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Chris Murphy, Published October 17 2013

Otter Tail Central rolls United North Central to close out the regular season

FARGO – Only one defense in the entire state of Minnesota averaged less points against than Otter Tail Central’s 6.3 coming into Thursday.

After a 23-point loss to Barnesville in Week 1, the Bulldogs have given up 13 points in seven games, after a 48-6 drubbing of United North Central at the Fargodome on Thursday.

Barnesville’s 37-14 win in Week 1 was an early season wake-up call for Otter Tail Central, which the Bulldogs have answered with seven straight wins.

“It was kind of a reality check for us,” Otter Tail running back and linebacker Nick Trosdahl said. “We realized that maybe we weren’t exactly who we thought we were to start the season. We just picked it up from there.”

It wasn’t until there were 4 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game Thursday that United North Central (3-5) got on the scoreboard, and the reaction of Otter Tail Central was as if the Bulldogs just gave up the winning touchdown of a playoff game.

“We’ve only given up two touchdowns since that Barnesville game, and I think the kids are starting to pride themselves on that,” Otter Tail Central coach Don Seipkes said. “They are probably a little upset with themselves, but those things are going to happen.”

Quarterback and defensive back Tony Ukkelberg was 6-for-7 passing for 130 yards and two touchdowns and had an interception on defense for Otter Tail Central (7-1), but missing out on the shutout was the only stat he seemed to care about after the game.

“We really wanted to keep that goose egg up on the board,” Ukkelberg said. “Barnesville was a reality check, and since then we’ve worked out the kinks.”

The Otter Tail Central offense is nothing to ignore, as the Bulldogs scored on four of their first drives in the first half to take a commanding lead on United North Central. Trosdahl rushed for four touchdowns and 129 yards on 15 carries to go along with a 27-yard touchdown catch to lead the way for the Bulldogs.

“Our line played great, and we base our entire offense off of our line, so it all goes to them,” Trosdahl said. “I think we’ve improved a lot from the first game, and we have a good chance of going somewhere this year.”

Otter Tail Central has come a long way from Week 1. If Barnesville was an early season alarm, the Bulldogs woke up in Week 2.

“The kids got the message,” Seipkes said. “We’ve been pretty salty all the way through since then. Really, all that matters is we scored more points than the other team.”

O 7 21 20 0 – 48

U 0 0 0 6 – 6

O-N. Trosdahl 27 pass from Tony Ukkelberg (Tony Ukkelberg kick)

O-N. Trosdahl 14 run (kick blocked)

O-Smith 6 run (run good)

O-A. VanErp 30 pass from Tony Ukkelberg (Tony Ukkelberg kick)

O-N. Trosdahl 1 run (kick no good)

O-N. Trosdahl 44 run (Tony Ukkelberg kick)

O-N. Trosdahl 2 run (Tony Ukkelberg kick)

U-Carlson 4 run (pass no good)


RUSHING: O, Smith 15-92, N. Trosdahl 15-129, J. Trosdahl 2-(-2), A. VanErp 1-15, Tony Ukkelberg 1-19, Seedorf 2-2, Herrera 3-3. U, Carslon 3-9, Huttunen 6-7, Kjellberg 16-28, Schwartz 1-(-5), Clark 1-(-2), Yliniemi 1-4.

PASSING: O. Tony Ukkelberg 6-7-0 130 yards, Smith 1-1-0 16 yards, E. VanErp 1-1-0 13. U, Tellers 1-1-0 48 yards, Carlson 16-27-2 177 yards, Tellers 0-1-0.

RECEIVING: O, Marso 2-55, Trosdahl 2-36, Tyler Ukkelberg 1-9, A. VanErp 2-46, Seedorf 1-13. U, Skaro 8-149, Kjellberg 2-17, Huttunen 1-13, Tellers 3-35, Yliniemi 2-7, Eckman 1-6.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548