BRANDON, Vt. — The Otter Valley football team’s 29-14 victory over Springfield brought Jordan Tolar his first victory as a high school football coach but, more importantly, it brought the Otters a big shot of confidence.

“It is exactly what our team needed,” Otter Valley quarterback Caleb Whitney said. “We needed a confidence game right now.”

The Otters got off to a great start when Keevon Parks’ 11-yard touchdown burst gave them an 8-0 lead with 2:35 remaining in the first quarter. Whitney threw to Luca Polli for the two points.

The key play on the scoring drive was a 37-yard completion from Whitney to Polli who stretched out to make a spectacular grab.

The Cosmos were able to answer before the quarter was over on a 48-yard TD connection from quarterback Carson Clark to Cameron Williams. The PAT was no good.

OV’s Isaac Whitney had himself a whale of a second quarter. He intercepted one of Clark’s passes and and scored on a 1-yard TD run. Isaac then drilled the PAT between the uprights to give the Otters a 15-6 lead 3:49 before the half.

The Otters took that advantage into halftime and built on it when Caleb Whitney rolled outside, kept the ball, faked two defenders and dashed 20 yards to the end zone. His brother Isaac converted the PAT and the Otters were sitting atop a 21-6 lead with 5:15 to go in the third period.

It was then that the refrains of Sweet Caroline were played and to the large partisan crowd at Markowski Field, everything really did seem “So good, so good.”

But the Cosmos were not done. They put together a 53-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 27-yard completion from Clark to Tanner Gintof. Clark capped the march with a 1-yard plunge and then threw to Luke Stocker for the two points. Springfield had made it a one-score game at 22-14.

The Otters pretty much put it away with 9:58 left in the game when Parks got outside and sailed nine yards to the end zone. Isaac Whitney nailed the PAT to make it 29-14.

Parks was a workhorse with 120 yards on 16 carries, but his sophomore backfield mate Noel Pearsons had a coming out party.

Bobby LaFlamme, the public address announcer, said to others in the press box, “Where have they been hiding him,” as No. 33 ripped off large chunks of yardage. Pearsons had one carry that went for 43 yards.

“It was great to see No. 33 play great on both sides of the ball,” Tolar said.

Tolar was also encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm the Otters maintained throughout the game.

“The two other games this year, we were in them but lost our emotion a little bit,” Tolar said.

Caleb Whitney praised his offensive line comprised of Lucian Falco, Cody Pariseau, Kyle Pockett, Wyatt Fitzgerald and Derek Raymond for the pass protection they gave him as well as their run blocking.

“We could not get anything going with the ground game,” Springfield coach Todd Aiken said. “That is a credit to Otter Valley’s defense. They came up and smacked us.”

It also did not help when their featured back Aidan Garvey went out with an injury.

But in the second half, the Cosmos got a boost in its ground game from Luke Stocker who began finding holes and piling up some significant rushing yardage for the Cosmos for the first time in the game.

Stocker also had a 39-yard pass reception.

“Luke is a player,” Aiken said.

Clark showed a strong arm in throwing for just under 300 yards but as Aiken pointed out, he also made some mistakes, the kind you expect from a sophomore.

“His mistakes are fixable,” Aiken said.

“We have got some weapons,” said Caleb Whitney, noting skill players at his disposal like Tucker Babcock, Richard Lafountaine, Parks and Pearsons.

The Otters have Mount Abraham coming to Markowski Field on Saturday as their Homecoming opponent.

The Cosmos take their 0-3 record to Poultney that day.

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