Woodstock Clinches Top Vermont Division III Seed
Windsor — Woodstock’s Tom Bauman doesn’t fool around.
The senior running back carried the ball just six times, but he maximized his opportunities, scoring on three of those carries as the Wasps rolled to a 28-7 win over Windsor Saturday in the final regular season game for both teams.
The win earned the Wasps an undefeated regular season, running their win streak to 28 straight games.
The loss drops Windsor to 3-4 in the league and 3-5 overall. But records aside, both teams will take part in the playoffs next week. Unofficially, Windsor will finish seventh and meet second-seed Mill River while the Wasps will host eight-seeded Oxbow. These first round contests are regarded as wild card games. Division III now has 12 teams with the playoffs expanded to eight teams with the four winners advancing to the semifinals the following weekend in Rutland.
Woodstock, which is averaging 50 points a game, was held to just seven in the first half as the Jacks battled along both lines of scrimmage. “The kids wanted this bad,” said Windsor coach Greg Balch.
So did the Wasps, even though the game meant nothing in the standings.
“Hey this is Windsor-Woodstock,” said Wasps first-year coach Ramsey Worrell. “I’m from the South (Texas), and we like rivalries. This was like Texas-Oklahoma to us.”
The Wasps were without one of their main offensive weapons for this one with Oliver Kaija restricted to a few appearances at linebacker. Kaija, who has 19 touchdowns and 114 points, was getting over a knee injury.
“We didn’t want him carrying the ball,” said Worrell. “We hoped we had enough offense without him.”
One of the players that picked up the slack for Kaija was impressive freshman Nikolai Davis, who carried the ball 10 times for 98 yards, highlighted a 52-yard TD scamper. Davis also handled the kicking duties, going a perfect four-for-four on extra points, gaving him 43 successful boots on 44 tries this season.
Mistakes were costly for the Yellowjackets. They had punts of 2, 4 and 11 yards and had several drives altered because of penalties, including having a touchdown called back because of an illegal formation.
“As coaches, we’ll take the blame for those penalties,” said Balch. “We put a lot of new stuff in this week, and it was perhaps too much.”
Windsor’s Ethan Hill continued his workhorse season, lugging the ball 29 times for 130 yards.
The game took a big momentum swing on the second play of third quarter when Davis picking his way through the defense like a veteran, racing 51 yards from scrimmage for a touchdown with just 23 seconds gone in the period. The Wasps then made it 21-7 when Bauman outraced the tiring Windsor defense from 47 yards away.
Windsor’s effort of get back in the game was thwarted by a 46-yard Bill Wood punt that boxed the Jacks in on their own 4-yard line.
A short Windsor punt followed and Woodstock took advantage of the good field position with Bauman blasting off tackle from 44 yards out to make it 28-7.
Bauman scored his first touchdown on a 24yard cut-back run with just 41 seconds left in the first quarter.
Windsor tied the game before the half as the Jacks went 78 yards. Quarterback Nick Kapuscinski hit Russell Simonds from 30 yards out for the score.