The Otter eleven pulls away from the Eagles

BRANDON — The chilly temperatures on Friday night didn’t keep away the crowd or slow down the Otter Valley Union High School football team, which pulled away late over the visiting Mount Abraham-Vergennes cooperative squad to win, 34-14.
It was non-division game under the lights at Markowski Field as temperatures dropped into the 30s, with defending Division III state champion OV hosting the D-II Eagles.
The games was far from a runaway win for the Otters, at least in the first half. A running team that attempted few plays through the air, Mount Abe ground out yards on the ground, but mistakes and turnovers kept them from entering the end zone more than twice.
For the Otters, it was another career game for senior halfback Tyson Cram, who had four touchdowns, catching three in the air and rushing for a fourth. Sophomore OV quarterback Tyler Rowe was also solid, tossing the three TD passes.
Eagle quarterback Coleman Russell rushed for one touchdown and Casey Kimball ran for another. One Eagle try for a two-point conversion failed, and another was successful. One critical Eagle miscue was a holding call that negated a touchdown run by Russell in the second quarter.
The score was 21-14 OV at the beginning of the third quarter when OV’s Rowe fumbled and Mount Abe recovered on the Otters’ 30-yard lane. But the Eagles failed to convert and the Otters took over on downs.
But then it was OV’s turn to lose yardage to a holding call. A 40-yard pass to Cram on third down and 11 that got the ball to the 20-yard line was called back. The Otters then failed to convert and Mount Abe got the ball.
Fumbles and penalties became more numerous on both sides of the ball as the game went on. The score was 28-14 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. With just under 7 minutes left to play, Cram rushed for 15-yards for his fourth touchdown of the game.
Mount Abe Coach Lee Hodsden said his team held its own, but miscues were too costly.
“They played hard, but you can’t compete and make that many mistakes,” he said. “Touchdowns, penalties, missed assignments … They played hard, no doubt about it, but we can’t win with those mistakes.”
The Eagles fell to 2-5 on the season.
OV Coach Jim Hill was happy with his team’s play on Friday as the end of the regular season looms.
“It was a good team win,” he said. “I thought our offensive line played outstanding. They opened up huge holes for Tyson and they are really gelling now.”
OV is 5-2 and will host Div. III rival Mill River (4-3) on Saturday, an important games that will help determine playoff positions going into the postseason.
“We have a big division game against Mill River next week,” Hill said, “And we’re really hitting our stride now.”

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