The second-seeded Bellows Falls Terriers will be playing for the Division II football championship at South Burlington High School this Saturday at 11 a.m. after defeating the third-seeded Milton Yellowjackets, 35-0, at Hadley Field last Saturday.
BF will be facing undefeated (10-0) and top-seeded Rice, which took care of No. 4 Burr & Burton, 36-14, in the other Division II semifinal last Saturday. Rice beat BF, 8-0, at Hadley Field in a September matchup.
The Terriers (9-1) entered the game well-rested after Springfield forfeited the regular season finale the week before, while Milton (6-4) was coming off a 55-26 win over North Country.
BF football has traditionally meant an offense that is built around the run. This year is no exception as running backs Zach Rawling and Carson Fullum give the Terriers a powerful 1-2 punch. What is unusual is that a team that scores nearly all of its points on the ground has been able to score more than 50 points four times this season.
However, against a team like Milton that is similarly conservative on offense, the Terriers had to get a little more creative.
“They know what we want to do, and what we like to do,” said BF coach Bob Lockerby. “At this point in the season, you have to switch it up a little.”
With the Milton defense keying on Rawling and Fullham, that meant giving the ball to big senior fullback Ed Rodriguez, who barreled through the line for several big runs, including a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Rawling had 78 yards on 14 carries, Fullam had 54 yards on 11 carries, and Rodriguez had 47 yards on eight carries.
Sophomore quarterback Ethan Illingworth threw sparingly as usual, but he connected with Fullam on a 35-yard touchdown to start the second half. Rawling followed that with a 1-yard touchdown run, and Rodriguez’s score was the emotional harpoon that finished Milton.
“We had guys open early on, but we didn’t take advantage,” said Lockerby of the Terriers’ passing game. Illingworth was 4 for 6 for 92 yards of passing.
But BF’s first touchdown came off an old familiar Terrier standby, the counter play. The Milton defense fell for the misdirection fake, and Fullam burst up the left side for a 31-yard scoring run. David Dunbar caught the conversion pass from Rawling for an 8-0 lead with 8:22 left in the first quarter.
“Bis (Bisbee) taught us that play when I played for him,” said Lockerby. “It was just sitting there waiting for us to use.”
Illingworth scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak early in the second quarter, and Milton was back on their heels the rest of the game. It didn’t help that they played sloppy and undisciplined football, committing penalty after penalty that killed the few scoring opportunities that they had.
“Emotionally, we didn’t hand ourselves well, especially when things starting going south for us,” said Milton coach Chris Hughes. “This is a very, very young football team. If we can get them to grow up a little, we have a good future.”
BF senior linebacker Tyler Holmes was the defensive star of the game, with 11 tackles. He led the BF defense in shutting down Milton’s running game.
Rice was the only team to beat BF this season, and revenge is definitely on the minds of the Terriers.
Twin Valley falls to Proctor
• Twin Valley put up a good fight, but the Wildcats fell short in overtime against the Proctor Phantoms, 4-3, in the Division IV boys’ soccer championship game at South Royalton High School on Saturday.
It was a battle of the top two seeds in their division. No. 1 Proctor, 15-1-1, was playing in its third straight championship game. No. 2 Twin Valley was the only team to beat them this season.
Proctor took a 2-0 lead at the half, but Twin Valley battled back when Nick Nilsen scored off a Colin Lozito pass in the 47th minute, then repeated the same play in the 59th minute for the go-ahead goal. In between the Nilsen/Lozito goals was a 40-yard rocket off the foot of Hunter Therrien.
The Wildcats looked like they would hang on, but the Phantoms got the goal that sent the game into overtime when John Connell scored with six minutes left in the game. Connell eventually scored the game-winner with four minutes left in the first overtime period.
Twin Valley punched their ticket for the final with a 3-1 semifinal win over No. 6 Cabot last Wednesday at Sawyer Field in Brattleboro.
Unlike their quarterfinal game against Arlington, Twin Valley scored three goals in the space of 11 minutes in the first half to put the game away early.
Lozito knocked in a free kick from Eli Park in the 10th minute for Twin Valley’s first goal. Three minutes later, Nilsen knocked in a rebound of a Tony Tarr shot off the hands of Cabot goalkeeper Adlai Feldman for the second goal.
Then, in the 21st minute, Nilsen buried a feed from Mike Bernard that Feldman had no chance of stopping.
“We were expecting them to block high,” said Hayford. “So I told the guys to keep the ball down low. Cabot came back as they started to commit more players forward.”
While the Wildcats dominated the first half, Cabot scrambled in the second half to try and get back into the game. The best that they could do was spoil goalkeeper Sam Molner’s shutout bid with a goal from Camden Celle from Caleb Maxfield with 3:16 left in regulation.
Feldman had 17 saves, while Molner made six. The only sour note from the game was the loss of Evan Therrien, who had his ankle broken late in the game after he was taken down just outside the penalty area by Cabot’s Seth Herrien, who also knocked out Nilsen with a hard slide tackle a couple of minutes later. Nilsen had to be helped off, but was not seriously hurt.
Hayford said last Wednesday that he was expecting a difficult game against Proctor, but that win or lose, he has a team that’s more than capable of coming back to the title game in 2013.
Vermont Outdoor Recreation Plan to get updated
• The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation seeks public comment on updates to the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Plan, 2005-2009, which has expired.
The new document provides a vision, along with goals and actions, in support of outdoor recreation throughout the state for the period 2013 through 2017. Towns, organizations, and recreationists are encouraged to refer to the plan when coordinating their activities with statewide priorities.
The draft is available for review at http://www.vtfpr.org/recreation/scorp/info.cfm, or contact the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation for a printed copy. Any suggested changes, additions, corrections, etc. should be submitted to Ed O’Leary before Nov. 30.
The draft document is a component of the National Park Service planning process known as “SCORP,” or Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Such a plan is a requirement for the state to receive Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) dollars from the federal government. Hundreds of recreational facilities have been developed in Vermont through more than 500 projects of the LWCF. These projects include our public parks, town greens, ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, skate parks, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
In addition, a webinar will he held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., at which time a quick review of the process which led up to the development of the SCORP will be presented, and the public will be provided the opportunity to ask questions and provide input. To access the webinar on Nov. 14, follow the link above and follow the instructions to login to the webinar 10 minutes before it starts.
For more information, contact O’Leary at the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation at Ed.firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-241-3683.
Deerfield Valley Rotary to host Ski and Skate Sale
• On Nov. 10, the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club will host their annual Ski and Skate Sale at the Deerfield Valley Elementary School. The sale will run from 9 a.m.– 3 p.m.
The sale features a wide variety of winter sporting gear and clothing. This is a consignment sale and the Rotary is encouraging people to bring in their unused or outgrown gear, if it’s in good condition. Of the proceeds, 30 percent will go to the Rotary Fund and 70 percent will go to the seller. Items can be dropped off at Deerfield Valley Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 9, from 3-6 p.m. For more information or to volunteer, contact Cheryl at 802-464-8843 or Kelly at 802-464-4119.