Ravens and Marauders with Delaney, her mother and sister.
Photo courtesy of Linda Salmon
Eleventh Season 2007-2017
SBHS – S. Burlington, VT
Monadnock Marauders 12
Vermont Ravens 26
Almost a year ago the Ravens, with Coach Pete Everett leading the charge, teamed with the Southern NH Beavers to have a combination fund-raiser/football game with the proceeds donated to the family of Fairfax student Delaney Sweet - Werneke, who was battling a rare form of cancer called Osteosarcoma. Over $4000 was raised that day. This past Sunday, with Delaney now 6 months cancer free joining the team with her family everyone involved helped celebrate her continued improvement. Again with support from the Raven fans enough was raised to make another donation in Delaney’s name. A pre-game ceremony honoring and supporting Delaney and her family made for a special feeling for all concerned. The organization would like to thank all the volunteers, fans, and the Monadnock Marauders team for helping us with this effort.
Now, about that game.
By the way things started out this game looked like it was going to be a low scoring defensive battle. At least for most of the first half it was just that.
Then lighting struck in the form of the now emerging lethal connection between new Raven quarterback #7 Kenny Phillips II (Williston) and veteran Raven receiver #14 Clayton Torres (Barre). Late in the second quarter Vermont had just crossed mid-field. Phillips came out firing on the next play and his quick release found a crossing Torres 15 yards downfield. Catching the ball Torres adjusted his route and cut straight up which providing the needed cushion between himself and the pursuing tackler for him to race ahead reaching the end zone untouched. Raven kicker #58 Juju Ayida (Plainfield) split the uprights and it was 7-0 Vermont, 4:05 remaining first half.
Of course, like most games played between the Marauders and Ravens over the years (there has been many) this usually brings out the best in the other team. Sure enough after getting good field position from return man #21 Mike Berthiaume on the Raven kick-off Monadnock would start about mid-field. Nothing went easy initially for Monadnock as after Marauder quarterback #8 Gavin Sales got sacked (Raven LB #57 Nolan Callahan) the very first play and threw an incomplete pass the next, only then did things start to jive for their normally efficient offense.
Sales completed a pass to his tight end #83 Jeff Plankey for 8 yards. The next couple plays were mis-direction runs gaining moderate yardage to inside the 45-yard line. Sales completed another pass to receiver #13 Zachary Ponce and he was tackled by Vermont’s free safety #23 Adam Gowans (Berlin) on the 29. From there with pressure coming Sales scrambled out of danger and spotted receiver #4 Josh Stagner running free downfield. Right before being hit he was able to loft a high arching moonshot that dropped right into Stagner’s hands at the back of the end zone for the completion and touchdown. The following 2-point conversion was stuffed when the Marauders attempted an off-tackle run and defensive tackle #93 Lloyd White (Barre) and Callahan met him at the line of scrimmage and brought him down short of the goal line. 7-6 Ravens 13 seconds left and the Ravens were content with going into halftime leading by 1 after taking a knee.
The second half was a bit different than the first half had been and it did not take long for things to get interesting.
The Ravens started the second half with the ball. On the first play Phillips attempted a pass to receiver #16 Tre Bucci on a quick slant, but alert outside linebacker #18 Derek Castor stepped into the passing lane and picked the ball off. With no one between himself and the end zone Castor easily ran in for the go ahead score. Trying the two-point conversion again this time the defender to come up big for the Ravens was defensive tackle Ayida who made the solo tackle on the runner to keep the score Monadnock 12 Ravens 7 13:55 left 3rd quarter.
It was all Vermont from here on out as the Phillips to Torres connection again was showcased. This time on a go route Torres got separation from the defensive back and with Phillips leading him nicely Torres caught the pass in stride and he did what he has done for 11 years for the Ravens…he scores. The extra point attempt failed as the snap was low and holder #81 Sean Lamphere’s (Burlington) pass to Raven #9 Olivier Kpesse (Graniteville) was complete, but Kpesse was tackled before being able to cross the goal line. 13-12 Ravens 11:36 left third quarter.
The Raven defense had some outstanding performances on the day as did the special teams. The defense forced another 3 and out by the Marauders and the return team got pressure on the punter with Ayida knocking the ball loose and fellow teammate defensive end #46 Joseph Picard (Montpelier) recovered the ball on the Monadnock 5-yard line.
The very next play Raven running back #21 Anthony LaRosa (Northfield) followed linemen #55 Tyler Baker (Northfield) to pay dirt. The extra point was blocked and the score was 19-12 Ravens with 5:11 left in the third.
After an interception by defensive back #31 Jeric Tyler (Northfield) and a return of 39 yards brought the ball down to the Marauders 30-yard line, a nice pass and catch from Phillips to receiver #19 Chad Carlsen (Baltimore) occurred. Carlsen, catching the ball ran for the end zone but was tripped up on the 5-yard line and lunged as he went down appearing to place the ball on the goal line before being brought down. He was ruled down on the 1-yard line though which set up the final score. LaRosa got the call and following the blocks from linemen Baker, again, and fullback #20 Roy Rose (Northfield) into the end zone. Ayida’s kick was good and the score was 26 to 12 Ravens with 7:46 left in the fourth.
The rest of the game was dominated by the Raven defense which had another forced turnover this time an interception by Kpesse and return of 29 yards.
Callahan had a game for the ages as he finished with 14 tackles, 7 of them solo, and 2 sacks. He is almost assured of being in the running for Defensive Player of the Year in the NEFL Maritime Conference as week in and week out he has performed admirably.
Tyler had 3 tackles and 6 passes defensed and the 1 interception, also added 3 punt returns for 50 yards.
Linebacker #33 Larry LaBrecque (White River Jct.) had 8 tackles, 3 of them solo. Picard had 9 tackles, 1 solo and 1 sack. Ayida 6 tackles, 2 solo. LB #51 George Campbell (Williamstown) had 8 tackles, 2 solo. LB #65 Tyler Tetreault (Barre) had 5 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 fumble recovery. Defensive end #35 Kyle Jablonski (S. Burl) had 2 tackles, 1 solo, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. Rose had 6 tackles, 1 solo. #91 Michael Fulton (S. Burl) had 4 tackles, 1 solo on a screen pass late in the game, and White finished with 7 tackles. Safety #23 Adam Gowans had 6 tackles, 4 of them solo.
Phillips was 10-20 for 263 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Torres had 3 catches for 139 yards and the 2 touchdowns. Receiver #5 Austin Mayo (Winooski) contributed with 5 catches for 105 yards.
LaRosa racked up 76 yards on 13 carries and had 2 touchdowns.
Vermont improves to 4-1 while Monadnock falls to 1-3. The two teams play again next Saturday in Keene, NH, at Alumni Field, Keene HS. Kick-off is 6:30PM.
For more information visit www.vermontravens.com or www.facebook.com/VTRavensfans