Tigers, Otter Valley football get high seeds

ADDISON COUNTY — The undefeated Middlebury and Otter Valley union high school football teams will host quarterfinal playoff games this weekend in Divisions I and III, respectively.
Mount Abraham will conclude its D-II season with a home game: The Eagles will host a 5-3 Milton squad needing a win to remain in contention for one of the four D-II playoff spots.
On this past Friday night, the Tigers scored the game’s final 27 points to defeat host Champlain Valley, 40-13; complete their undefeated regular season at 8-0; and stretch the program winning streak to 30.
They earned the No. 2 seed in Division II behind Rutland (7-0 in the league, 7-1 overall with an out-of-state loss that does not count in the D-I standings). Rutland defeated host Hartford on Friday, 34-20 to earn the top seed, and Hartford (6-1, 6-2 overall with an out-of-state loss) is the No. 3 seed.
The Tigers will host No. 7 St. Johnsbury (4-4) on Friday at 7 p.m. Although the teams did not face each other during the regular season, they are familiar foes — they met in the D-I final a year ago and in the quarterfinal round two years ago.
If the Tigers stretch their winning streak, they will host a semifinal on Oct. 30 against either Hartford or No. 6 Colchester (4-4). The Hurricanes will be entertaining the Lakers this Friday. MUHS and Hartford did not play one another this fall, while the Tigers rallied past Colchester, 18-14, on the road, with three fourth-quarter touchdowns in their closest call of the season.
Championship games for all three divisions will be contested at Rutland High School on Nov. 7.
OV will enter the D-III playoffs as heavy favorites — the Otters’ smallest margin of victory this fall was 28 points (35-7 vs. No. 3 Woodstock), the fewest points they scored came in that game, and the most points they allowed were 22 vs. Mount Abe, which recorded interception and kickoff returns for touchdowns.
The Otters will open at home at 1 p.m. on Saturday vs. No. 8 BFA-Fairfax (3-5), the team that upset them in the 2014 D-III final. OV defeated the Bullets, 54-0, this fall.
Barring a stunning upset, their semifinal opponent a week from Saturday will be either No. 5 Windsor (5-3) or No. 4 Mill River (6-2). The Otters did not face Windsor this fall, but defeated Mill River, 41-6, this past weekend.
U-32 (6-1) is the No. 2 seed, and Woodstock is the No. 3 seed. OV won at U-32, 55-14. 

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