Published September 22, 2012 in the Times Argus
U-32 senior Kendal Zeno breaks to the outside as he’s pursued by Lyndon junior Dakota Ball during the first quarter on Friday.
Photo: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff File Photo
Vikings handle Raiders, 53-1
EAST MONTPELIER — The Lyndon Vikings literally ran away with Friday night’s Division-II football game at U-32, scoring on eight of their 12 drives for a dominant 53-16 victory.
Lyndon took a 28-0 lead after the first quarter, racking up 195 yards on the ground to U-32’s 5. Viking quarterback James Shufelt scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 3-yard dash and completed a pass to Kyle Cipollone for an 8-0 lead 2:21 into play. Shufelt later handed off to Deryk Colburn for a 29-yard scoring run and a 14-0 lead.
Shufelt then completed a 52-yard pass to Josh Guyer and again found Cipollone for the two-point conversion and a 22-0 lead. At that point, Lyndon had given up more yards in penalties (20) than U-32 had forward movement (6).
On the first play from scrimmage with just over two minutes to play in the first, Guyer ripped off another 36 yards. A missed PAT gave the Vikings a 28-0 advantage. They could’ve scored on the quarter’s final drive — earned after recovering a fumbled Raiders snap — but elected to run out the clock.
No matter, the Vikings completed the drive in the first six seconds of the second quarter with Shufelt scampering the final 2 yards for a 34-0 lead.
U-32 tallied its first first down on its opening drive of the second quarter on a 28-yard run by Kendal Zeno, who came back after missing Weeks 2 and 3 with an injury.
Freshman Colby Brochu also gained double-digit yardage on the drive, which culminated in the Raiders turning the ball over on downs.
“It was nice to have Kendal back and Colby does a great job,” U-32 coach Brian Divelbliss said. “And he knows we don’t expect him to play like a freshman. We expect him to play like a seasoned veteran.”
LI scored again on a five-play, 70-yard drive — capped by a 25-yard run by Davis Guyer — for the 40-0 lead the Vikings enjoyed at halftime.
U-32 avoided the shutout with a spirited 80-yard drive to start the third. Brochu netted 34 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown run, and a two-point conversion by Raiders quarterback Jackson Bates put U-32 on the board down 40-8.
“We learned to come down and block, work on our blocking scheme,” Divelbliss said. “I’ve never seen this team look at a score and decide to turn it in. We’re not going to throw guys in to just get playing time. If you’re playing, we expect you to make a difference. Not everyone played tonight, but we got guys in and they played hard. I don’t ever foresee that happening, where we aren’t going to finish a ballgame. We’re going to play.”
Lyndon responded with a 46-yard drive and Shufelt’s third rushing touchdown. A failed conversion made it 46-8 with 1:52 left in the third.
Zeno announced his comeback in dramatic fashion on the Raiders’ next possession, taking the first play from scrimmage 87 yards for a touchdown. Bates handed off to Zeno for the two-point conversion, cutting the gap to 46-16 with under a minute to play in the third.
“You see the expressions on guys faces after they leave the field,and you know they care,” Divelbliss said. “They’re working hard at it and we expect the same attitude next week, that we’re going to work hard and get better.”
Lyndon capped the scoring on its first possession of the fourth, with Miguel Collazo grinding out short gains near the goal line for a 53-16 lead. The Vikings recovered a U-32 fumble but turned it over on downs.
The Raiders had sustained drives that put them inside the 30 but couldn’t get the ball across the goal line. On first-and-goal from the 6, Bates handed off to Zeno, who slipped for a loss as time ran out.
U-32 drops to 1-3 and plays at Bellows Falls on Saturday.
“They run the ball,” Divelbliss said of the Terriers. “And I know they have a pretty tough defense, too. I expect another good football game.”
Lyndon improves to 4-0 and hosts North Country on Saturday.
Follow Anna on Twitter: @annagrearson