Ottertail Central and Breckenridge were tied at 14-14 at halftime Thursday night as the two teams clashed in the season opening football game in Battle Lake. After OTC scored 14 third quarter points to open up a 28-14 advantage, Breckenridge answered with a pair of fourth quarter TD’s, but missed the potential tying extra point kick leading to a 28-27 Bulldog victory over the Cowboys.
Owen Buehler picked off a pass on the opening possession of the game and raced 60 yards for an OTC touchdown. A two-point conversion run by Tyler Christensen made it 8-0 less than two minutes into the contest. Another Buehler interception led to a Jack Mekalson to Mason Dalluge TD pass of 22 yards, giving the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.
Cam Nieto got the Cowboys on the board with a 25 yard TD run with just 3:03 left in the first half. An extra point kick cut the Bulldogs lead to 14-7. Following an OTC fumble which was recovered by Breckenridge on the 46-yard line, the Cowboys pulled even on a 3 yard run by Gavin Pederson and a second PAT kick.
In the second half Mekalson connected with Buehler on a 33-yard scoring toss and Drew Johnson scored the conversion for a 22-14 OTC lead. They increased the lead to 28-14 on a 76 yard pass from Mekalson to Dalluge.
Breckenridge responded with an 11 yard TD run, capping a ten play, 70 yard scoring drive and a successful extra point kick to trim the Bulldogs lead to 28-21. An 8 yard TD run by Nieto with 3:37 left made it a one point game, but the extra point try sailed wide right and OTC held on for the 28-27 victory.
Breckenridge had an outstanding rushing attack in the game as Nieto collected 122 yards on 23 carries, Pederson had 84 yards on 20 attempts, Alex Sanchez had 46 yards on 7 carries and Paul Armitage ran for 61 yards on 12 tries. Quarterback Bailey Evans completed 6-of-9 pass attempts. Breckenridge had 318 rushing yards and 67 yards through the air for a total of 385 yards.
Ottertail Central was led on the ground by Mason Hammer who had 39 yards on 8 attempts. Dalluge was the receiving leader with 63 yards and Mekalson completed 6-of-10 pass attempts for 187 yards and 3 TD's.
Ottertail Central will entertain Pillager next Friday night in Henning, while Breckenridge remains on the road with a game at Parkers Prairie.