Ottawa High School had a game Friday it needs to put in the rear-view mirror.
St. James did everything it wanted offensively against the Cyclones in a 42-14 victory at Steve Grogan Stadium.
“We knew they were capable of putting up a lot of points,” Ottawa coach Rob Hedrick said. “They certainly did tonight. We could not make the plays defensively.”
It was the first game all season the defense could not stop an opponent. St. James scored on its first four possessions, and three came quickly.
“I did not expect that result,” Hedrick said. “We could not get pressure on the quarterback. Their offense had our number tonight.”
St. James added two more scoring drives to open the second half. The Thunder built a 42-7 lead late in the third quarter.
Ottawa did move the ball, but drives stalled out with penalties.
“We hurt ourselves offensively with penalties,” Hedrick said. “I felt good about what we did offensively at times. We were not able to overcome the penalties we committed.
“When we did have something going a penalty would kill us. We had a lot of 4- or 5-yard gains on first down.”
Ottawa put together two good scoring drives. The first was an 80-yard drive in six plays to draw Ottawa within 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Ottawa scored on a halfback pass. Kord Ferguson found a wide open Zach Dillard for the 24-yard scoring strike.
“It worked out well,” Hedrick said. “He did not throw it that well in practice. He is a gamer.”
The other drive came in the fourth quarter. Ottawa went on an 83-yard march in seven plays. Trey Rich scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass with six minutes left in the game.
“It probably stats-wise was our best offensive game,” Hedrick said. “It hurts them to lose. They know we have some potential. They want to reach that potential. Tonight was a kick in the tail.
“We have to think about the positives and build off that. We are not that bad of a team. We will start again. We will try to get ready for Paola.”
Ottawa (2-2) takes a two-game skid into next Friday’s game at Paola, which is 3-1 after its big win over Eudora.