SOUTH BURLINGTON — Sometimes the final score doesn’t tell the entire story.
Such was the case in Saturday’s Division III Vermont high school football state championship game when undefeated and defending champion Woodstock posted a 38-18 win over second-seeded BFA-Fairfax at South Burlington High School.
The Wasps (11-0) trailed 12-0 before they ran their first offensive play and were down by four points, 18-14, after three quarters.
But then, as it had all season, Woodstock’s quick-strike offense took over and the Wasps went on to a deceptively lopsided win over a Bullet team making its first championship-game appearance.
Bruising Woodstock senior fullback Ed Doton put the Wasps back on top to stay with 17-yard touchdown run with 11:51 to play. Less than three minutes later, elusive junior running back Tom Baumann (7 carries, 143 yards), the lightning to Doton’s thunder, scampered down the left side for a 75-yard, game-breaking touchdown and a 28-18 lead.
Four minutes later, Doton (17 carries, 117 yards) scored on a 13-yard run. Wasps’ kicker (and quarterback) Hunter Schmell capped his perfect day by nailing a 30-yard field goal with just over a minute to play to go along with his five extra points.
“It feels incredible,” said Doton, who also had a 16-yard scoring run in the first quarter. “Not just winning a championship game, but beating a team like that. Fairfax is one helluva team. They played a solid game. I’m real proud we played them like we did.”
Fairfax took a 12-0 lead with two scores 23 seconds apart early in the first quarter.
First, senior quarterback Chad Aiken raced up the middle on a 24-yard run, capping a nine-play, 77-yard drive.
Woodstock’s Ty Anstruther ran the ensuing kick-off back to midfield before fumbling. BFA-Fairfax senior Kris Wehner recovered the fumble and one play later ripped off a 46-yard touchdown run down the left side for a 12-0 lead.
“It was the way we wanted to start, obviously,” said BFA-Fairfax coach Mike Williams. “Our kids came out ready to play. We were happy to see that.”
After Doton got the Wasps on the scoreboard on Woodstock’s next possession, the Bullets were forced to punt. Anstruther again recorded a long run-back, putting the ball at the Wasps’ 45. After two runs by Doton pushed the ball to the Fairfax 30, Baumann gave Woodstock its first lead with a 30-yard touchdown run.
Fairfax’s Jack Thompson recovered a Woodstock fumble on the Wasps’
first drive of the second half and eight plays and 65 yards later, Jared Demar put the Bullets on top 18-14 with a second-effort, goal-line plunge with 6:30 left in the third quarter.
Wehner led a balanced rushing attack with 125 yards on 16 carries for the Bullets (9-2), whose only two losses came at the hands of the Wasps in the first and last games of the season. Aiken rushed for 71 yards on 12 carries, Matt Larose carried six times for 60 yards and Demar racked up 53 yards on 10 carries. Aiken was 1-for-2 throwing the ball for 6 yards and an interception.
“There are no moral victories,” said Williams. “We are past that.
We’re a young program, but there are no moral victories. We didn’t come down here to roll over. We didn’t come down here to get our butts kicked. We came down here to win a game.”
In addition to the 100-yard rushing performances from Doton and Baumann, Zach Cole rushed eight times for 41 yards. Schmell was 2-for-4 passing for 7 yards.
“This is as complete a high school football team at this level that you can have,” said Woodstock coach Jim McLaughlin. “All three phases of the game, we are pretty good.”=