A big win can be springboard forward for a football team. They gain more confidence and feel like they can take on whatever opponent comes their way.
There were a handful of games circled on the Week 2 calendar in Vermont high school football, games where we could get a good glimpse of what to expect as the season moves forward.
The Rutland football team had one of those statement wins. The Ravens made the trip down Route 7 Saturday morning to take on 2019 Division I champion Burr and Burton and played one heck of a game.
They were aggressive offensively, and even more impressively, their defense kept the Bulldogs in check. BBA mustered just 14 points. For context, the least amount of points the Bulldogs scored during that championship season was 35.
Granted, this is a different team with less experience, but that doesn’t take away from the impressiveness of Rutland’s performance. RHS made a statement on Saturday.
Middlebury is another team making an early statement. Through two weeks, the Tigers haven’t allowed a point. BFA-St. Albans, a team that shut out an opponent in Week 1, is on the schedule this week. Can they keep up that defensive prowess?
Bellows Falls made one of the clearest statements on Friday when the Terriers blasted southern rival Mount Anthony in a battle of the best Division II has to offer. If BF continues to be as dominant as it has, good luck, D-II, you’ll have a challenge trying to stop them.
From Hartford’s early success to U-32 establishing itself as D-II contender with its balance, there are plenty of teams looking to make a statement.
Those statement-makers make an appearance in this week’s Rutland Herald/Times Argus football power rankings. The teams’ previous week ranking in in parentheses.
1. Rutland 2-0 (3) — The Ravens defense picked off two passes, grabbed two fumble recoveries and multiple turnovers on downs to a really strong BBA club on Saturday. Its offense has big play potential too. Rutland is a major contender in D-I.
2. Middlebury 2-0 (5)— You can’t lose if you don’t give up points and through two games the Tigers haven’t. BFA St. Albans is a tough challenge and matchups with Hartford and Rutland loom.
3. Hartford 2-0 (1) — The Hurricanes struggled with turnover issues in Week 2, but rode their defense to a second straight win. Hartford should be favored on Friday against Burlington/South Burlington, but its schedule only gets more difficult from there.
4. Bellows Falls 2-0 (6) — The team to beat in Division II. Period. The Terriers are averaging more than 40 points per game and their defense is strong as well.
5. St. Johnsbury 1-1 (UR) — A nice bounce back for the Hilltoppers knocking off CVU in Week 2. Coach Rich Alercio will have his team ready to compete every week, so it’s hard to count them out.
6. CVU 1-1 (4) — The Redhawks had a setback with a rough second half against St. Johnsbury, but still look to be a contender in a competitive Division I group. BBA is up next.
7. Burr and Burton 1-1 (2) — The Bulldogs see a drop in the rankings because they did not look good against Rutland. When you turn the ball over, you’re going to struggle to win. BBA is a team that thrives on adversity though. Look no farther than their loss to St. Johnsbury during their 2019 championship season.
8. U-32 2-0 (9) — The Raiders look to be a contender in D-II after another strong win in Week 2. Dual-threat quarterback Cameron Comstock ran all over Woodstock to the tune of 136 yards. and running backs Crosse Gariboldi (103 yards) and Henry Beling (92 yards) are a great complement.
9. Windsor 2-0 (10) — The Yellow Jackets have put up 110 points through two games. Wow. Just wow. Windsor looks the part of the team to beat in Division III.
10. Essex 1-1 (UR) — The Hornets put up 46 points against Colchester in Week 2, bouncing back from an opening loss to Rutland. There are a handful of teams looking to establish themselves as a contender in D-I and you can throw Essex in that group.
On the bubble: BFA St. Albans, Milton, Fair Haven, Fairfax-Lamoille
Our top fivesDivision I: 1. Rutland; 2. Middlebury; 3. Hartford; 4. St. Johnsbury; 5. CVU.
Division II: 1. Bellows Falls; 2. U-32; 3. Milton; 4. Fair Haven; 5. Mount Anthony.
Division III: 1. Windsor; 2. Fairfax/Lamoille; 3. Otter Valley; 4. Woodstock; 5. Springfield.