Vermont Ravens 12th season
New England Football League 25th season
Quarter-Finals - Maritime Conference
Oct. 6th, 2018
S. Willow Park, Bennington, VT.
Vermont Ravens - 19
Southern VT. Storm - 0
On a broken play early on during the second quarter FB #24 DeEric (Bud) ONeil took the exchange from QB #14 Clayton Torres, while he was being tackled, and somehow spun out of the arms of the Storm defender and took off for the end zone making it the 8 yards for the first score of the contest. K/P/OL/DL #58 Juju Ayida with WR #81 Sean Lamphere holding was successful on the extra point and it was 7-0 Ravens second quarter.
The Ravens had another shot at adding points on the board later in the second quarter when Ayida attempted a 29-yard field goal. Long snapper #55 OL/DL Tyler Bakers snap and Lamphereâ€™s hold were good but as Ayida planted his foot he slipped in the soft turf and the kick sailed wide. No more threats for the Ravens during the first half, but the Storm threatened late getting down to the Ravens 3-yard line before time ran out for them on an incomplete pass by Storm QB #7 Will Cole. 7-0 Ravens at the half.
The Ravens received the second half kick-off.
Since the offensive line of center #79 Curtis Christiansen, guards #72 Bradley Durkee and #75 Izaak Bolduc, tackles, #55 Tyler Baker and #74 Kevin Keeling and tight end #80 Jamal Jacobs were both providing good protection for Torres and nice running lanes for the Raven backs, offensive coordinator Pete Everett was content with taking what the defense gave him. First, he called a go pattern to Phillips that Torres placed perfectly, and Phillips made the catch falling out of bounds after a 38-yard gain down to the 5-yard line of the Storm. This would set up the second score for the Ravens as Everett called running back #3 Akeem Williams number and Williams did what he has done all season for the Ravens, he scores. This time taking the ball going wide and cutting it up Williams scooted into the end zone for the Ravens second score. Ayidaâ€™s kick was wide and the score was Ravens 13-0 mid way third quarter.
In the fourth, after a couple of nice passes by Torres to Phillips II, one a third and long, HUGE, first down pick-up, and another nice gain during the series WR #6 Austin Stacey also got into the mix with a throw and catch from Torres that saw him pick-up 15 yards keeping the drive alive. Oâ€™Neil had a nice 12-yard run getting ball to the one. Now, knocking on the door Torres took matters into his own hands and snuck it in off the left side for their third score on the afternoon. Torres attempted a 2-point conversion, but his pass was batted down incomplete, so the score was 19-0 Ravens 10:00 left in the fourth quarter.
Recent history has shown that the Storm do not give up and have come-back from being down before against the Ravens (see last yearâ€™s Championship game and this yearâ€™s first game of the season) so no one let up and they kept the pressure on Cole until the final whistle. Able to put pressure on the elusive quarterback was one of the keys to victory and defensively the Ravens had a great game playing well as a team and staying the course game-plan wise. Coming up with big stops all game the final 10 minutes was no different as the Ravens third shut-out of the year was in the books.
Defensive individual highlights on the day for the Ravens were LB/DE #57 Nolan Callahan collecting 4 Â½ sacks while providing pressure all day. LB/DE #18 Terrance Whitney also had 2 sacks while DL # 93 Lloyd White had 1 1/2 sacks as did Ayida and DE/SS #20 Roy Rose.
Defensive linemen #91 Michael Fulton, #62 Mikey John Emmons-Lamell, and #50 Adolphe Lumumba also contributed big as they provided the inside pressure.
DBs #1 Matthew Gomes and #31 Jeric Tyler, FSs #23 Adam Gowans with Torres giving the two-way player Gowans some rest as he also plays running back, and strong safeties Bud Knight and Phillips rotating there also provided excellent coverage all day which led to some coverage sacks for the defensive line.
Outside linebackers #17 Alex Bell and #51 George Campbell excelled also as they were able to contain Cole and stop the scrambles that have been a thorn in the side of the Ravens since Cole has been the starter for the Storm.
Offensively Torres did not throw much but when he needed to complete a pass he did picking up yardage and the running duo of Gowans and Williams along with the running of ONeil controlled the clock and helped keep the Storm offense off the field for long stretches. Torres had the one touchdown sneak and completed the big 38-yard play to Philips setting up Williams score and scrambled for over 50 yards himself.
Williams picked up some big yards and scored the 5-yard touchdown.
Bud ONeil had a solid game with the 8-yard touchdown run, and unofficially close to a hundred yards on the day along with many tackles as strong safety going both ways. He carried the ball a couple times during the last touchdown drive and got the ball down to the one where Torres took it in next play.
Stacey had 3 catches on the day.
Ayida had the one point after and played hard on the defensive line coming up with many hurries on Cole and getting the 1 ½ sacks.
The Ravens improve to 4-4 in league play and move onto the semi-finals next Saturday October 13th.
Kick-off is 2:00PM and the field is in Dover, NH. 259 County Farm Road, Dover, NH 03820