With starting quarterback James Shufelt sidelined with a shoulder injury, Lyndon Institute football coach Dan Nolan had to call on a sophomore to lead the triple-option offense against Otter Valley last week.
No problem for Devon Switser.
Making his first varsity start, Switser rushed 33 times for 114 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, carrying the Vikings to a key Division II road win over Otter Valley, 16-0.
“I’m really proud of his effort and composure in such a big game for our program,” said Nolan, who added Lyndon hasn’t been 2-0 since the 2001 season.
Switser was driving Lyndon for another score, but opted for killing the clock to end the game inside the 10-yard line. He also wrapped up the season-opening win at Milton.
“He’s come a long way since he was a freshman,” Nolan said. “I was confident he’d do well and he never showed signs of the game being too big for him.”
After Springfield forfeited Saturday’s game, the Vikings have a week off before traveling to U-32 on Sept. 21.
‘D’ rules at Rice
In starting 2-0, the Rice Green Knights have pitched a pair of shutouts, including last week’s 8-0 triumph over fellow Division II contender Bellows Falls.
Head coach Neil Brodeur and his staff aren’t satisfied — yet.
“It’s Week 2. There’s no way we are peaking in Week 2,” Brodeur said. “There are a lot of things we need to improve and get better every day.”
That type of attitude directs back to defensive coordinator Joe Larkin, who Brodeur said, “is one of the best football coaches in Vermont.”
“He breaks it down in a way that the kids can get. They buy into the system and play hard for him,” Brodeur said. “The kids are ultra-prepared.”
Like middle linebacker Billy O’Brien, who leads a defensive unit that includes Anthony Phillip and Matt Maynard.