Purple Gang chasing 12th state title
So it's really no surprise that the dedicated Purple Gang will be heading northwest on Super Saturday.
The No. 4 Terriers (8-2) will take on second-seeded Fair Haven (9-1) in the Division 2 state championship football game at Rutland High School at 2 p.m. Bellows Falls is seeking its 12th crown in program history.
They are counting on defensive genius Ryan Stoodley, who will have to figure out a way to make life difficult for Cam Coloutti.
After all, the Fair Haven quarterback just went 14 of 22 for 239 yards and five touchdowns during a 39-30 victory over third-ranked Milton in a semifinal. In the first round, the junior threw for 209 yards and five scores against MAU.
Will Bellows Falls speed rusher Dylan Clark be able to get Coloutti on the ground? Will Stoodley take away all of the short passes just like he did against BBA star Griff Stalcup last year? Will this be an entertaining shootout similar to the teams' initial meeting in mid October?
That 35-34 win by the Slaters came down to Coloutti's 16-yard TD strike to Jesse Tucker with 1:18 left and Parker Morse's game-winning extra point. The Purple Gang couldn't stop Coloutti (360 yards passing) and Fair Haven had no answer for BF running back Shane Clark (177 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns) in that thriller.
Clark has been doing that against every defense, behind talented offensive linemen Gunnar Sawyer, Jackson Brown, Jared Zobkiw, Braden Maxfield, Reno Tuttle and Ben Asack. He rushed for 211 yards in a quarterfinal and 114 more in a semi, reaching paydirt twice in each game.
Cota, an athletic quarterback, could also give the Slaters headaches. He often beats foes with his legs, but is also known to roll out and throw darts to the likes of McGregor Vancor, Ryan Kelly and Clark.
And he probably wants to post a couple more things to his team's Facebook page — a photo of the Terriers hoisting the program's 12th state championship trophy and head coach Bob Lockerby being doused with ice water.
On Saturday at Rutland High School, Windsor and Woodstock will lead off in the Division 3 finale at 11 a.m. That will be followed by the Bellows Falls-Fair Haven showdown at 2 p.m. and the Division 1 contest between Hartford and Saint Johnsbury at 5 p.m.
Bellows Falls titles
2016: 20-14 over Burr and Burton
2010: 39-22 over Windsor
2003: 43-0 over Burlington
2002: 33-30 over Spaulding
1998: 38-26 over Lyndon
1994: 34-24 over Lyndon
1993: 12-0 over Woodstock
1985: 22-20 over Winooski
1984: 58-13 over Rice
1981: 42-6 over North Country
1971: 14-13 over Montpelier
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