St. J vs. CVU: Victory and Complacency

st.j vs. VSC copy 22 edited-1St. Johnsbury- The division-one, undefeated St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers have continued their winning streak in another victory Saturday over Champlain Valley Union High School. While the Hilltoppers continue to be a dominant force in their division, they do credit that CVU came to the game ready to play, and their drive to not quit almost gave the Hilltoppers a run for their money.


The game began with Matt Roy from the Hilltoppers running in a pair of touchdowns, and their kicker, Jimmy Hayes, hitting two thirty-yard field goals early on in the game. The Hilltoppers were able to generate a 25-0 lead early on in the game, However the attitude changed after the twenty-fifth point was scored. In the words of the Hilltoppers Head Coach, Rich Alercio, his team began to play down and relax after they had generated an early lead. "As soon as we got there, (25-0) the players put it in cruise control. Maybe it was because we had a 43-0 lead on them two weeks earlier and we thought it would be easy, but it wasn't. There was a significant change to our performance"

Two weeks earlier, the Hilltoppers played the CVU Redhawks and won the game 57-13, which their coach attributes to his players somewhat reserved and "uncharacteristic" performance in the second half. The Redhawks were able to score their first touchdown of the game with four minutes remaining in the first half, with their quarter back Shane Boehmke hitting his half-back Tommy Zych with a 14-yard pass. Going into the second half, the Hilltoppers began to make mistakes that their coach has not seen in such large numbers so far this post-season. "we dropped some balls, didn't throw accurate passes at times and missed some blocks. But CVU played well... Give them credit, but we didn't play well after the opening quarter and a half."

Alercio was very happy with the teams victory, disregarding the Redhawks final touchdown with Jacob Brasard scoring with only thirteen seconds left in the game. "Take away that touchdown in the closing seconds and it's a 31-7 game, that's pretty lopsided and for us to win like that in a playoff game for as poorly as we played, that says a lot about our kids." The Hilltoppers will go on to play BFA- St. Albans on Saturday, November 4th. The Bobwhites, who nearly ended the Hilltoppers undefeated season in week 5, should prove to be the biggest challenge for the Hilltoppers in their playoff series. "BFA is a good, touch team," Alercio noted on Saturday, "they run hard and throw the ball just enough; they are the toughest team we've seen this year."

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