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Friday night football: Windsor ousts Hartford, makes area 7v7 final

  • Maison Fortin

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/30/2020 11:08:46 PM
Modified: 10/30/2020 11:39:27 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Jordan Place had never played quarterback before this fall.

A wide receiver and defensive back for Windsor High a season ago, the senior made the change to signal caller this year as he and the Yellowjackets adjusted to seven-on-seven football.

The position change has paid off. Place tossed four touchdown passes and caught one, too, as the Yellowjackets rolled to a 48-36 victory over Hartford on Friday night at Hartford Alumni Athletic Complex in the VIFL Hartford Area semifinals.

Maison Fortin also added to the strong Windsor passing attack with three more TD passes. The Jacks move on to the championship game, where they will visit Brattleboro on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

“Neither one had any varsity quarterback experience coming into the year,” Jacks coach Greg Balch said. “Jordan’s really taken a leadership role on the team, and he plays well with that group. And Maison, he’s just a gunslinger.”

Windsor jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter as Place threw for three of his four TDs of the night. He connected with John Cook twice with passes of five and seven yards.

Place also found Jordan Hart for a 15-yard score with 5.8 seconds in the first. But it was the Jackets’ defense that allowed the early lead to happen as Owen Rhoad and Caden Lockwood each intercepted Hurricanes quarterback Colin Vielleux in the opening quarter.

“It’s definitely an offensive game, so if you get down a little bit it’s a bear,” Hartford coach Matt Trombly said of the difficulties of mounting a comeback in seven-on-seven. “When you’re down and over two scores, that’s a hurdle to overcome. Especially if you’re struggling a little bit on defense.”

The Canes did their best to rally, though. Quarterback Cole Jasmin entered the game in the second quarter, promptly connecting with Jacob Seaver on two touchdown passes. The first was a 24-yard score on a well-run post-corner pattern.

Seaver set up the next, however, jumping over Place to pull down a catch and taking it to the house on an 80-yard play. The score cut Windsor’s lead to 35-14 with 2:29 remaining in the first half.

Hartford (8-2) forced Windsor to punt on the next possession, the first time the entire half the Jacks didn’t end a drive with a touchdown.

“I think it’s important in seven-on-seven — the clocks moving fast, the balls moving fast — if you can get a good lead, that’s a big advantage,” Balch said. “And it’s even bigger in seven-on-seven with the clock running.”

The Canes opened the second half with the ball and pieced together an 11-play drive, capped off with a 10-yard Vielleux pass to Connor Tierney, cutting the deficit to 35-22.

Place found Cook for a 5-yard scoring connection on the following Windsor drive, extending the Jacks lead to 19 points as they couldn’t convert the two-point try.

Sensing an opportunity to slip back into the game, Vielleux found Tierney again, this time on a 14-yard touchdown with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter. The Canes stepped up big on the next drive, forcing a Windsor incompletion on fourth down.

Jasmin reentered the game in the fourth quarter and quickly led the Canes down the field on a five-play drive, highlighted by the quarterback finding Jacob Dwinell on a 50-yard swing pass to get near the red zone. The two connected five plays later on a 9-yard pass to make it 41-36 with 6:57 remaining.

Windsor wouldn’t let Hartford get that close again. The Jacks took time off the clock and Fortin found a streaking Owen Abrahamsen down the sideline for a 35-yard score with 3:12 to play.

“We knew they were very fast and good,” Balch said. “We intended to give up fewer points, but they’re an excellent team. They moved the ball very well and came right out and scored on us in the second half. They never quit.”

Jackson Davis had a touchdown catch for Windsor. Jasmin finished the night with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Vielleux had two of each.

Windsor (9-1) defeated Hartford, 57-36, back on Sept. 26 in the season opener for both teams.

Now the Jacks will try to finish the campaign with a title.

Notes: Place has thrown for 31 TDs this fall, and Fortin has tossed 37. … Trombly mentioned in a postgame interview he’s hopeful that Vermont will play full-contact football next season. … A group of Hartford students stood in the parking lot and cheered for the Canes in the first half. They were then allowed entrance into the game in the second half because the crowd was below capacity. … Kobe Peach was a perfect 4-for-4 on PAT attempts for Hartford. … The Canes graduate Jasmin, Jackson Balch, Dwinell, Alex Bushway, Peach, Zayne Smith, Daniel Kelliher, Jalen Labonite and Devin Denk.

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com.




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