Tuesday, September 02, 2014

OU Braves roar out of gate fast in first half

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 9/23/2013

LINDSBORG — Ottawa University football coach Kent Kessinger wanted to see how the Braves would react to its first real away game.

The Braves performed well. Ottawa roared out of the gates fast Saturday against Bethany in Lindsborg.

LINDSBORG — Ottawa University football coach Kent Kessinger wanted to see how the Braves would react to its first real away game.

The Braves performed well. Ottawa roared out of the gates fast Saturday against Bethany in Lindsborg.

Ottawa scored 34 points and racked up 298 yards of offense in the first half. The defense was just impressive giving up no points and 121 total yards in the first half.

Ottawa went on to claim a 41-15 victory over the Swedes.

“We talked about coming out fast,” Kessinger said. “We ran our up tempo offense extremely well in the first half. We put on a good exhibition of what we can do when we go fast. We handled the bus ride ... we handled everything with playing a night game really well. That is a testament to focus and our coaches preparation. It was nice to come down here and not be flat.”

Ottawa scored on three of its first four possessions for a quick 20-0 lead.

“Mike [Behr] ran the zone read really good,” Kessinger said. “The things we called were working.

“We had a run-screen option to start off the game. We ran the screen. Travis [Adamson] did a great job of reading it. Our receivers did a great job of blocking. It sets up our play-action pass.”

Ottawa chewed up Bethany with its ground attack. Ottawa ran the ball 42 times for 213 yards, while passed 15 for 20 for a modest 173 yards.

“We ran the football quite a bit,” Kessinger said. “They were giving us the run. We worked on our offensive line in getting good push and getting physical. Using our hands and driving people off the ball. We did a pretty good in the first half. We started off not doing well in the second half, but we came on. That is the testament to those guys.”

Luke Lundy led the ground game with 128 yards on 14 carries.

The defense bottled up Bethany in the first half, limiting the Swedes to six first downs.

“They were swarming and gang tackling,” Kessinger said.

Both sides did not have the same success in the second half.

“They got better at blocking,” Ottawa defensive coordinator Josh Homolka said. “We did not have enough adjustments on the defensive side. The second half, we did not do it the way we were supposed to.”

Kessinger said, “Our guys let up in the second half. That was the disappointing thing. We did not tackle on defense as good as we needed to. On offense, we needed to keep the drives going. They made some plays. We stopped ourselves more than we got stopped. That is something we can’t do. We took some sacks where we should have thrown the ball away.”

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