Ottawa just lost 33-15 to the Broncos. It was the first playoff game for Ottawa (5-5) since 2003 and first non-losing season since 2003.
“The finality of it is the sad thing,” Ottawa coach Rob Hedrick said. “It is always sad to end. We are much better off than we started the season as far as what we accomplished.
“We got better throughout the season. We had a lot of players playing new positions. We jelled at the end. It was a fantastic season.”
Hedrick said once the hurt of the loss goes away, the memories of this season will become etched forever for many of them.
“I am proud of the boys,” he said. “Remember what they accomplished this year. Remember the teammates and what they did to help the Ottawa High School football program. They put us on the map and hopefully keep us on the map.”
But the loss stings. Ottawa finished with three fumbles and interception.
“Mistakes killed us,” Hedrick said. “We did not make plays. They did. It was that kind of night for us. It got off to a bad start. We did not improve much throughout the course of the night. You are not going to play any bad teams. We gave them too many short fields. We did not recover.
The turnovers gave Spring Hill the momentum and field position.
“We gave them short fields all night,” Hedrick said. “The defense did a fine job of holding them. We were not going to punt the ball [in the second half]. We were going to go down swinging. We were not going to give up.”
Ottawa scored two touchdowns in the second half after being down 33-0. The first was a 1-yard run by Kord Ferguson. The second was a 59-yard run by Tyler Brown in the final minute of the game.
“They went out fighting and battling,” Hedrick said.
Hedrick was appreciative of the seniors.
“I will miss the seniors,” he said. “They did a lot of good things. I was fortunate to have this group of seniors. They led in the right way.
“We have a lot of good underclassmen. The future is bright.”