WR #81 Sean Lamphere picks up a big first down
Photo courtesy of Linda Salmon
Eleventh Season 2007-2017
Commissioner’s Field – Dover, NH
Vermont Ravens 16
Seacoast Warhawks 13
Team effort. This is a term that sums up the Raves win over the previously undefeated Seacoast Warhawks. This is the third game in a row that Vermont has knocked a team from the unbeaten ranks. The win has moved the Ravens into second place, tied with the Southern VT Storm. Both teams sit at 3-1 in the Maritime Conference of the New England Football League behind the 3-0 Mass Warriors.
While not looking like a well-oiled machine just yet the offense made enough plays to compliment the defensive units stingy play. After stopping the Warhawks offense on the first drive of the game Vermont drove the field aided by QB #7 Kenny Phillips II (Williston) 18-yard run. Phillips also had a 5-yard pass to WR/KR #5 Austin Mayo (Winooski) and Raven running back #21 Anthony LaRosa (Northfield) picked up some tough yards to bring the team down into the red zone.
Philips left the game to get his ankle tapped after suffering a minor sprain and was replaced with QB/WR #14 Clayton Torres (Barre). A couple of runs by LaRosa for short gains set-up a key play by Torres who would keep the drive alive. Taking the snap, he saw a slight opening off the right side and following center #63 Paul-Dan Winters (E. Montpelier) Torres dove for a first down. Next play Torres dropped back to pass. Pressure came from his right side so Torres rolled away from it and sprinted to the sideline where upon seeing a Warhawks defender start to move up Torres pump faked freezing the defender. Seeing his chance, he took off for the corner beating both the defensive back and the trailing linebacker of the Warhawks to the end zone for the touchdown. Raven kicker #58 Juju Ayida (Plainfield) was successful on the extra point and with 2:28 left in the first quarter Vermont led 7-0.
The second quarter Seacoast scored all their points. #21 Jamaal Jones broke through from 2-yards out for the touchdown and Warhawks kicker #44 Cory Mayo’s extra point was good to even it up at 7 apiece with 11:20 left in the half.
Vermont’s defense came up big with 3:25 left in the quarter with the Warhawks on their own 2-yard line. The Ravens sent the house and with too many hats to block Seacoast quarterback #12 Vito Colaneri was dropped in the end zone for a safety. Linebacker #65 Tyler Tetreault (Barre), defensive end #46 Joseph Picard (Montpelier), and linebacker #56 Nolan Callahan (Cabot) all had a hand in the tackle, making the score 9-7 Ravens.
The Warhawks last score of the game came at 1:25 left in the half. Colaneri found a crossing receiver #7 Javier Colon who, after catching the pass in stride, kept going across the field before angling up and outrunning the Raven secondary to complete the 60-yard touchdown reception. Seacoast attempted a 2-point conversion with #1 Piero Garcia trying to run around the right end. Racing to the edge Callahan and Raven free safety #23 Adam Gowans (Berlin) combined to pop the ball loose with Gowans recovering for the Ravens. 13-9 Seacoast.
Vermont’s defense tightened during the second half. Sacks recorded by Ravens Picard, Callahan, Ayida (2) and defensive tackle #93 Lloyd White (Barre) helped stymie drives by Seacoast. Also at 1:27 left third quarter Gowans recovered another fumble, this time an Ayida punt down on the Warhawks 35-yard line that the Warhawks returner couldn’t control. This turnover eventually led to the Ravens last score. Gowans 2 fumble recoveries, his forced fumble, his 8 tackles, 4 of them solo, made for an outstanding performance for the first year Raven.
The winning points for the Ravens came with 11:55 left fourth quarter. Torres would find WR #19 Chad Carlsen (Baltimore) on a post for a pick-up of 18 yards down to the Warhawks 6-yard line. Two plays later LaRosa, taking the hand-off from Torres, benefitted from a nice kick-out block from right tackle #77 Kevin Keeling (Barre), and a nice chip on the linebacker by Mayo, to be able to get to the goal line where he would put his shoulder down and power through two defenders scoring the touchdown. Ayida’s extra point was good and Vermont led 16-13 with a lot of time left on the clock.
It was nip and tuck down the stretch. Both teams moved the ball within the 20’s. Vermont’s WR #81 Sean Lamphere made a clutch catch on third down to extend one drive with a gain of 15-yards and Raven punter Ayida was successful with directional kicks pinning the Seacoast offense. Ayida also shinned on defense from his defensive tackle position where he disrupted plays and along with his two sacks had 5 tackles, 3 of them solo. Fellow defensive tackle White, along with his one sack had 5 tackles, one of them solo.
The Warhawks did have one last chance with 1:20 left in the game. Seacoast quarterback Colaneri looking deep, lofted a pass to a Warhawks receiver in the end zone. Raven defensive back #1 Matthew Gomes (Montpelier) jumped in front of the receiver and grabbing the ball proceeded to run out the back of the endzone. It was the second game in a row that Gomes made an interception near the end of the game that helped secure victory for Vermont.
Starting from their own 20 LaRosa gained one yard and Seacoast called a time-out. On a 2nd and 9 LaRosa’s number was called again. This time, running up the middle clean, he was able to gain the needed first down with an 11-yard pick-up. 1:06 left and with no time-outs for Seacoast victory for the Ravens was assured.
Callahan again was solid contributing 6 tackles, 1 solo, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. SS #20 Roy Rose (Northfield) had 6 tackles, 3 of them solo. DB/KR #31 Jeric Tyler (Northfield) had 3 tackles and 2 passes defensed. Linebacker #33 Larry LaBrecque (White River Jct.) had 5 tackles. Picard also added another sack to go along with his safety and had 3 tackles. Tetreault added 4 tackles along with his safety.
Phillips started at QB and played about a quarter contributed by throwing 2 completions out of 8 attempts for 27 yards. One a nice completion to Torres for 22 yards. He ran 3 times for 32 yards.
Torres was 3-10 for 45 yards and had the 1 rushing touchdown. He threw 1 interception and ran 5 times for 19 yards.
LaRosa ran 16 times for 51 yards and scored 1 touchdown. Lamphere caught 2 passes for 27 yards.
The Ravens are 3-1 and are home at South Burlington High School next Sunday. 1PM kick-off against the 1-2 Monadnock Marauders from Keen, NH. The Warhawks travel to Knox, Me to play the 0-4 Mid-Coast Falcons next Saturday night. Kick-off is 7PM.
For more information visit www.vermontravens.com or www.facebook.com/VTRavensfans