MONTPELIER — When Payton Pease took a handoff and broke through the line of scrimmage late in the second quarter, he raced toward a scoreboard that already showed a Montpelier blowout.
His array of speed and stiff arms had stifled Ottawa Hills through the first 15 minutes, but his last rushing touchdown was his most impressive.
The Hobe Krouse Field crowd knew he was gone when his run reached the 50-yard line, which ended in a 72-yard score to further boost an already outstanding performance. Pease would add a receiving touchdown for good measure, as Montpelier beat Ottawa Hills 38-7 on Friday night.
“Payton is a really good back, he’s got a nice little burst, when he gets out there he’s got good vision,” Montpelier coach Steve Brancheau said. “Our offensive line was opening up gaps for him to shoot through.”
Pease finished with 296 yards on 13 carries with four rushing touchdowns. He also caught one pass, a 14-yard touchdown.
If it weren’t enough for Pease and the Locomotives offense to bash the Green Bears, it was also the night where Pease hit 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
“It’s amazing,” Pease said of his milestone. “It’s something I thought I’d never get to. It’s definitely because of the O Line, just a wonderful feeling.”
After a punt to start the game, Montpelier (2-6) rattled off six straight touchdowns to end the half. The other touchdown was scored by Chandler Byers on a 32 yard rush.
The Locos ended the half with over 300 yards rushing and five scores, and finished with 366 yards on the ground for the night. With a running clock in the second half, Montpelier largely played a clock control game to drain the clock. Pease and most of the offensive starters were able to rest in the second half.
“We always want to run the ball,” Brancheau said. “It was working tonight, we just stayed with it and let our offensive line move upfield.”
Despite only having the ball for 14:50 elapsed time on offense, the Locos didn’t need the clock at all. They scored too quickly.
“It starts up front with our offensive line,” Brancheau said. “They’ve been really starting to come together as we’ve progressed this year.”
Largely overshadowed was the Montpelier defense, which held Ottawa Hills under 200 yards on the night. Pease, who doubles as a defensive back, took notice.
“Front four that we had tonight, they were gettin’ it,” he said. “They wouldn’t even get past the line of scrimmage before I could even know what was going on. They’d be on the ground before I could even react.”
Still, it was the rushing attack that buried the Green Bears.
The Locos averaged a staggering 12.6 yards per rush, all behind the offensive line which allowed for Pease to run all over the field.
“They open up the holes,” Pease said of his offensive line with a smile. “I just run as fast as I can, hope no one catches me.”
Montpelier quarterback Rowen Beck only completed one pass, but it was for a 14-yard score, the aforementioned touchdown to Pease. Brayden Custer and Bryer Bentley led the Locos on defense with eight and seven tackles, respectively.