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Tiger’s Playoff Bound Trim O.V. 41-14 Now 9-0

photo by Mike Cameron

Tuesday November 2, 2010

By Mike Cameron

    M.U.H.S. Varsity Football punched its ticket to the V.P.A. Division 2 post season playoffs after a convincing win over scrappy Otter Valley Union High in Brandon on Saturday afternoon October 30th 2010.

    The undermanned Otters were without the services of their best athlete, Tri-Captain Peter Bautista who was on the sidelines with an ankle filled with orthopedic hardware.  Even with his considerable skills missing from the line up, the Otters were bound and determined to give the Tigers all they wanted.

    It was Senior Day at Markowski Field as the O.V. Players, who would be playing for the last time on home turf, were introduced with their parents before a good crowd of Otter fans and visitors from Middlebury.

    Head Coach Dennis Perry knew going in that his team would be facing a Tiger team that allows opponents very little wiggle room.  They were reminded of that on their first possession as the Tigers forced O.V. 3-downs and out.

    The Tiger defense was stingy as ever led by Captain Patric Fifield, Kalob Gagnon, Austin Quesnel, Tyler Malloy, and others. The Tiger D was, as always, all over the place and the offense came to play mistake free football.

    Tiger quarterback Brendan Burrell set the pace and earned three touchdowns with his fleet feet and strong arm.  

    The Tigers had their fans up on their feet when Dylan Robinson started the scoring parade in the first quarter.   Robinson swept to his right and beat the O.V. corner and linebackers who may have read pass.  Then the lanky Robinson tight-roped the sideline and raced 84-yards to pay-dirt.  The kick was good.  It was the beginning of the end for O.V.  Bowdish, Clark and Burrell quickly scored in succession with Bowdish  hitting all but one point-after.

    Otter Valley would not fold.  O.V. Quarterback Zakk Williams, also a tri-captain, marched his team to the Tiger 20 with scant seconds remaining in the half. Williams then threw a nice pass to Jimmy Winslow for an Otter touchdown.  The point after was good and the Otters seemed to gain some momentum going into the locker room for the intermission.  It was Tigers 27 and the Otters 7.

    The second half was an on the job training session for Middlebury with players in and out of the contest including some up from the J.V. Program and the results remained the same even with the liberal substitutions by the Tiger coaching staff.  Burrell got the second half scoring parade underway with a keeper from one yard out and then Seth Hobbs got in the book with a one yard plunge himself.  The Tigers used plenty of troops as word came that further north Rice was tuning up on North Country thus allowing Fair Haven into the post season against them.  

    Otter Valley's Nate Fitzgerald showed the hometown crowd some speed and power when he went 24-yards for a touchdown for the Otters late in the game.  It wouldn't be enough.  

    Fleet footed Jerry Hoffman and Hobbs added the finishing touches for the Tigers,  Final score, Tigers 41-14 over Otter Valley.  They will play Fair Haven for the right to play for the Vermont Division 2 State Championship on this Friday night November 5th, 2010 at Doc Collins Field.  Middlebury is the top seed in the playoffs.  They are now 9-0.  Rice Memorial will play CVU to see who will go to the championship from that pair.

    Championship Saturday, November 13th 2010,  will be held at Spartan Stadium in Castelton.  The Division 2 game will follow the Division 3 game to begin at 10 a.m.  The Division 1 game will be at 6 p.m.  Fans will have a chance to see all 3 games in one day thanks to a great plan organized by Castelton College President Dave Wolk and his athletic department. There's plenty of football left for local fans thanks to the efforts of this year's Middlebury Union High School Tigers.


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