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Top-Seeded Woodstock Runs Over Mt. Abraham

  • Woodstock’s Ed Doton rushes for a touchdown during yesterday’s rout of <br/>Mount Abraham.<br/>(Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

    Woodstock’s Ed Doton rushes for a touchdown during yesterday’s rout of
    Mount Abraham.
    (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Woodstock’s Tom Baumann (24) and Will Emmons work to force a fumble from Mount Abraham quarterback Alexander Cody yesterday.<br/>(Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)

    Woodstock’s Tom Baumann (24) and Will Emmons work to force a fumble from Mount Abraham quarterback Alexander Cody yesterday.
    (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Woodstock defender Travis Gault (65) forces an incomplete pass against Mount Abraham quarterback Alexander Cody at Woodstock Saturday, November 3, 2012, in Woodstock, Vt. The Wasps won, 58-7.<br/>Valley News - Ryan Dorgan

    Woodstock defender Travis Gault (65) forces an incomplete pass against Mount Abraham quarterback Alexander Cody at Woodstock Saturday, November 3, 2012, in Woodstock, Vt. The Wasps won, 58-7.
    Valley News - Ryan Dorgan Purchase photo reprints »

  • Woodstock’s Ed Doton rushes for a touchdown during yesterday’s rout of <br/>Mount Abraham.<br/>(Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)
  • Woodstock’s Tom Baumann (24) and Will Emmons work to force a fumble from Mount Abraham quarterback Alexander Cody yesterday.<br/>(Valley News - Ryan Dorgan)
  • Woodstock defender Travis Gault (65) forces an incomplete pass against Mount Abraham quarterback Alexander Cody at Woodstock Saturday, November 3, 2012, in Woodstock, Vt. The Wasps won, 58-7.<br/>Valley News - Ryan Dorgan

— How tough would Woodstock be without a slow start?

The defending Vermont Division III champion Wasps led by 17 points at the half, then ran roughshod over No. 4 Mount Abraham 58-7 yesterday afternoon in the semifinals at home.

Woodstock improved to 10-0 on the season while Mount Abraham finished at 6-4. The Wasps will play next Saturday in the Division III finals at South Burlington High School at time to be determined. Woodstock will play No. 2 BFA-Fairfax, a 27-14 winner over No. 3 Mill River yesterday.

“We had a slow start,” Woodstock quarterback Hunter Schmell said. “We like to get up by a lot early and take the energy away from them. We didn’t do that very well in the first two quarters, but we rebounded nicely in the second half.” The Wasps led 24-7 at the half, but the score could have been closer if Mount Abraham had capitalized on a couple of deep drives.

“Woodstock is a very good football team,” Mount Abraham coach Ernie Senecal said. “They executed very well and we missed a few tackles. You can’t make any mistakes against them and expect to win.” The Wasps build their first-half lead on the legs of Ed Doton (14 carries for 97 yards). The senior ran for three touchdowns, including a 53-yarder on the second offensive play. He also added one-yard scores with 5:25 left in the first quarter and with 6:39 left in the second.

Schmell kicked a 30-yard field goal with 1:40 left in the first quarter and was 7-for-8 booting extra points.

The Eagles rushed for a total of only 11 yards, but had a lot of success through the air with quarterback Cody Alexander (12-for-29 passing for 222 yards). Alexander’s main target was Daniel McGrath (four receptions for 125 yards). The duo connected late in the half on a 28-yard pass to set up an Austin Lafayette one-yard plunge with 20 seconds left.

Lafayette added the extra point and the Eagles went into the locker room down 24-7, but with a lot of momentum.

But the Wasps defused it with five touchdowns in the third quarter.

Ty Anstruther returned the second-half kickoff 79 yards for a score and Woodstock was well on its way to the blowout.

After Mount Abraham’s Ryan Crowningshield was tackled for an 11-yard loss by Hunter Schulz on a fake punt, the Wasps struck quickly on a Nicholas Sprague (3 carries for 36 yards) six-yard score. An Anstruther interception on the Eagles’ next possession set up Schmell’s 37-yard scoring toss to Tom Baumann (4 carries for 51 yards) with 7:16 left in the third quarter.

Schmell was 2-for-4 passing for 57 yards.

It got worse for the Eagles as they fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Woodstock’s Nathan Fegard recovered at the 18-yard line. Sprague found the end zone from 13 yards out on the second play.

James Morgan closed the scoring on a five-yard run with 1:31 left in the third quarter.

“I always tell the kids the first four minutes of the second half is the key to the outcome of the game,” Woodstock coach Jim McLaughlin said.

“The game was over by the end of the third quarter.” The Wasps ran for 351 yards, with 11 different players carrying the ball. Woodstock ended up with 408 yards of total offense.

“This is a special group,” McLaughlin said. “They came into the season knowing we had 10 starters back on offense and 10 on defense. They attacked the season with a real desire to improve and get better. This is the most complete team I have ever had here.”