BALDWIN CITY — In a matter of seconds the Baldwin High School football team took charge against Ottawa Friday at Liston Stadium in Baldwin City.
Ottawa, trailing 14-0 late in the first half, was driving and had the ball at the 3-yard line. Four plays later, Ottawa punted from its own 38. Baldwin then drove 90 yards in 33 seconds for a touchdown and pretty much sealed the fate of the Cyclones.
Ottawa ended up falling 35-0 to the Bulldogs in the district opener.
Ottawa coach Marc Bergan wondered how the game would have gone if Ottawa had scored and gone into halftime down by a touchdown.
“It completely fell apart,” Bergan said. “It was a bad series at the end for us.”
It was a bad game for the Ottawa offense, which mustered just three first downs.
“It started raining and we could not throw the ball,” Bergan said.
Ottawa completed five passes for 50 yards and never got traction in the run game.
Baldwin’s Cornell Brown slipped through the Ottawa defense with his uncanny ability to break tackles and then hurt the Cyclones with his passing.
On the killer 90-yard drive, he completed passes of 45 and 26 yards.
“Cornell is a good player,” Bergan said. “The passing game hurt us more than the running game. When you sell out to stop the run, you are susceptible to the pass. He was a better passer than we gave him credit for.”
Brown appeared stopped several times for minimal gain, but bounced out of tackles and kept motoring.
“Give him credit,” Bergan said.
The game was scoreless until midway through the second period when Baldwin scored touchdowns on three straight possessions.
Ottawa’s best drive started with Alex Griffey’s return of a kickoff to the 50. Baldwin’s personal foul penalty moved the ball to the 35.
Taylor Graf’s 29-yard pass to Kaden Shaffer had Ottawa at the 3-yard-line. Ottawa went backwards with the help of a holding penalty.
“We won as a team last week ... we lose as a team,” Bergan said. “We have good character kids.”
Ottawa (2-4, 0-1) plays Friday at home against Eudora.
Greg Mast can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org