The Ottawa High School football team has played several teams this season with same type of make-up and pedigree as Friday’s opponent Eudora.
The Cardinals, 18-3 the past two seasons, invade Steve Grogan Stadium at 7 p.m.
“We are facing a good ball club,” Ottawa coach Marc Bergan said. “We will have our work cut out for us.”
The Frontier League is full of state championship type teams. Eudora finished second last year and envisions another playoff run again. The Cardinals have not lost to a league school the past two seasons.
“They ought to be comforted to know the Louisburg game, the St. James game, we played our game and we were in the game,” Ottawa coach Marc Bergan said. “It should be the exact same feeling.”
Upsets do happen. Spring Hill, the week after Ottawa beat the Broncos, sprung a big upset of St. James, which handed Eudora two of its three losses the past two seasons.
“You have to prepare for that opportunity as well,” Bergan said. “Mindset plays a part. You get to the end of year, you get nicked up. Right now it is more of a mental game than physical game. You know what you can and can’t do. Now it is about going out and making plays. Try to play up to your potential.”
It will be two teams that contrast in style. Ottawa has yet to show it can move the ball consistently on the ground, while Eudora likes to pound opponents with multiple runners.
“We are not a team — especially against the good teams — where we can lineup and be physically be able to run the ball,” Bergan said. “That is where our lack of size comes into play. We did not make some other plays the other night [against Baldwin]. We tried to hard to make plays which hurt us. Sometimes in football there are not plays to be made.
“The bad field games — when you are a finesse team — that does not play into your cards.”
Eudora’s offense is led by quarterback Andrew Ballock, a tall athletic player.
“He is pretty impressive,” Bergan said. “He makes their offense go. He can run. They have had games where they have three guys that have had more than 100 yards in a game. It starts upfront. They are big and physical guys. They have that winning experience going into the state finals last year.
“They are coming here to take of business and move on.”
Ottawa has done well in the takeover and penalty areas this season.
“They will have to turn it over some,” Bergan said. “That certainly can happen. We have done a decent job of causing turnovers. We have a good job of limiting our turnovers. The other thing is limiting our penalties. We have done a good job of that.”
Ottawa has not played its best football at home and Bergan wants to change that.
“It would be nice to compete well the next two weeks at home,” he said. “You get into the fourth quarter and have the game within reaching distance.”
Franklin County sports can be followed on Twitter @ottawasports1