By Eli Hark
After last week’s last-minute win over Brattleboro, CVU failed to carry their momentum forward to Rutland in the second week of Division 1 playoffs, losing on the road 35-14.
Coming out of the gates, Rutland scored on the first possession of the game, and after stopping CVU short, scored on their second possession, chalking up 14 points against CVU.
When CVU got the ball back, quarterback Andrew Bortnick dashed up the sideline for an 80 yard touchdown bringing the score to 14-7.
After CVU’s first score, Rutland squeezed two more TDs through the Redhawk defense until in the third quarter when Bortnick connected with WR Sam Mikell putting the ball deep in Rutland territory. RB Richard Lowrey proceeded to score the final CVU touchdown of the season.
“People like Jack Zahn, Jake Bortnick and Jake Evans all stepped up and made huge plays over and over that got our team where we were,” said senior Mason Cohn.
Through adversity, the CVU Redhawks continued to show their true colors. When Richard Lowrey was thrown out of the Colchester game week 6 and suspended week 7 sparking the hashtag #FreeLowrey, the team rallied to beat Colchester and nearly defeat Mt. Anthony (30-27). When Jacob Griggs was thrown out of the Mt. Anthony game and was suspended for the following Middlebury game, he stayed with his team motivating them, and helping them stay in the right mindset. Whenever something happened, the team showed that it was a true family by not falling apart.
“I have some great memories and 45 family members I shared every one of those memories with,” Mason Cohn said.
“A lot of us have been playing for eight to ten seasons together, and I will love them forever. I will never forget my time with this team,” Nick Fecteau explained.
If rebuilding years are supposed to be tough, it would seem as though CVU got off relatively easy, scoring 244 points while only letting up 230 on the season. While their record was only 5-5, many players feel as though their record does not represent the growth that the team endured with their first year with Head Coach Mike Williams at the helm.
“We sent a message to the state that we are no longer the ‘soft’ team we used to be thought of as. Teams come into our games now and know they are going to get a physical game,” Jack Dugan said of the future of Redhawk football.
To next year’s team, Andrew Bortnick said, “You can do something no CVU team has ever done before, and that is raise a football trophy. I know you can do it.”