebacker Zeph Desormeaux was lost to a leg injury early in the first period and may miss several games.
“We had mistakes,” Provost summed up. “But they were all fixable things. We just need to keep on improving.”