BRANDON — The third-seeded Otter Valley football team outlasted visiting No. 6 Mill River, 12-6, on Saturday in a Division III quarterfinal and will play No. 2 Fairfax in a semifinal this coming Saturday. Game time will be 1 p.m.; the teams did not face one another during the regular season.
Fairfax (8-1) defeated No. 7 Oxbow, 42-12, on Saturday, in another quarterfinal. No. 1 Windsor and No. 4 Woodstock also advanced and will meet in this coming Saturday’s other D-III semifinal.
The Otters improved to 6-3 against the 3-6 Minutemen, but the victory did not come as easily as did their regular season home clash with MRU, a 37-6 decision.
But the OV defense three times held the Minutemen without points after they reached the OV 20, and the Otters forced three turnovers. Richard Lafountaine picked off two passes, Isaac Whitney recovered a fumble, and Keevon Parks had a big game defensively.
The Otters took a 6-0 lead at 8:29 of the second period, when quarterback Caleb Whitney tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brady Diaz.
OV made it 12-0 at 1:46 of the third period, when Diaz scored on a sweep from 25 yards out, dodging tacklers on the way.
MRU tightened the game at 6:49 of the fourth, when Ross Badgley broke a 44-yard scoring run. The Minutemen got one more possession, but turned the ball over on downs in OV territory. Dylan Anderson made a key defensive play for the Otters in the fourth quarter.