OV football seeks D-III crown, perfect record
RUTLAND — The top-seeded Otter Valley Union High School football team will meet No. 2 U-32 in the D-III final this coming Saturday at Rutland High School. Game time will be 2 p.m.
The Otters will be seeking the program’s second-ever football title: OV defeated U-32 for the D-IV title in 2005, 23-20.
The 10-0 Otters also dealt the 8-1 Raiders their only loss of the 2015 regular season, 55-14, on Oct. 2 in East Montpelier.
In that game, OV quarterback Carson Leary ran for 268 yards and six touchdowns, all in the first three quarters. Tyson Cram added a 75-yard kick return and Brent Nickerson scored on a 5-yard run.
U-32 kept that contest close in the early going. Fullback and leading U-32 rusher Colby Brochu, who ran for 119 yards vs. OV, picked up one touchdown, and quarterback Matt Greene, who threw for 113 yards, tossed a 40-yard TD pass to Devin Hanson.
Brochu’s score tied the game at 7-7, but Cram returned the kickoff for a touchdown to give OV the lead for good. Leary scored his second touchdown on the next OV possession. The Raiders made it 21-14 on Greene’s TD pass, only to see a Leary 75-yard run push OV’s lead to 28-14. OV led at the half, 35-14, on another Leary run, and pulled away in the second half.
On this past Saturday, Leary rushed for 320 yards and five scores in OV’s 61-27 semifinal win vs. Mill River, topping 2,000 yards for the season. Tailbacks Brent Nickerson, who scored three times vs. MRU, and Jove Bautista have also run effectively behind an offensive line that Coach Jim Hill credits for much of the team’s success this season.
Leary is also approaching 1,000 yards passing; top targets include Will Ross and Robertas Nielsen. OV has scored 35 points or more in every game.
Meanwhile, the OV defense has allowed more than 20 points just three times, often surrendering late scores while holding big leads, and has held teams to 14 points or fewer seven times.
Mark A. Nelson of Bristol
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