by Kathy Williams
The first day of autumn proved to be a glorious day for the Champlain Valley Redhawks. Foliage in the Northeast Kingdom, where the team faced off against the St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers, put on a gorgeous display of colors for traveling players and fans. More importantly, the Redhawks secured a 22-7 win and improved their record to 3-1.
Redhawk quarterback Steele DuBrul would rush for more than 150 yards and running back Patrick Shea, back from an injury, rushed for more than 70 yards. The duo worked together and Shea pushed into the end zone for the early 6-0 lead. The extra point snap was bobbled; Bennett Cazayoux was able to recover and complete a quick toss to Davis Mikell for the two-point conversion. From the CVU sidelines, this was a perfect day for high school football.
DuBrul was able to find the end zone on two occasions with the quarterback keeper both times. CVU kicker Max Whitcomb was good on both extra-point kicks, bringing the score 21-0 by the third quarter.
As a sign of what was to come later in the day, the game, like the weather, became a little sluggish. St. Johnsbury seemed to rally in the third quarter with a 70-yard kick-off return touchdown by Eli Wenndell. St. J’s momentum continued as an onside kick by the Hilltoppers was recovered. But the Redhawk’s defense proved too much for St. Johnsbury. Linebackers Rex McCoy, Alex Bulla, Harvey Ottinger, Jason Cora, and Ryan Beaudry contributed with some impressive plays. Brad Bissonette and Kyle Williams were able to foil two St. J. touchdown passes. The end of the fourth quarter wrapped up with a sea of white and red, giving the Hilltoppers nowhere to go.
Coach Rahn Fleming summed it up nicely. “We are glad for the win. We accomplished a lot of what we set out to do, and we certainly showed ourselves that we have plenty to work on. We’re looking forward to getting better each week. We’ll enjoy this one for a day, then start getting ready for BFA.”
CVU travels to BFA St. Albans Friday for a Division I show-down. Kick-off is at 7 pm.