Three Vermont football teams will try to complete unbeaten seasons Saturday, when the state's three championship games will be held at South Burlington High School. Saturday's schedule:
Division II: No. 2 Bellows Falls (9-1) vs. No. 1 Rice (10-0), 11 a.m.
Division III: No. 2 BFA-Fairfax (9-1) vs. No. 1 Woodstock (10-0), 2 p.m.
Division I: No. 2 BFA-St. Albans (9-1) vs. No. 1 Hartford (10-0), 5 p.m.
BELLOWS FALLS VS. RICE
Noteworthy: Rice is making its second appearance in the Division II championship game in the last three years. … The Green Knights beat fourth-seeded Burr and Burton, 36-14, in the semifinals. Burr and Burton led 14-6 in the third quarter, but allowed 30 points in the second half. Casey Tipson (134) and Billy O'Brien (121) each rushed for more than 100 yards in the victory. … Bellows Falls earned a spot in the championship game by beating third-seeded Milton in the semifinals. … Rice beat Bellows Falls 8-0 during the regular season. … Each program won a state championship two years ago. Rice defeated Middlebury to win the Division II title, and Bellows Falls defeated Windsor in the Division III championship game.
BFA-FAIRFAX VS. WOODSTOCK
Noteworthy: This will be the first championship game appearance for the BFA-Fairfax program. … Although it had three punts blocked, BFA-Fairfax beat third-seeded Mill River in the semifinals. Kris Wehner returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a TD, and threw a halfback pass for a touchdown in that victory. … Woodstock, which won last year's Division III championship, received three touchdowns from Ed Doton in a 58-7 triumph over fourth-seeded Mount Abraham in the semifinals. Doton ran for two touchdowns and caught a TD pass when Woodstock opened the season with a 48-19 victory over BFA-Fairfax.
BFA-ST. ALBANS vs. HARTFORD
Noteworthy: Hartford owns a 24-game winning streak and is seeking its third consecutive state title, and its fifth in the last six years. … Hartford won the regular-season meeting, 33-7, at home. … BFA-St. Albans advanced to the championship game by beating Essex, 35-6, in the semifinals. Hartford posted a 42-6 triumph over Middlebury in the semifinals. Hartford beat Middlebury in last year's championship game. … Hartford running back Josh Claflin has scored at least three touchdowns in each of the last three games, and has 20 TDs this season. … BFA-St. Albans is the last team that beat Hartford (42-0 in 2010). Hartford avenged that loss by beating the Bobwhites in the 2010 championship game. … Hartford has outscored its opponents, 372-100.
No team dominated the competition like the Peoples Academy girls did this season. Katie Stames scored four goals as top-seeded Peoples completed an 18-0 season by beating second-seeded BFA-Fairfax 9-0 in the Division III championship game. Stames finished the season with 43 goals. Junior Hannah Merriman collected three goals and two assists for the Wolves, who won their fifth title in the last seven seasons. Peoples owns a 32-game winning streak and has outscored its opponents 174-11 in those 32 contests. ...Burr and Burton defeated Montpelier 2-1 to win its second consecutive Division II boys soccer championship. Each team entered the championship game with a 17-0 record. It was a 1-1 game until sophomore Reid Conde scored his team-high 16th goal of the season with 10:04 to play. … Champlain Valley Union won the boys and girls Division I soccer championships. Shane Haley scored 1:15 into overtime to lift the second-seeded CVU boys to a 1-0 victory over fifth-seeded Burlington. CVU finished the season with a 16-1-1 record and outscored its opponents, 70-7. The Redhawks didn't allow a goal in 11 of their 18 games. The second-seeded CVU girls claimed the title when Emma Davitt scored on a penalty kick in overtime to give the Redhawks a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Essex. Each team finished 16-1-1.
Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.