On Friday, November First at 7 pm, the four-seeded Fair Haven Slaters will head to Brattleboro to take on the one-seeded colonels. In the previous meeting between the two, the Colonels won forcefully, with a 41-7 victory. Since that game, Fair Haven has completely changed its approach.
Over the past few years, Fair Haven has dominated the majority of division two teams through their spread offense, and pass-first approach. This style won them a state championship in 2017 and helped them get back to the title game in 2018. However, with the departure of their head coach, and Shrine quarterback Cam Coloutti graduating last year, the Slaters were not having the type of success they are used to against the top opponents in the division. So, they decided to go an offense that they feel must fit their style better, tightening things up and transforming into a power running team.
While there is only a small sample size of how this offense has performed, what has happened in this sample can be nothing but promising for the Slater faithful. In the two weeks that this offense has been run, the Slaters have a plus-95 score differential. The first of these two wins came against a struggling Mt. Abraham football team in the final week of the regular season, where Fair Haven triumphed to a 56-7 victory. The more impressive win came against the five-seeded Mt. Anthony Patriots, by a score of 60-14. The Slaters narrowly beat the patriots 23-21 early in the regular season.
Will this be enough to knock off the Colonels? It will be no easy task. Brattleboro is undefeated and has not even been in a close game. Quarterback Tyler Millerick and running back Chris Frost have dominated. But, It is the Colonels defense that has been lethal, giving up just over twelve and a half points per game.
Also on Friday night, the three-seeded Bellows Falls Terriers head to Norwich University to take on the two-seeded U-32 Raiders, kickoff is at 7:30. In the previous matchup between the two teams, the raiders prevailed 42-29 in Bellows Falls. Since that game in week five, neither team has lost.
The Terriers should expect to see a large dose of quarterback Nathan LaRosa and tight end Carter Pelzel, who were dominant earlier in the year in the previous matchup. LaRosa is a dual-threat quarterback, who is just effective through the running game as he is through the air, specifically the read-option. Pelzel is a big tight end standing at 6’4”. He uses his body effectively to create separation and catch the ball.
Meanwhile, the Raiders know exactly what they are going to get with the Terriers, as the formula has not changed in over one-hundred years: power running football. The feature of this is Jed Lober, who is well over a thousand yards on the season.
Stay tuned for playoff results roundup!