Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ottawa, Spring Hill teams make strides in league

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 10/3/2012

Ottawa and Spring Hill high school football teams have been at the bottom of the Frontier League for awhile. Both teams are making strides to close the gap between them and the other five teams.

They are starting to do that. Both have given league foes a battle all season and Spring Hill owns a league victory over Baldwin.

Ottawa and Spring Hill high school football teams have been at the bottom of the Frontier League for awhile. Both teams are making strides to close the gap between them and the other five teams.

They are starting to do that. Both have given league foes a battle all season and Spring Hill owns a league victory over Baldwin.

The two programs have been taking turns beating each other. Spring Hill took last year’s game in Ottawa, so Cyclone fans, players and coaches feel it is Ottawa’s turn.

The two teams meet 7 p.m. Friday in Spring Hill.

“Spring Hill has good players,” Ottawa coach Marc Bergan said. “Their numbers are up. They beat a good Baldwin team. There is a lot of similarities [between us]. They are trying to build as well. They have had one or two wins. They have been competitive.”

The last time Ottawa went to Spring Hill, the Cyclones played a solid game in coming home with the victory.

“We have gone back and forth,” Bergan said.

Both teams have been inconsistent on the offensive end. Spring Hill employs an option-style offense with a big-play capability in the passing game.

Ottawa (1-4) has been inconsistent across the board on the offensive end.

“We have tried for five games to really run the ball,” Bergan said. “We have not been as consistent as much as we would like.”

Ottawa moved the ball through the air in its final two drives against Paola on a wet and muddy field.

“You would like to be multi-dimensional,” Bergan said.

Ottawa’s offense has been saddled most of the season with poor field position.

“We had miscommunication on a punt ... we had a turnover on a punt that gave them great field position,” Bergan said. “There are times where we are really close where we want to be.

“We have to get first downs to flip the field back over.”

Both teams have been going through growing pains in one of the toughest leagues in the state.

“They have played good football,” Bergan said. “We are playing awfully good people. A win cures lots of things. Makes you feel better about things. It is the last opportunity before district play.

“For us — because we have a lot of young kids — it is another game for experience. That is very important.”

Greg Mast can be reached at ottawaherald.com

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