The men’s club football team met their first postseason opponent Nov. 4 when they traveled to Boston University to face the Terriers in a semifinal game. Vermont entered the matchup having finished the season with a 3-2 record; the Terriers ended the regular season at 4-2.
Boston was the first to score, reaching the end zone in the first quarter. The Vermont defense made an early statement, however, blocking the Terrier attempt at an extra point.
The Cats then moved the ball down the field until sophomore wide receiver Jake Bielecki reeled in a 2-yard touchdown pass. The Cats nailed the extra point to put themselves ahead 7-6.
Boston responded within the half, reaching the end zone once and hitting a field goal as the half came to a close. The Terriers failed to convert a two-point conversion on the touchdown, bringing the score at the half to 15-7, Boston.
The second half proved to be an offensive show for the Cats, as junior Evan Amery ran for two touchdowns. After Boston blocked the Cats’ extra point attempt, the score was set at 20-15 with five minutes left to play.
In a final attempt for the Terriers, senior safety Dane Liljestrand intercepted a Terrier pass with under five minutes left in the game. Bielecki then played mastermind in a fake punt on fourth down, reaching the first down marker and solidifying the win for the Cats.
“Our team thrives on adversity and to overcome it like we did on Sunday is huge for us now that we’re facing Southwestern, a team that we know will bring it,” Liljestrand said.
The Catamounts will travel to Southwestern Connecticut for a rematch of last season’s championship game, when Vermont lost to the Grizzlies 6-2 in a game that was decided by a Hail Mary pass.
This year, the Cats are lower on the national rankings board, but an informed follower of the team, UVM sophomore Cooper Brochu, believes they have a better chance.
“Strap it on, dial it in. It’s time for the greatest show on turf,” Brochu said in anticipation of the championship. “[Bielecki] feels better than ever, [sophomore quarterback] Jake Leclerc is nailing his passes and our defense is solid as usual.”
The Cats and Grizzlies face off at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 for Vermont’s third attempt at securing their first Championship Title.
“It’s just going to be a matter of getting our guys ready to play the first snap and every snap thereafter. If we can do that, I know we can win,” Liljestrand said. Ê