TONTOGANY — It took a while for Otsego to get going, but once they did, they steamrolled to a 48-7 victory over visiting Van Buren Friday night.
Otsego quarterback Devin Farley threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Cohen Feehan with 6:52 remaining in the first quarter, and then the Knights failed on a two-point conversion pass.
Van Buren came right back as Grady Mason tossed a 28-yard TD pass to Lucas Brown for 28 yards, and Jackson Gregory added the conversion kick, and suddenly VB was up, 7-6, 8:31 remaining in the half.
Otsego answered by scoring 42 points unanswered, mounting 348 total yards, on its way to staying unbeaten at 2-0. VB falls to 0-2.
“We had some struggles in the first half, but our defense did a nice job and kind of opened the game up for us a little bit,” Otsego coach Josh Lindke said.
“We had a couple miscues in the pass game, and we thought we were going to connect on a couple things, but I’m proud of the way our kids fought back, and this is a nice convincing win.”
While the defense stiffened, Farley completed 9-of-17 passes for 163 yards and four TDs, and he ran for 96 yards on 13 carries.
“Devin is about as good as you can get,” Lindke said. “He’s a coaches’ best wish. He leads the offense, does it in the throwing game and does it in the running game as well.”
Farley threw two more touchdown passes before halftime — an 8-yard pass to Tyler Michael for six points and a 26-yard TD strike to Jack Simpson.
It was after that the Otsego defensive backfield did its part, getting the first of two pick-sixes.
Less than a minute after Simpson’s TD catch, Kenton Wallace returned an interception for a touchdown to put Otsego ahead 27-7 with 1:18 remaining before halftime.
In the third quarter, Farley scored on a one-yard TD run, and in the fourth he threw a five-yard TD pass to Michael.
Michael then did his work on defense, picking off a Mason pass and returning it 83 yards for a touchdown with 6:48 remaining in the game.
Otsego had 15 first downs to Van Buren’s nine, and the Otsego defense held VB to 162 total yards.
Simpson caught three passes for 58 yards, Wallace had a 50-yard reception, Michael caught three passes for 21 yards and Jake Limes caught a pass for eight yards.
Blake Steele ran the ball 10 times for 52 yards, Kaidyn Hutton had 15 yards on two carries, and Hutton also threw one pass completion for eight yards.
Lee Borders and Owen Atkinson led the Otsego defense with five tackles and one assist apiece, and Steele had five tackles.
For VB, Mason completed 10-of-18 passes for 73 yards and Parker Beilharz completed 5-of-7 passes for 21 yards.
Mason also ran for 34 yards on 11 carries, Brown caught three passes for 43 yards, Collin Wagner caught three passes for 18 yards and Ethan Greathouse had three receptions for 16 yards.
Next Friday Otsego hosts Liberty Center (2-0) before entering Northern Buckeye Conference action.
“We just have to continue to get better,” Lindke said. “Our schedule is now going to get tougher.
“We can’t have slow starts because that is going to hurt us. It’s something that we have got to continue to work on. But proud of the way our kids played tonight.”
(Sentinel-Tribune multi-media journalist J.D. Pooley did the interviews for this story.)