Bulldogs improve to 6-0 with district win
By Chad Koenen
In a wet and wild night, the Otter Tail Central Bulldogs improved to 6-0 with a 42-18 win over Ashby/Brandon-Evansville on Friday night. The win capped off a busy homecoming week for both Henning and Battle Lake Schools.
The Bulldogs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Mason Dalluge took the opening kick off 83 yards to the end zone to make the score 8-0 when the two-point conversion was successful. In a prelude to what would happen for much of the opening three quarters of action, ABE was able to find an answer as Jake Norby found the end zone for the Chargers when he scored on an 11-yard pass to make the score 8-6 when the two-point conversion was stopped.
In the second quarter, Lane Dilly found the end zone on a 4-yard run and the Bulldogs converted the two-point conversion to leave the score at 16-6. The Bolts quickly answered that score with one of their own on a 64-yard pass to make the score 16-12.
Dalluge scored his second touchdown of the opening half when he caught a 12-yard pass in the back of the end zone to make the score 22-12 at halftime.
In the second half Jack Mekalson scored on an 18-yard run to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game up to that point by a score of 28-12, before Norby scored his second touchdown of the game on a 21-yard pass to make the score 28-18 in favor of OTC.
After a back-and-forth opening three quarters of action, the Bulldogs pulled away for good when Dalluge found the end zone for the third time, this time on a 15-yard run and the two-point conversion was successful, to make the score 36-18. Chris Fronning made the score 42-18 when he scored on a late 4-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 42-18 win.
As a team, the Bulldogs outgained the Bolts by a 395-267 yard margin, thanks to a dominating performance on the ground. OTC rushed for 343 yards, compared to just 101 for the Bolts. Much of the damage for ABE came through the air as they passed for 166 yards. OTC also picked up 22 first downs, compared to just 11 for ABE.
Mekalson went 5-9 for 52 yards and a touchdown through the air with Dalluge being on the receiving end of all 5 of those passes.
Dilly rushed 20 times for 119 yards and a touchdown, while Dalluge rushed 6 times for 93 yards and a touchdown and Fronning rushed 8 times for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Mekalson rushed 4 times for 28 yards and a touchdown, while Anthony Rousu rushed 1 times for 11 times and Teigan Bjerke rushed 1 time for -11 yards.
This week the OTC Bulldogs will travel to Wheaton to take on the 5-1 Border West Buccaneers. Last week Border West defeated Hillcrest by a score of 71-26 for their fifth straight win. The Buccaneers come into the game averaging 37.4 points per game on offense in the five games they have played, they also won 2-0 in a forfeit to Ortonville earlier this season, while surrendering 26 points per game on defense in the games they have played.
OTC comes into the game among the highest scoring teams in 9-man with 43.2 points per game on offense, while giving up just 13 points per game on defense.
The game will not only essentially be for the district championship, but will also have important implications in the section standings as the two teams are ranked first and second in Section 4. With just seven teams in the section, the top seed will receive a bye in the opening round of the playoffs, which is set to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
The Bulldogs will wrap up their regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. against Hancock in Henning.