Bulldogs playoff bound?

MANCHESTER - With a Division II playoff berth potentially hanging in the balance, it's time for the Burr and Burton Academy football team to lay it all on the line against U-32 this Friday, according to their head coach Jason Thomas.

Although the game is a must win for BBA (5-3), a win may not solidify a playoff spot for the Bulldogs who need Rice to defeat Lyndon if they are to secure a playoff berth.

Going into Friday though, Thomas said the team is focused on one thing and one thing only - coming away with a victory against U-32.

"Our mindset this week has nothing to do with Lyndon. Our mindset is we can control only what we can control. We have to take care of U-32. We're playing this as if its our last game together as a team and we're trying to go out on a positive note," said Thomas. "So, that's our mindset. That's what it has to be. If we're sitting there looking at all the scenarios that could possibly play out we're wasting our time and we're thinking about things other than U-32. So, our focus, and my job as a coach, is to make sure our focus is on U-32 and that we're not overlooking this team because they're better than their record indicates."

Thomas said U-32 has improved since he watched the games they played against both Milton and Fair Haven earlier this season and that they would be difficult to stop.

Even though BBA has a potent offense and confidence in their ability to put points on the board, Thomas said that it would be essential for the Bulldogs to dominate defensively in order for them to compete with U-32.

"We know that we can score some points, but I don't want to get into a shoot out with a team and have them hang around," said Thomas. "We can't hold anything back. We're letting it all hang out this week and playing this game like it's our last."

What seems to be a good sign for BBA, and perhaps a bad sign for their opponents, is that they seem to peaking at just the right time.

"It's very encouraging in the sense that I know we're playing better than we did at the beginning of the season," said Thomas. "I knew that if we could weather the storm early that we would obviously get better as the season went along and that's what I think is happening. Again, our schedule has softened a bit based on the win/loss records of our opponents over the past few weeks, but with that being said I know we're getting better, especially on the defensive side of the ball and right now we're clicking pretty much on all cylinders on offense."

Two weeks ago BBA routed Otter Valley 60-25 and they put 48 points on the board against North Country while limiting them to just 16 points last week at Applejack Field.

In the game against North Country, senior quarterback Jake Stalcup fired four touchdown passes, while completing 11-of-20 attempts for 189 yards. All four of the scores were for 23 yards or more.

BBA senior wide receiver Chris Redding caught two touchdown passes, ran for one and returned a kickoff for his team's final points of the night. He now has 24 all-purpose touchdowns this season.

Wide receiver Wilson Vickers also caught two touchdowns and Eric Cerra added a 2-yard scoring plunge for the Bulldogs. North Country fell to 0-8 with the loss.

BBA's game against U-32 will begin at 7 p.m. at Applejack Field on Friday, Oct. 26.

The Bennington Banner contributed to this report.


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