Eagle football avenges loss to MRU, earns playoff victory

EAST CLARENDON — The No. 6 Mount Abraham/Vergennes football team knocked off host No. 3 Mill River on Saturday in a Division III quarterfinal, 20-15.
The Eagles improved to 5-4, while MRU, which had defeated Mt. Abe, 32-30, in Bristol on Sept. 11, finished at 6-3.
Next up for the Eagles is No. 2 Fairfax. Fairfax, which defeated Mount Abe in Bristol in September, 20-8, will host that game at 1 p.m. on Saturday. 
This past Saturday, the Eagles forced four MRU fumbles, two in Eagle territory on the Minutemen’s first two drives, and took a 14-0 first-half lead.
After the second MRU fumble, Mount Abe went 75 yards, with the touchdown coming on a Trevon Smith reverse good for 62 yards and a 6-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Eagles scored on a 5-yard Ryan Paquin run to cap a drive on which quarterback Joey Payea hit Paquin with a 23-yard screen pass on third-and-19. A successful conversion made it 14-0.
MRU scored twice in the third to lead, 15-14. The first TD came on a 56-yard pass from QB Michael Morgan to Dylan Shelvey that capped a 90-yard march. The conversion made it 14-8.
MRU took the lead on a short pass from Morgan to Shelvey at 4:26, a play set up by a 66-yard pass play. The point-after made it 15-14.
At 8:10 of the fourth Payea scored from 3 yards out. A long Anthony Warner punt return and a Wyatt Gracie run set up the TD.
Mill River marched 69 yards to the Eagle 1, but Mount Abe held when a fourth down pass fell incomplete. 
The Eagles picked up 176 yards on the ground, 79 from Paquin on 18 carries. Payea completed seven of 17 passes for 164 yards.

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