Fair Haven Union quarterback Robert Coloutti made a mistake that could have haunted him for the rest of his life.
Coloutti was called for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was ejected following a touchdown during last Saturday's game against Otter Valley. An ejection often results in a one-game suspension, which meant Coloutti could miss his team's Division II semifinal at Milton on Friday.
The Vermont Principals' Association ruled Tuesday that Coloutti will not have to serve a suspension, however, and will be allowed to play in Friday night's playoff game.
“Based on the information that was gathered, there will be no further suspension,” VPA associate director Bob Johnson told the Burlington Free Press. “When there’s an ejection, if a school wants to contest, they notify me. This happens routinely; not a new case. In soccer this year, we’ve had at least eight and of those eight times, at least half of those decisions were changed.”
Second-seeded Milton (7-2) sacked Coloutti five times during a 28-19 victory over third-seeded Fair Haven (7-2) during the regular season. Coloutti completed 19 of 41 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. He also ran for a touchdown.
The Milton/Fair Haven winner will face either top-seeded North Country (9-0) or fourth-seeded Burr and Burton (6-3) in the Division II championship game.
North Country received two rushing touchdowns from Nick LeClair and beat Burr & Burton 36-26 during the regular season. Burr & Burton quarterback Jake Stalcup completed 23 of 37 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
Four other playoff games will be held this weekend:
No. 4 South Burlington (7-2) at No. 1 Hartford (9-0)
Hartford, last year's Division I champion, is one of two unbeaten teams in the state, but did not play South Burlington during the regular season. South Burlington's 2010 season ended with a loss to Hartford in the Division I semifinals.
No. 3 Middlebury (8-1) at No. 2 BFA-St. Albans. (8-1)
BFA-St. Albans handed Middlebury its only loss, 23-7. BFA quarterback Nick Jaslowich tossed two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to break open a close game.
No. 4 Mt. Abraham (5-4) at No. 1 Woodstock (7-2)
Woodstock has outscored its opponents 331-175 this season, but came up empty when these teams met during the regular season. Mt. Abraham handed Woodstock one of its two losses, 20-0.
No. 3 Windsor (6-3) at No. 2 Mill River (7-2)
Defense will likely determine the winner here, since the teams scored 107 points when they met earlier in the year. Windsor won that matchup 64-43, but Mill River has won six of seven games since that loss.
The Champlain Valley Union girls placed seven runners in the top 11 at the Division I state championship cross country meet Saturday and won the program's eighth state title in the last nine years.
Essex's Markie Palermo won the meet for the second consecutive year by navigating the course at Thetford Academy in 19 minutes, 15.3 seconds. CVU's Taylor Spillane finished second in 19:29.2.
Adrienne DeVita (third), Aleksey Jordick (fifth), Autumn Eastman (seventh), Sophie Hess (eighth), Julienne DeVita (10th) and Isabelle Unger (11th) were CVU's other runners. They all finished within 31 seconds of one another.
Mount Mansfield won the Division I boys championship for the third consecutive season and the sixth time in the last seven years. Jack Hegman (fifth), Hayden Bove (ninth), Ben Hegman (11th), Derreck Schultz (15th), Jason Hardacre (20th), Nick Shallow (24th) and Henry Harmeyer (51st) were MMU's runners.
South Burlington's Malcolm Plunkett won the race in 16:56. He prevailed in the Division II state championship race last year, when he attended Mount Abraham.
Division II girls: Jamie Thomas prevailed for the second consecutive season (20:42.4) and helped Harwood win its third straight state championship.
Division II boys: Harwood placed four runners in the top 13 and completed a Division II sweep. Montpelier's Daniel Grosvenor won the race in 17:17.6
Division III girls: Richfield junior Elle Purrier repeated as the individual champion (19:11.9) and Randolph prevailed in the team competition with 20 points.
Division III boys: Thetford sophomore Zach Chatot won the meet in 18:04.7, but Bellows Falls prevailed in the team event.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.