On a sloppy field and a cold night there weren't a lot of scoring opportunities for either the Fair Haven Slaters or Middlebury Tigers in their Division-II semifinal game last Friday night in Middlebury. The Tigers took advantage of two Slater miscues to build up a 9-0 lead, and then held off a fourth quarter Slater surge to win 9-6.
Middlebury's first opportunity came in the opening quarter when they recovered a fumble at the 25 yard line. They took it in from their with Bryan Ashley-Sellick finishing it with a nine yard touchdown run. Alex Bowdish increased the Tigers lead to 9-0 with a 20 yard field goal in the second quarter.
The score remained 9-0 until the fourth quarter when the Slaters put together a 14 play 63 yard drive, ending with a five yard touchdown run from Dakota Euber. The Slaters were driving again in the final minute of play but an interception ended the drive, and the season for Far Haven. The Tigers advance to this Saturday's D-II championship perfect at 10-0.
The Tigers opponent in this Saturday's division-II State Championship game will be the third seeded Rice Green Knights. Rice's quarterback Christian McCormick completed 15 of 31 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.
McCormick also had a rushing touchdown while leading his Green Knights to a convincing 29-8 semifinal win over the Champlain Valley Union Red Hawks, last Saturday in Colchester.
Casey Tipson chipped in with four receptions for 81 yards, and had a rushing touchdown. Dan Bolger had 10 carries for 43 yards to lead the ground attack for the Falcons.
The real story for the Knights came on the other side of the ball. CVU's offense could only manage 13 rushing yards the entire game, and when they tried to pass it got worse. As a team (CVU starter Konnor Fleming was injured early and the Red Hawks tried four different quarterbacks in his stead) the Red Hawks completed none of their nine pass attempts, unless you count the three that were intercepted. CVU finally managed to score when returned a fumble 78 yards with three minutes left to play in the game.
The 9-1 Green Knights will face off against the top seeded 10-0 Middlebury Tigers this Saturday (November 13) at Castleton State College for the Division-II State Championship. If you like football you don't want to miss this one. It should be one hard fought, exciting contest.