Ottawa (2-0) has never beaten Louisburg. The two teams square off 7 p.m. Friday in Louisburg.
The OHS coaching staff knows the Cyclones will have to play better overall to beat Louisburg (1-1).
“They have a lot of talent,” Ottawa coach Rob Hedrick said of the Wildcats. “They have been forcing a lot of turnovers. They have been moving the ball successfully.
“They are big across the line. They have good athletes and football players. It will be a good test.”
The Ottawa defense will be tested as the Wildcats play physical football and beat teams down.
“Louisburg is running the counter and sweeps,” Hedrick said. “They are killing people with their inside trap. They run it at least once a series. People know it is coming and still can’t stop it.
“You have to stop it.”
“Hopefully we can get better on the offensive side of the ball,” Hedrick said. “We have to get more consistent there. We have to have play physical and sustain blocks.
“The running backs have not done a good job getting where they need to be at full speed. We changed up a couple of things that will help them.”
Hedrick said Ottawa can’t have costly mistakes against Louisburg.
“We have to play a much cleaner game,” Hedrick said. “Fewer penalties and turnovers. We had to force a lot of turnovers and mistakes by [De Soto] to come out on top.
“We have to sustain drives and keep flipping the field on teams. If we can keep the other team on their side of the field it really helps. People are having a hard time moving the ball against our defense.”
The big thing is to keep focused on the task at hand and stay strong mentally.
“The kids are all on board,” Hedrick said. “They understand what we need to do. They are willing to put the time in. O-line came in late Monday evening for a meeting.
“They understand what we are trying to tell them. Every week you have to keep with the mindset that keep rowing the boat. You can’t ride your emotions too high or too low. You can’t let the setbacks hurt you too much mentally. You can’t get too high on the great plays.”