OTC to host Hancock in regular season finale on Wednesday in Henning

By Chad Koenen


In a match up between the top two teams in Section 4, the Otter Tail Central Bulldogs scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to blow past Border West 26-8 on Friday night. The Bulldogs trailed 8-6 at halftime, the first time they trailed in any game after the first quarter all season long, but shut down a powerful Border West offense in the second half to capture at least a share of the district title. 

OTC got the scoring going in a rainy and cool night in Wheaton when Lane Dilly scored on a 4-yard run to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Bulldogs. 

Holden Rinke gave the Buccaneers an 8-6 lead in the second quarter when he found the end zone on a 9-yard run and the Buccaneers converted the two-point conversion. The score remained 8-6 at halftime as both teams had drives stall out in the latter half of the quarter.

The Bulldogs retook the lead with a pair of dominating drives in the third quarter that were capped off by a 24-yard pass from Jack Mekalson to Teigan Bjerke and a 1-yard run from Dilly to make the score 18-8 heading into the fourth quarter.

Border West stayed in the game throughout the second half, but OTC put the game away late in the fourth quarter when Chris Fronning scored on an 8-yard run and the Bulldogs converted their first two-point conversion of the day to come away with a 26-8 win. 

Defensively the Bulldogs dominated Border West, who came into the game averaging 37.4 points per game on offense. OTC gave up just 96 yards of total offense, including just 80 yards on the ground. They also held Border West to just 2-8 on third down conversions and have up just 8 first downs in the game.

Meanwhile the Bulldogs ran 71 total plays, compared to just 44 for Border West, and accumulated 301 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs rushed for 215 yards and passed for another 86. OTC was 5-12 on third downs and converted 5-7 fourth downs. 

OTC was led offensively by Dilly who had 106 yards on 24 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Fronning rushed 20 times for 91 yards and a touchdown, while Mekalson rushed 6 times for 17 yards and Mason Dalluge rushed 2 times for 3 yards. 

Mekalson was 7-12 passing in the game for 86 yards and a touchdown, while Bjerke caught 3 passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. Dalluge caught 3 passes for 37 yards and Maddox Mekalson caught 1 pass for 9 yards in the win.

The Bulldogs, who are 7-0 and currently ranked fifth in the state, will close out their regular season on Wednesday night when they host Hancock in Henning. The game will kick off at 6 p.m.

The Hancock Owls come into the game with a record of 4-3 overall. They are averaging 33.4 points per game on offense, while surrendering 16 points per game on defense. Last week the Owls defeated Hillcrest by a score of 52-6. 

On the other hand OTC is averaging 40.7 points per game on offense and are giving up just 12.3 points per game on defense.