Raven free safety #23 Adam Gowens and defensive back #9 Olivier Kpesse break up a pass.
Pic by Linda Salmon
Eleventh Season 2007-2017
Mansfield High School – Mansfield, Ma.
Vermont Ravens 14
South Shore Chiefs 6
Vermont bounced back from a loss last week to even their record at 1-1 with a victory over the South Shore Chiefs 14-6. Head Coach/offensive coordinator Pete Everett is in his third year at the helm, seventh with the team. He appreciated his team’s efforts in a game that as early as the game is in the schedule was as important to the team as any he can remember, short of a play-off game. Being down 0-2 in the 8-game season, 12 team conference can be a huge hole to dig out of, but the Ravens came away with the much-needed victory.
The offense, scoring once in each half, was efficient as they mixed it up with the run and the pass to keep the Chief defense off balance. The first score was mid-way through the second quarter where after a nice drive brought them down to the Chiefs 6-yard line, veteran running back #21 Anthony LaRosa (Northfield) followed FB/FS Adam Gowens (Berlin) to pay dirt. Paul-Dan Winters (E. Montpelier) made a nice block down to open it up initially for LaRosa. Kicker #58 Juju Ayida’s (Plainfield) point after was good and the Ravens led 7-0.
To keep that drive alive on a third and long, newcomer to the Ravens, QB #7 Kenny Phillips II (Williston), dropped back to pass and seeing everyone covered tucked the ball and took off downfield slipping tackles and weaving his way 15 yards for a first down inside the Chiefs 20. FB/SS #20 Roy Rose (Northfield) also contributed with a catch off a screen pass from Phillips gaining 8 yards after avoiding a would be Chief defender.
It would be a while before the Ravens scored their second touchdown. With time running down in the fourth, Phillips rolled left, felt pressure from the outside linebacker, spun around and coming back around to the right side saw receiver #14 Clayton Torres (Barre) open in the right side of the end zone. Firing a strike to Torres the receiver caught the ball and with Ayida kicking his second successful point after the Ravens led 14-6 with 4:21 left. The offensive line of #79 Curtis Christiansen (Plainfield), #55 Tyler Baker (Northfield), #63 Paul-Dan Winter (E. Montpelier), #72 Bradley Durkee (Montpelier), and #74 Kevin Keeling (Barre) all sustained their blocks which allowed Phillips the time necessary to find the open Torres for the score.
Phillips ended the game 11 of 19 through the air for 118 yards and the one touchdown pass while throwing one interception. He spread the ball around completing passes to 6 different receivers. He also ran 10 times for 52 yards. Torres, along with his touchdown had an 8-yard catch from Phillips. WR/RB #5 Austin Mayo had 2 receptions with one a 12 yarder to keep the second touchdown drive alive. As he went up for the ball he was hit and tumbling to the ground was able to hold on for a first down. Another newcomer to the Ravens this season WR/KR #16 Tre Bucci (Plattsburgh) caught 4 passes for 40 yards and returned 1 kick-off for 26 yards and two punts for 28 yards. LaRosa, along with scoring the touchdown gained 37 yards on the ground. Durkee, while excelling on the offensive line, also came up with a fumble recovery to keep the second scoring drive alive in the fourth.
Where the Raven offense did just enough to grind out the win, the defense was doing a good job of bending but not breaking. They only allowed one score, this coming with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter and Vermont clinging to a 7-0 lead. South Shore drove into Ravens territory and on the 25-yard line Chiefs QB #4 Roy Dickerson threw a quick out to receiver #26 Jordan Johnson who broke a tackle, avoided another, and sprinted down the sideline to score. The extra point by Chief kicker #57 Billy Stella was no good and the score was 7-6 Ravens.
The defense led by linebacker #57 Nolan Callahan (Cabot) who had 3 sacks, 4 solo, and 7 assisted tackles, were tested at times by the Chiefs. South Shore quarterback Dickerson was on target most of the night, and had it not been for an alert Raven secondary making plays the game’s outcome could have been much different.
Free safety #23 Adam Gowens (Berlin) came up and broke up a long pass in Raven territory to foil one effort. Defensive back #9 Olivier Kpesse knocked down a potential touchdown pass in the end zone on another. Opposite side defensive back #1 Matthew Gomes (Montpelier) turned just in time to knock down another nice pass from Dickerson that forced the Chiefs to punt. Gomes also tracked down a Chief receiver, #2 Nadim Robinson, who caught a pass from Dickerson with the Chiefs on their own 1-yard line. Seeing Robinson break back toward his sideline Gomes took the right pursuit angle and raced down the field forcing Robinson out of bounds at the Ravens 25-yard line.
Adam Gowens along with the pass defensed had 3 solo and 5 assisted tackles. Rose playing both ways had a fumble recovery to go along with his 1 solo and 4 assisted tackles. Defensive tackle #93 Lloyd White had 2 solo and 4 assisted tackles. LB #50 Dave Ackerman (Newport, NH) had 1 solo and 5 assisted tackles. LB #33 Larry LaBrecque (White River Jct.) had 6 assisted tackles, and LB #51 George Campbell (Williamstown) had 3 solo and 4 assisted tackles. DL/LB #65 Tyler Tetreault had 1 solo and 5 assisted tackles.
The Ravens are 1-1. This coming Saturday, July 29th Vermont returns home for their season home opener at Norwich University. Kick-off is 4PM. They play their in-state rivals, the Southern VT Storm out of Bennington, VT, for the second time in three weeks looking to avenge their season opener loss to the Storm. The Chiefs, 0-1, travel to Knox, Me to take on the 0-2 Mid-Coast Falcons Saturday.
There will be a full concession stand run by the Lady Ravens at the game.
For more information visit www.vermontravens.com or www.facebook.com/VTRavensfans