By ANDY KIRKALDY
ADDISON COUNTY — The Vermont Principals’ Association on Thursday decided to hold Saturday’s Division I football playoff game between Middlebury Union High School and Hartford at the Mount Abraham Union High School field in Bristol because the MUHS field was too badly torn up by play during the wet weather.
The Tigers, who are 9-0 overall, earned D-I’s No. 1 seed with a 6-0 league record. They will host No. 4 Hartford (5-4, 3-3) at 1 p.m. The game will be a rematch of this past Friday’s match between the two squads, won by the host Tigers, 27-20, on a late touchdown.
No. 2 Rutland (5-4, 5-1 league) will host No. 3 Brattleboro (7-2, 4-2) at 7 p.m. on Friday in the other D-I semifinal.
The Tigers defeated both of those potential finalists this year: They won at Rutland, 20-18, on Sept. 29, and topped Brattleboro, 36-13, at MUHS on Oct. 20.
Otter Valley will hit the road for a Saturday night game with Mount Mansfield in D-IV.
The defending D-IV champion Otters went 6-1, 5-1 in D-IV, a record matched by Mount Mansfield. The Cougars earned the No. 2 seed over the No. 3 Otters based on their strength of schedule. The teams did not meet this fall, OV was set to host MMU on Saturday in a game that would have broken the tie, but field conditions forced it to be cancelled. OV defeated MMU in the 2005 semifinal on the way to the Otters’ first undefeated season and first D-IV title.
OV also had a game against D-III Poultney wiped off its schedule when persistent lightning struck with the Otters leading, 14-0. If that game had been completed with OV still ahead, OV would have earned the No. 2 seed and the home-field advantage.
Instead the Cougars, who have no home field, earned the right to host. The game will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Colchester High School.
Undefeated No. 1 seed U-32 will entertain No. 4 Montpelier at the same time. The Raiders will be heavily favored over the Solons (5-3, 4-3 league). U-32 defeated OV on Oct. 14, 47-14, by scoring 33 unanswered fourth-quarter points.
The VPA will announce the site and time of both the D-I and D-IV finals after this weekend.