The Champlain Valley Union High football team is heading south Friday to take on top-seeded Rutland High in a semifinal test after what Coach Michael Williams called a “too exciting” quarterfinal victory.
“They are the cream of the crop in our division and we certainly understand the task at hand,” he wrote in an email to the Observer. “The hope is to have a great week of practice and give it a go.”
CVU toppled Brattleboro last Friday 19-16, but an inadvertent whistle in the final three seconds almost led to a different outcome.
Williams said it was a “very interesting” game.
“Very exciting (too exciting) but a big victory for the team…it was a gutty, gritty performance,” he wrote.
Williams said the Redhawks were down 14-0 early in the game—but it turned out that was the last time the defense allowed Brattleboro to score. By halftime, the score had inched up to 14-7.
CVU scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but missed the extra point, leaving Brattleboro one point ahead at 14-13.
The Redhawks pulled ahead partway through the fourth quarter after Mason Cohn returned an interception for a touchdown, bringing the score to 19-14.
“On their next drive they had a first and goal from the 4-yard line and our defense came up with an unbelievable goal-line stand,” Williams wrote. “We got the ball on the 1 yard line and subsequently purposely took a safety to make the score 19-16.”
CVU kicked off, and Brattleboro returned it to the Redhawks’ 18-yard line with 3 seconds left. Brattleboro attempted the tying field goal—and that’s when things got a little odd.
“We blocked the kick and the official immediately blew the whistle….as we celebrated, Brattleboro eventually picked up the ball and ran it into the endzone,” Williams wrote. “Due to the inadvertent whistle, we had to do the play over and his attempt was short.”
The Redhawks now turn their attention to Rutland. The semifinal game is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Rutland.
—Stephanie Choate, Observer staff