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Rice Edges Tigers 14-7 In Game 7 CVU Next

Tuesday October 18, 2016

By Mike Cameron

Rice Memorial High School's Green Knights made the trip from So. Burlington to Doc Collins Field on Friday night, October 14th 2016.  The Knights were coming off a stunning shut-out upset of the previously unbeaten Saint Johnsbury Academy by a score of 7-0, their last time out.
  This week their opponent would be the Tigers of Middlebury Union High School and the Tigers would need to be ready from the opening kick-off.  The two teams had meet in a D-2 Championship, won by Rice several years ago.  The Tigers won big at Bill Landers Field last year as Rice has recently been moved up to Division 1 competition.
   Meanwhile, the Tigers were still stinging from a week 6 shut-out at the hands of the Essex Hornets.  Turnovers hurt them badly in that outing at Hornet Stadium in Essex Junction.  In the second half, Essex held the upper hand.  A solid ground game, ball control and their best defensive effort of the year helped them seal the deal over the visiting Tigers.
   The Tigers took the opening kick-off deep at their own end and methodically moved down the field.  Andrew Gleason ran the triple-option smoothly with Trey Kaufmann and Spencer Carpenter pounding out multiple first downs and the Tigers ate most of the first quarter clock with an 81-yard drive and touchdown coming on a Carpenter 1-yard plunge.  The kick was good by Delorenzo.  The Tigers were in business 7-0.  They looked like the Tigers of old but Rice had other plans.
   Rugged power-back Jack Fitzgerald began his nights work, (143-yards on 24 carries) when the Green Knights had their turn.  He started with a 62-yard off tackle slant and sideline race to the end zone on the first play of the second quarter.  Conor O'Brien kicked the point and the game was tied at 7-7.  With an entire quarter to play before half time.  Middlebury was ready to return to the red zone.
   This time the Knights super safety was ready to make his presence known.  The name is Bond….Alex Bond and on this evening he would make two key picks for the Green Knights.  Rice would force four intersections.  With Middlebury driving to what looked like another score late in the first half, the athletic two sport athlete stopped the drive with a pick at the 1-yard line with 38-ticks were left on the clock.  That would have given the Tigers the lead and momentum going into intermission.  The first half ended 7-7.
   Rice wasted little time taking the second half kick-off and scoring.  The drive was highlighted by a 39-yard pass from sophomore Tre Diemer to Cavan Lamontange, a junior.  The play carried to the Tiger 15.  On the next play, Fitzgerald ripped through the middle and scored his second touchdown of the game.  It would prove to be the game winner after O'Brien's kick sailed through the north goal post uprights at Doc Collins Field.  It would prove to be the winning score 14-7.
The Tigers had several other scoring opportunities in the second half but the turnovers and mistakes were costly.  Andrew Gleason had a nice drive going in the final stanza with roll-out passes that were right on the money.  This threat ended with a Matt Reardon interception for Rice.  Rice wins this one 14-7
   The Tigers defense played well except for three big game changing plays and rugged Spencer Carpenter lugged the ball  20 times for 103-yards the hard way, right between the tackles.  Trey Kaufmann added 62- hard earned yards rushing for Middlebury.  The final regular game of the season is Friday night October 21.     It will be Senior Night for the MUHS Tigers, their opponent will be the Red Hawks of CVU.  CVU will bring their 6-1 record to Doc Collins Field.  The Tigers are 4-3 on the year.              


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