It was not the outcome Bob Davis was hoping for in his final game as a high school football coach, but Davis said the South's 35-8 victory over his North team in the 11th Annual Senior Bowl was a memorable experience nonetheless.
“It was a great experience,” Davis said. “These games are what they are: an exhibition to get the kids out there for [college coaches] to see. But more importantly it's about having fun, and the kids did.”
Davis, who announced that he wouldn't return as North Country's coach next season after the Falcons lost in this year's Division II semifinals, watched the South score on each of its first four second-half possessions to build a 28-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Hartford running back Troy Bell rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Bell scored on runs of 20 and 62 yards.
Mill River’s Adam Mackey opened the scoring with a 1-yard run 5:04 into the third quarter.
Bell’s 20-yard TD run made it 13-0, and then Fair Haven quarterback Robert Coloutti hooked up with Levi Ellis, one of his Fair Haven teammates, for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 2:39 left in the third quarter. Hartford quarterback Tucker Stone connected with Middlebury’s Marshall Hastings for the two-point conversion and a 21-0 lead.
Bell’s 67-yard TD run extended the South's lead to 28-0 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The North got on the scoreboard on a 2-yard touchdown run by North Country quarterback Tre Sanville early in the fourth quarter. Sanville hooked up with Winooski’s Devon Rollins for the two-point conversion.
The South capped the scoring on an 18-yard touchdown sprint by Windsor’s Matt Rafus.
“Our offense never found a rhythm,” Davis said. “You have different players coming in on every series so it's not like the regular season.
“I've been running on adrenaline since August. Now the reality [of retirement] is going to settle in.”
STALCUP WINS GATORADE AWARD
Burr and Burton quarterback Jake Stalcup has been selected as Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year in football.
Stalcup, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound junior, passed for 2,448 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. He completed 163 of 286 passes and was intercepted 10 times. He helped the Bulldogs (7-4) advance to the Division II state championship game. Stalcup passed for 202 yards and two touchdowns in a semifinal victory over North Country.
“Jake Stalcup has become a first-rate quarterback in every sense,” Burr and Burton coach Jason Thompson said. “Every single week he gave us a chance to win and he will only keep getting better.”
Other recent winners of the award include Christian McCormick (2010, Rice Memorial), Max Librizzi (2009, Essex), Mick Wong (2008, Hartford) and James Durham (2007, Spaulding).
PURRIER REMAINS ON FAST TRACK
Richford's Elle Purrier finished 32nd out of 199 runners at the eighth annual Nike Cross Nationals, which were held last weekend in Portland, Ore.
Purrier, this year's Northeast Regional and New England champion, completed the course in 19 minutes, 35 seconds.
The Champlain Valley Union girls team also competed in the event, and placed 21st out of 22 teams.
Taylor Spillane led CVU by finishing 71st in 19:01. Adrienne Devita, Aleksey Jordick, Autumn Eastman, Julienne Devita, Isabelle Unger and Sophie Hess rounded out the team scoring for the Redhawks, who defended their New England crown last month.
ESSEX WILL HONOR ROBINSON
Essex High School will dedicate its basketball court to Jean Robinson, a former teacher and coach at the high school, on Dec. 15.
Robinson guided the Hornets to eight Division I state championships. She retired after the 2002 season with more wins than any other Vermont high school girls basketball coach (623-174).
Robinson coached Essex to five consecutive state titles from 1993 to 1997 and was named the National Federation of High Schools National Girls Basketball Coach of the Year in 1998. Essex had a 62-game winning streak from 1994 to 1997.
The dedication will take place before the Essex girls face Colchester.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.