Bulldogs hang on 22-19Published 10:53pm Saturday, October 26, 2013
The Otter Tail Central football team went into Saturday’s Section 6AA match up against the Breckenridge Cowboys with something to prove.
Despite only one loss on its record for the season, the Bulldogs took the third seed in the section playoffs, one behind the two-loss Cowboys.
It would take a second-half defensive stand, but the Bulldogs made their case for section supremacy with a 22-19 win over the hosting Cowboys in a hard fought section-semifinal.
The Bulldogs came out determined, starting the game with a 67-yard run that set up a one-yard touchdown run by Senior Andrew Smith.
With its home crowd filling the stadium and flooding over onto the track around the field, Breckenridge answered early with a scoring drive of its own.
Before the end of the quarter, the Bulldogs struck back when Tony Ukkelberg hit brother Tyler Ukkelberg with a pass over the middle. Tyler made a one hand grab and sprinted in for the score.
OTC’s defense took over the second, stopping several Breckenridge drives. The Bulldogs kept the Cowboys out of the end zone for the entire quarter.
Another strong drive for the Bulldogs set up a one-yard dive for running back Nick Trosdahl.
After a penalty on the extra-point try moved the ball closer to the Cowboy goal line, Bulldog head coach Don Seipkes decided to try for two-points and succeeded, giving the Bulldogs 22 points in the first half. But it would be the last time OTC found the end zone.
With momentum swung in the opposite direction, the Cowboys mounted a comeback after coming back out onto the field for the second half.
The Cowboys scored once in the third quarter, keeping OTC scoreless. Up by nine in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs punted the ball away in the final minutes of the game. Breckenridge returned the ball to Otter Tail Central’s one-yard line.
Breckenridge would punch the ball in and try for an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. The Bulldogs handled the ball, however, and clinched the game and a chance to play for the Section 6AA Championship.
“We played really well,” Seipkes said after the game. “The kids did a great job and held on in the second half. A win is a win and we’ll take it either way.”
With the victory, the Bulldogs travel to the Fargodom to meed the No. 5(Class AA) Holdingford Huskers, who beat Pelican Rapids 48-18 on Saturday night, for the section championship. The Huskers are 10-0 on the year and will prove to be the biggest challenge the Bulldogs have faced.
The two teams will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.