By Roger Brown
What started well ended well for the Spaulding High School football team Saturday.
Second-seeded Spaulding scored on the game’s first play and used a 27-point first quarter to defeat third-seeded U-32, 33-14, in the Division II semifinals.
Spaulding (9-1) will face top-seeded Mount Mansfield (8-2) in Friday night’s Division II championship game. That contest will be played at Essex High School.
James Durham opened the scoring on a 78-yard touchdown run 20 seconds into the game.
Spaulding’s first quarter also featured touchdown passes from Zach Dessureau to Matt Ballard (28 yards) and from Dessureau to Durham (53 yards). Patrick Bagilio scored the fourth TD when he pounced on a fumble in the end zone with 5:31 to play in the quarter.
“We couldn’t have scripted a worse first quarter,” U-32 coach Mike Law told the Rutland Herald.
Brian Wilcox ran for four touchdowns to help Mount Mansfield advance with a 34-13 victory over third-seeded Lyndon in Saturday’s other Division II semifinal.
Top-seeded Hartford (9-0) will face second-seeded Rutland (8-2) in Saturday’s Division I championship game. That contest, which is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., will be held at Burlington High School.
Quarterback Trevor Olson completed 10 of 14 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns in Rutland’s 43-33 triumph over fourth-seeded Essex in the Division I semifinals.
Essex quarterback Max Librizzi completed 16 passes for 301 yards in the loss.
Hartford, which won last year’s Division I title, reached the championship game by beating fourth-seeded South Burlington, 30-20, in the other Division I semifinal.
Hartford tailback Mick Wong ran for 182 yards on 20 carries and scored twice. Wong entered the contest with 1,001 yards rushing in eight games.
Saturday’s Division III championship game will feature top-seeded Springfield (10-0) and third-seeded Windsor (8-2). That game will be held Saturday (1 p.m.) at St. Peter’s Field in Rutland.
Springfield advanced to the title game for the first time since 1997 by beating fourth-seeded Montpelier, 61-20, in the semifinals. Springfield will be trying to win the program’s first state championship since 1948.
Windsor upset second-seeded Burr and Burton, 7-6, in the other Division III semifinal.
Windsor trailed 6-0 until Gavin Callahan hooked up with Kyle Wideman for a 24-yard touchdown pass with 1:38 left in the third quarter. Dylan Brown’s point-after kick gave the Yellow Jackets a lead they did not relinquish.
Girls Soccer: Burlington Wins First Title
Senior halfback Hillary Chutter-Ames scored in the second round of penalty kicks to give Burlington a 6-5 victory over Essex in Saturday’s Division I state championship game. It was the first state championship for the Burlington program.
Division II: Milton won its ninth state title when senior Michelle Nichols scored to give the Yellowjackets a 4-3 victory over Burr and Burton in the first round of penalty kicks.
Division III: Shannon McDowell scored with 30:31 remaining in regulation to help top-seeded Peoples Academy defeat second-seeded BFA-Fairfax, 1-0. Peoples won the Division III championship for the second time in three years.
Division IV: Black River completed an unbeaten season (18-0) by defeating Chelsea, 3-0, to capture the Division IV title. Hannah Josselyn scored twice for Black River, which also received a goal from Courtney Rohrig.
Boys Soccer: Burlington Completes Improbable Run
Elia Louis scored with 26 seconds left in the third overtime to give eighth-seeded Burlington a 2-1 victory over second-seeded South Burlington in Saturday’s Division I championship game.
Louis’ goal came on a direct kick.
Division II: Fifth-seeded U-32 won its third title in four years by beating fourth-seeded Hartford, 2-0. Jack Shea and Silas Chickering-Ayers scored for U-32.
Division III: Sophomore Nathaniel Horton scored off a throw-in 10:09 into the match and the goal held up as Stowe topped Peoples Academy, 1-0. Stowe also beat Peoples Academy in last year’s title game.
Division IV: James Greenwood scored midway through the first half as Black River beat Sharon, 1-0. Black River’s victory ended Sharon’s 15-game winning streak.