Saturday's D-1 Football championship pits top seed Hartford against #2 St. Johnsbury. The Hurricanes earned the #1 seed after a 35-20 road win over the Toppers back in Week 7.
The big question for St. J down the stretch has been the health of quarterback Colin Urie. He sat out the second half of last weekend's dramatic semifinal win over CVU with an injured wrist, but he has been cleared to play tomorrow.
Hartford is back in the final for the first time since winning three straight titles from 2010 to 2012. The Canes know getting the win that could start a potential new streak will be a challenge.
"We know that it's definitely tough to beat a team twice during the season," said Hartford's Tyler Hamilton. "We know they're game planning. They have a good coach and they're going to be prepared for what we have. We're just preparing for what we know they have and we're just going to play ball."
"This is what we've been hoping for since we've been in the program," added Hurricane senior Brian Moran. We've heard all the stories about the teams before us and we just want to be one of those teams, put our banner up in our gym. That's the goal."
For St. J, the challenge will be establishing their offense early and keeping up the pace throughout the game.
"We just need to play a whole game," said senior quarterback Collin Urie. "We started out really strong against them, so we know we can move the ball. We can score on them. We know we can stop their offense, but we just need to play the whole game."
The Topper defense also knows slowing down the Hartford offense will be crucial.
"They can run the ball. They can pass the ball. We think we've learned a few things as we played them," said senior Ethan Roberts. "Hopefully, we'll be better suited to play them this week."
The D-1 Football title game kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday at Rutland High School.
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