QB #14 Clayton Torres looks downfield.
#93 Lloyd White, #92 Anthony Michie (making the tackle) and #7 Kenny Phillips.
MAU Middle School – Bennington, VT
Maritime Conference Finals - New England Football League
Vermont Ravens - 12
Southern VT Storm – 15
The Vermont Ravens had a remarkable season considering how it started. Back on July 15th the Storm hosted the Ravens in the first regular season game of 2017 and soundly defeated their Vermont counterparts 41-13. Head Coach Pete Everett challenged the team to come back from that defeat and play up to the level he knew the Ravens were capable of. And that they did reeling off 5 straight victories and finishing the regular season with a 6-2 record and the 4th seed in the conference. Defeating two more opponents in the play-offs added to their win total and a trip to the Championship game against the Southern VT Storm. Fitting match-up as the Ravens defeated the Storm in their third game of the season at Norwich University 18-7. So a third game, the rubber match for the Championship was inevitable, as fate would have it.
The game came down to a last second heave of a throw by longtime Raven nemesis game MVP Storm quarterback #7 Will Cole to another longtime Raven nemesis receiver #15 Marcus Anderson. Anderson timed his jump perfectly and made an outstanding catch falling backwards to the ground in the end zone holding onto the ball securing the win for the Storm. This combination of Cole to Anderson has been outstanding over the years with many great plays made against the Ravens, and everyone else for that matter, but of course, none more important than this one.
Cole, also the kicker and punter for the Storm, hit a 45 yard field goal to make the score 3-0 Storm with 8:30 left in the first quarter.
The Ravens would answer when running back #21 Anthony LaRosa would dive into the end zone from 1 yard out. The 2-point conversion attempt by the Ravens was no good as the pass from Raven quarterback #14 Clayton Torres to fullback/strong safety #20 Roy Rose was incomplete. The score was 6-3 Ravens with 3:41 left, first quarter.
During the second quarter Cole missed a 42 yard field goal attempt that kept the score 6-3 Ravens.
The game remained that until 7:50 left in the third when Torres, rolling right, hit Rose on an out pattern 5 yards downfield and upon catching the ball Rose turned it upfield sprinting the remaining yards into the end zone untouched. The point after attempt by #81 Sean Lamphere was wide and the score was 12-3 Ravens. Rose, playing both ways, also had an interception at the 6:41 mark of the third quarter, and had 6 tackles, 2 of them solo.
The fourth quarter was a defensive battle with both teams coming up with big stops to keep the score 12-3. That was until the Storm finally were able to put the ball in the end zone with Cole finding receiver #11 Mike Waters open over the middle. The fleet Waters wasted no time beating all defenders to reach the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown reception. Raven #4 Jaren Jeffcoat blocked Coles extra point attempt keeping the score 12-9 with 2:08 left.
Coles onside kick attempt was covered up by Lamphere and running back #3 Akeem Williams securing possession for the Ravens.
The Ravens needed to get a first down to win the game, but the Storm defense rose to the challenge and stuffed Vermont’s running game short of the marker. They took over with time left on the clock, and as it turns out, enough time to win the game and the Championship on the last second heroics of Cole and Anderson.
Torres finished the game 10-13 for 142 yards, 1 touchdown pass and 1 run of 8 yards.
WR/RB #5 Austin Mayo caught 3 passes for 41 yards while #19 Chad Carlsen had 3 catches for 26 yards.
WR/DB #31 Jeric Tyler had one catch of 33 yards and on defense contributed 5 tackles, 1 of them solo, and knocked down 1 pass. He also ran back 2 kick-offs, one of 18, and the second for 37 yards.
RB #21 Anthony LaRosa finished with 79 yards on 20 carries and the 1 TD.
LB #51 George Campbell had 1 forced fumble which he recovered himself and added 6 tackles, 3 of them solo and 1 sack.
DB #23 Adam Gowans had 10 tackles, 6 of them solo.
LB #57 Nolan Callahan had 6 tackles 1 of them solo.
LB #33 Larry LaBrecque Jr. had 5 tackles 1 of them solo.
DT #92 Anthony Michie had 5 tackles 2 of them solo and 1 sack.
DT #93 Lloyd White had 6 tackles, 2 of them solo.
The Ravens finished with a 8-3 record while the Storm ended the season 10-1 and Maritime Conference champions.
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