Ravens DB #1 Matthew Gomes makes the INT
and returns it 35 yards for the pick-6.
Eleventh Season 2007-2017
Norwich University – Sabine Field
Southern VT Storm 7
Vermont Ravens 18
In the second meeting for these teams in the last three weeks things turned out much different this time around. After being beaten on the road against the Storm 41-13 to start the season work was put in, some changes were made, and the team buckled down defensively to hold the high scoring Storm to just one trip to the end zone.
Last games star for the Storm QB #17 Mike Stephens, this time didn’t have the time to shine as he was pressured into five interceptions. His replacement #7 Will Cole suffered the teams sixth of the game.
Defensive back #1 Matthew Gomes (Montpelier) turned one of the interceptions into a 35 yard pick-6 making the score 18-7 Ravens with just under 2 minutes to go. On his return Gomes was seemingly trapped against the Raven sideline when seeing an opening cut-back and out raced everyone to the endzone. The extra point attempt by #58 Juju Ayida (Plainfield) was foiled as the snap was low and holder #81 Sean Lamphere (Burlington) tried to complete a pass to TE/SS #20 Roy Rose (Northfield) but the pass was over thrown. Gomes also added another pass defensed and had 3 tackles, 1 of them solo.
While the Raven offense was inconsistent there were a few plays that stand out. The sole offensive touchdown was a beauty from the Ravens perspective as QB #7 Kenny Phillips II (Williston) let loose a bomb to a streaking #16 Anthony “Tre” Bucci (Plattsburgh) who went up for the ball on the Storm’s 7 yard line. Battling a Storm defender for the ball Bucci come away with it and proceeded to back into the end zone for the first score of the game. The point after attempt was wide left and the score was 6-0 Ravens with 5:39 left first quarter.
The Raven offense struggled to find it’s rhythm all day so Head Coach Pete Everett was forced into playing the field position game. Special teams overall proved to be a huge factor in the game as between Ayida’s deep kick-offs and well positioned punts the defense was set up for success and came through only allowing the one touchdown. The score came in the second quarter when Stephens hit WR #15 Marcus Anderson on a post and upon seeing the Ravens secondary out of position Anderson never let up scoring from 60 yards out. Coles extra point was good making the score 7-6 Storm with 2:10 left in the half.
The celebration for the Storm was short lived as Coles kick-off was fielded by Bucci who was initially aided by a nice block by Rose clearing a hole. That small opening turned into a seam right up the middle where upon accelerating he ran untouched until a would be tackler got a hand on his shoulder briefly turning him a bit. Adjusting, but not slowing, all he had at that point was just the kicker to beat. Cole attempted to cut off the fleet Bucci, but shifting into another gear he glided to the left corner of the end zone completing the 97 yard kick-off return. The two point conversion attempt was no good and with 1:54 left in the half the Ravens led 12-7.
The momentum that the Storm were hoping to take into halftime was instead on the Ravens side.
Although there was no more scoring until late in the game with Gomes pick-6 there were some notable plays. Raven DB/KR #31 Jeric Tyler (Norhtfield) had a couple nice returns that gave the Ravens better field position. Catching one punt on his own 10 yard line, he started right and finding that blocked reversed field and got the corner going up the Ravens sideline before being finally knocked out of bounds after a 50 yard return. Tyler finished the day with two punt returns for 71 yards, a tipped pass to teammate #25 Cody Flanagan (Barre) who caught the ball just off the ground for an interception, an interception of his own, and 5 tackles, one of them solo. Also, in what appears to be an every game occurrence, Tyler tracked down another receiver who had the goal line in their sights saving the Ravens from another Storm score.
The defense upped their intensity from the previous game with the Storm and making a nice positional adjustment were able to keep Southern Vermont’s offense under control. The passing lanes were jammed and while the defensive line were giving Stephens fits and making him uncomfortable, the linebackers and secondary were capitalizing on the hurried throws to make the 6 interceptions. The beforementioned Gomes, Tyler and Flanagan had three of the interceptions and Rose had one while adding 6 tackles, 1 of them solo. LB #51 George Campbell (Williamstown) had one interception, 6 tackles, 3 of them solo, and tipped a pass to fellow LB #33 Larry LaBrecque (White River Jct.) for another interception. LaBrecque also had 8 tackles, 3 of them solo.
LB #57 Nolan Callahan (Cabot) contributed 7 tackles, 2 of them solo with 1 pass defensed and 1 sack. LB # 50 Dave Ackerman (Newport, NH) had 6 tackles and 1 pass defensed. Defensive tackle Ayida had 6 tackles, 3 of them solo, with 1 sack. Defensive tackle #93 Lloyd White (Barre) had 7 tackles with 1 solo, 1 sack and 1 pass deflected.
In all the defense had 5 sacks with DE #46 Joseph Picard (Montpelier), and DE/LB #35 Kyle Jablonski (South Burlington) each adding 1.
Phillips finished the day 10-18 for 105 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and 1 fumble, which was recovered by teammate runningback #21 Anthony LaRosa, (Northfield). Phillips was also sacked 3 times for 12 yards and he ran 6 times gaining 28 yards.
Bucci caught 2 passes for 46 yards, had the 1 touchdown reception, returned the 1 kick-off for his second touchdown of the day, and added a punt return of 3 yards.
WR #19 Chad Carlsen (Baltimore) caught 4 passes for 31 yards, WR/RB #5 Austin Mayo (Winooski) had 2 catches for 16 yards, and WR/holder Lamphere had 2 catches for 13 yards.
LaRosa ran 16 times for 36 yards.
The Ravens are 2-1 and travel to Dover, NH next Saturday to play the 2-0 Seacoast Warhawks. Kick-off is 2PM. The Storm (2-1) are home next Saturday to play the 1-1 Monadnock Marauders. Kick-off is 4PM.
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