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Charging Through: Woodstock Reaches D-III Final

  • Mill River's Colby Fox (5) fumbles the ball after being hit by Woodstock's Gabe Marsicovetere (76)on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, during a VPA D-III semifinal game between Mill River and Woodstock in Woodstock, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock's Jed Astbury (12) runs the ball into the endzone on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, during a VPA D-III semifinal game between Mill River and Woodstock in Woodstock, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock's Caden White (45) breaks a tackle by Mill River's Tyler Shevley (88) on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, during a VPA D-III semifinal game between Mill River and Woodstock in Woodstock, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock's Patrick Potter (29) runs down the field as Mill River defenders Colby Fox (5) and EJ Patch (11) chase him down on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, during a VPA D-III semifinal game between Mill River and Woodstock in Woodstock, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock's Caden White (45) carries the ball into the endzone on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, during a VPA D-III semifinal game between Mill River and Woodstock in Woodstock, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, November 03, 2017

Woodstock — The Woodstock Union High football team achieved redemption a year in the making on Friday when it downed visiting Mill River, 36-6, in a Vermont Division III semifinal.

Exactly 365 days after being stopped short of the title game at the same stage by Otter Valley, the Wasps scored the first 16 points of the night and never trailed in pursuit of their first state title since 2013.

That championship was the last of three consecutive crowns for second-seeded Woodstock, which will face either top-seeded Windsor or fifth-seeded Springfield next Saturday at Rutland High. The Yellowjackets and Cosmos play their semifinal game today.

Windsor (7-0) handed the Wasps (8-1) their only loss earlier this season, but needed overtime to do so. Asked if he was hoping for a rematch with his school’s neighboring rival, Woodstock coach Ramsey Worrell wouldn’t take the bait.

“I’m excited about getting to play in the finals again,” Worrell said. “The goal is to get there, and we’ll play anyone who makes it.”

Woodstock ended its first three drives with two punts and a fumble. Mill River (5-3) was facing second down and 8 yards to go from its own 18-yard line when a shotgun snap sailed over the head of sophomore quarterback Colby Fox, who recovered the ball in the end zone for a safety 35 seconds before the first quarter ended.

The third-seeded Patriots then produced a weak kickoff and allowed a 20-yard return, setting up Woodstock at the Mill River 29-yard line. Three plays later, Patrick Potter ran 20 yards for a touchdown and Jed Astbury kicked the first of his four extra points for a 9-0 lead.

“It got momentum going,” said Worrell, who watched sophomore quarterback Trevor White twice collide with a running back during attempted first-quarter handoffs. “We were flying high (emotionally) early on and were a little too geeked. We were making mental mistakes, and the safety got us points and got us settled down.”

Woodstock kicked off and Potter raced down the field, tackling Tyler Shelvey and recovering the Patriot’s fumble at the Mill River 15-yard line. Caden White ran for a 14-yard touchdown two plays later and the hosts led, 16-0, two minutes into the second quarter.

The Patriots took to the air, driving 74 yards in nine plays, five of them passes and pulling with 16-6 on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Fox to Shelvey. The march was aided by a personal foul called on Potter. A 2-point conversion try failed, and the visitors were done scoring for the night.

Caden White rushed 23 times for 99 yards and touchdowns of 1 and 14 yards. Potter carried 17 times for 96 yards and scoring jaunts of 20 and 6 yards. Astbury ran three times for 44 yards and an 11-yard touchdown.

Trevor White couldn’t complete the lone pass Woodstock attempted. The Wasps were penalized five times for 50 yards and lost three of their four fumbles. They also had an Astbury punt partially blocked.

“It concerns me, but I have my ways of fixing that in practice,” Worrell said of the bobbles.

Mill River’s Josh Bishop carried 14 times for 41 yards and Fox, who exited after absorbing a hard, second-half hit, completed 5 of 17 passes for 110 yards. E.J. Patch completed 3 of 8 throws for 22 yards and had a toss picked off by Harrison Nunes.

The Patriots rushed for 11 yards and threw for 132. Woodstock ran for 319 yards.

Notes: Woodstock played without running back and defensive back Micah Schlabach, who’s currently in a cast covering a forearm and hand. Worrell said he retains hope the junior can play in the title game. … Mill River’s 27-player roster included eight seniors. Woodstock has six among its 30 players. … One of the game officials wore a pair of black shoes from a company, Spot-Bilt, that was widely worn by football players during the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. Asked for the age of his kicks, the zebra would only say that “they’ve made a few trips up and down the field.” … Woodstock players suffering cramps were given small packets of mustard to consume by the Wasps’ trainer. It contains acetic acid, which helps the body produce more acetylcholine. A deficiency in that neurotransmitter can cause a lack of stimulus for muscles to work.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.