In the opening weeks of the season, Austin Robinson put excitement into Middlebury’s offense with a series of dazzling plays.
Friday night, the Tigers quarterback let his teammates put on the show.
Cullen Hathaway, Jacob Trautwein and Sam Smith broke off long scoring touchdowns as an explosive Middlebury squad squashed Champlain Valley 42-7 in a battle of Division I high school football unbeatens.
Hathaway gashed CVU with two TDs of 80-plus yards, Smith caught a 43-yarder for the game’s first score and Trautwein scampered 54 yards as the Tigers scored 35 first-half points for the second straight week to improve to 5-0.
“We have an abundance of athletes this year. We’ve got athletes who can break the big one and score quickly,” Middlebury coach Dennis Smith. “It’s not just Mr. Robinson. They’ve all got the speed to break it.”
Trautwein finished with a team-high 130 yards on three carries — his second rush went 62 yards to set up the Tigers’ third TD — and Middlebury’s defense collected five sacks in containing CVU’s spread attack.
On its first three possessions, Middlebury scored in just two, four and three plays, respectively — Smith took a short pass from Robinson and raced untouched, followed by a pair of short Nicholas Felkl touchdowns, the latter of which gave the Tigers a 21-0 lead with 4:28 left in the first quarter.
CVU, on its first three possessions, ran 12 offensive plays for 15 yards and one first down.
With Bennett Cazayoux back in the lineup following a long layoff from injury, CVU had its two-quarterback threat whole again — for just the first series. Steele DuBrul’s night was cut short on the third play of the game after enduring a hit to his side, CVU coach Jim Provost said.
Jason Cora (eight carries, 29 yards) was also limited with an injury, but Middlebury was just too good from the opening kick, Provost said.
“They are every bit as good as they showed, but I just think we are better than what we showed,” said Jim Provost, whose team lost 28-7 at Middlebury last year. “That’s a very good team up and down the lineup, there’s not a weak spot anywhere.”
Hathaway made his mark, racing 89 yards down the CVU sideline for Middlebury’s fourth score of the first half. On the previous play, the Redhawks fumbled at the 6-yard line on third-and-1, their last chance to gain any momentum.
“They were galloping down the sidelines. We have some fast guys and we were not catching (them),” Provost said. “That was really impressive. They got in into the second level and they were gone.”
Hathaway also took the opening kickoff of the second half and returned it 80 yards for the score, punctuating another dominant effort for the Tigers, who have outscored opponents 163-20 in five games.
Middlebury also outgained CVU 275 to 94 in the first half before substitutes saw the majority of action in the second half. A running clock was used for the fourth quarter.
Samuel Usilton, who had two of Middlebury’s five sacks, said they were ready to pounce at kickoff.
“Every week is the same week, gotta come out fired up on all cylinders from the word go. And that’s what we did today,” said Usilton, one of the three team captains.
Alex Bulla scored CVU’s lone touchdown, an 80-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.